Mark Driscoll, the former pastor of Seattle-based Mars Hill Church, has announced his new church will officially open August 7 in Scottsdale, Arizona.
In a video message shared by Patheos blogger Warren Throckmorton, the 45-year-old pastor thanks volunteers for putting in over 1,000 hours to help renovate Trinity Church, located in the Glass and Garden Church building.
"You have ripped up carpets, you have painted walls, you have cleaned toilets, you are amazing!" he says.
Driscoll also reveals that in the future, the church hopes to include a large children's ministry and two services.
He says: "In the next month or so, we hope to have our kids ministry building ready to start children's ministry in the 'backyard.' After that, our plan is to have the main room that we call the 'living room' ready for church services including the worship and and singing as we gear up for two morning church services."
In a written message the pastor added: "Thank you to everyone who has given of your finances, prayers, and service. It's amazing to see how much can get done when hard working people pull together for the cause of Jesus Christ!"
SeattlePi notes that the Glass and Garden Church building, designed by architect E Logan Campbell in a style associated with Frank Lloyd Wright, was built 50 years ago with an adjacent drive-in church. It seats 1,400 people and has around four and a half acres of ground.
Driscoll, his wife Grace, and their five children moved to Phoenix after the implosion of Mars Hill Church in 2014 amid allegations that the pastor had bullied, intimidated and manipulated those who worked at the church.
This past March, four former Mars Hill deacons and members filed a civil RICO racketeering suit, accusing Driscoll and a deputy of engaging in a "pattern of racketeering" which injected a "deadly toxin" that ended with "complete destruction of the church."
The Trinity Church website explains that Driscoll took a year off from pastoral ministry to "learn, repent, grow and heal, and meet many of the people involved."
It adds that "during this time, Pastor Mark and Grace walked with professional and pastoral counsel who have all agreed that they and their children are ready to return to local church ministry with a new season and a new church in the new city of Phoenix. Pastor Mark is very honored and excited to plant The Trinity Church, and draw from more than twenty years of ministry experience."