Controversial pastor Mark Driscoll appears to be on the verge of launching a new congregation just over a year after resigning from Mars Hill Church in Seattle following accusations of plagiarism, bullying, and an unhealthy ego.
According to Patheos blogger Warren Throckmorton, Driscoll, 45, is listed as a director of The Trinity Church in Phoenix, Arizona, which was recently incorporated and uses the same correspondence address as his Mark Driscoll Ministries.
Throckmorton also links to the articles of incorporation, which says that the church will be a "Bible-based Christian Church".
As reported by the Gospel Herald, Driscoll resigned from Mars Hill in October 2014 due to his admitted "divisive" leadership style. Members of the Acts 29 church planting network, which Driscoll helped found, had advised that he take time off to get help, and rescinded Driscoll and all Mars Hill Church campuses' membership from the network.
In his resignation letter, Driscoll said that "aspects of my personality and leadership style, had proven to be divisive within the Mars Hill context" and that he was resigning because he did not want "to be the source of anything that might detract from our church's mission to lead people to a personal and growing relationship with Jesus Christ."
In July, the pastor announced a "new adventure" as he and family were moving to Phoenix, Arizona, but insisted there are "no concrete plans for ongoing local church ministry as of yet" as he is still seeking counsel from older, more experienced spiritual leaders.
"After meeting with many former church leaders for reconciliation and closure in Seattle, our family is in the midst of a new adventure as we have moved to the Phoenix area," Driscoll wrote in an email to supporters shared by Throckmorton.
While church ministry "remains a calling and desire," Driscoll emphasized that his plan is not to rush into anything. "Instead, caring for each member of our family, seeking the wise counsel of pastors we are walking with, and building local relationships with Christian leaders to help build churches locally and globally is our focus," he writes. "Beyond that, we will see how the Lord leads."
However, over the past several months, Driscoll slowly emerged back on the evangelical preaching circuit and has early new year appearances at the Zion Conference in Texas, the North Valley Community Church in Arizona and the megachurch-hosted Most Excellent Way to Lead conference in South Carolina.
In a tearful video interview with Hillsong Church's Brian Houston in July, Driscoll said that in the future, by God's grace, he will refrain from making the same mistakes that led to the demise of Mars Hill.
"I hope whatever the Lord has for me in the future is that I will draw people and not drive people," he said. "My empathy level will increase."