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Mark and Grace Driscoll Announce Church Plant in Phoenix, Arizona: 'We Are Excited About the Future'

( [email protected] ) Feb 02, 2016 11:28 AM EST
Pastor Mark Driscoll has announced he is officially launching a new church in Phoenix, Arizona, just over a year after resigning from Mars Hill Church in Seattle following accusations of plagiarism, bullying, and an unhealthy ego.
Mark and Grace Driscoll have announced they are officially launching a new church in Phoenix, Arizona. Mars Hill

Pastor Mark Driscoll has announced he is officially launching a new church in Phoenix, Arizona, just over a year after resigning from Mars Hill Church in Seattle following accusations of plagiarism, bullying, and an unhealthy ego.

In a video posted on his personal website, the 45-year-old pastor revealed that Trinity Church, which is named after a church founded in the Seattle area by the parents of Driscoll's wife, Grace, will open sometime in 2016.

"We have moved to Phoenix...we love it here, making new friends, excited about this city and the future that God would have us play in serving the people here along with some other great churches in the valley," Driscoll said in a video, in which he appears next to his wife.

"Lord willing, we're hoping, trusting, praying, planning and also a little bit worrying about planting a church here in early 2016," he added.

Driscoll said he is uncertain of where exactly the church will be located, but explained that "Once the church is established, a class and process for spiritual church membership will be offered."

When asked how she feels about Phoenix, Grace said that the couple and their five children feel "very supported by the community and leaders and fellow Christians...it feels like home."

She also expressed her excitement over the church plant, stating, "We have healthy fear going into it, and that is appropriate for what the Lord has called us to do, but overall, I'm excited to see people get saved...I'm excited to be in community with people from Phoenix...and I'm excited to hear [my husband] preach."

According to the church website, Trinity Church hopes to be a place where "lives are transformed through learning the Bible and loving people."

"Our church aspires to celebrate and honor other churches in Phoenix and beyond, partnering with them for the cause of God's Kingdom," it reads.

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, the pastor 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."

Last July, the pastor announced a "new adventure" as he and family were moving to Phoenix, 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 Patheos blogger Warren 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."

Also in July, Driscoll appeared In a tearful video interview with Hillsong Church's Brian Houston, where he said that in the future, by God's grace, he will refrain from making the same mistakes that led to the implosion 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."