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“I study the Bible all week, pray to the Lord, and then I speak from my heart. It’s all about brutal honesty.” – Mark Driscoll Since Driscoll is all about brutal honesty, why should I be nice?
Mark Driscoll was the subject of this blog when I started in 2009. Then came the implosion of Mark Driscoll’s Mars Hill where he once said:
“There is a pile of dead bodies behind the Mars Hill bus, and by God’s grace, it’ll be a mountain by the time we’re done” – Mark Driscoll
This site was formed out of the need to centralize articles, videos, podcasts, and other items regarding recent events at The Trinity Church in Scottsdale, AZ and historical events from Mars Hill Church in Seattle, WA.
This community aims to share truth regarding Mark Driscoll and his staff.
You can read the Article, Dear Pastor Mark, below, where the former Director of Security highlights many issues that led to his resignation and departure of the church.
If you have a story you would like to share regarding The Trinity Church, Mars Hill Church, Acts29 Ministries, or personal stories, please shoot us a message on our Contact Us page.
Thank you and God Bless!
-The Dear Driscoll Team
This itself is a blast from the past. How many of you remember the blogs that got started by folks who left Mars Hill over the antics of Driscoll? Since I was unable to get permission to reprint Dear Pastor Mark (I asked too late in the day, I will point out some of the highlights of Dear Mark which shall be the focus of the rest of this post.
Chad Freese introduces himself. He was part of the inner circle and received *top secret* communications.
My family attended The Trinity Church for nearly three years, and my wife attended Mars Hill several years ago. I served on the security team for eight months. I served as the Director of Security for only seven weeks (Feb 27th – Apr 18th, 2021) until I resigned due to the pastor’s immoral, unethical, and unbiblical actions. I did not see these issues until I became part of the inner circle where I attended meetings and participated in “top-secret conversations.” I acknowledge I was complicit in executing the duties of my position.
Directly after this section is the *Table of Contents.* This should tell you that there is much to read and absorb. It took me 30 minutes to quickly read the whole letter. It is well written and quite detailed.
Chad wants to take ownership of the things he did.
I am not claiming innocence in the events outlined below. I take full responsibility for decisions I made, given the information I had and the personalities I faced. I also understand I was complicit just by pure association. The church has been blaming me for saying things like, “Well, Chad was the Director of Security. He recommended this or that…”. That is true.
Chad was told that he should have drawn his gun to protect Driscoll in the following situation.
February 27th, 2021, a man got on stage during service. The man was asking for prayer. He did not try to attack you or anyone else. He was removed from the stage and taken out front, where he was arrested on the church’s front steps for an outstanding warrant not church-related.
…I told John, “Pastor Mark is wrong. In a situation like this, you should always aim to deescalate. Drawing your firearm would have immediately escalated the situation.”
It was after this incident that Chad assumed the position of Director of Security. This was not a paid position.
Over the next seven weeks, I continued to volunteer an average of 50 hours per week, as did many others..
He resigned from his position in April.
On Sunday, April 18th, 2021, I resigned as the Director of Security after serving for only seven weeks. I did not get fired from my position, nor was I asked to leave as many others had been. I tried to be polite and professional, as I was still planning to attend the church and pursue the Chaplain Certification Program. I was careful with my wording because I feared my family would also be shunned and kicked out, as I had witnessed happen to many other families.
… I decided to write an email to clarify some issues that were not sitting well with me. This email shows some examples of frustrations and the toxic culture forced upon the security team. Each service was a battle with the pastors and staff.
Chad discusses some of his concerns about Driscoll: kicking people out of the church, no elders, and threatening to bankrupt others.
- How do you expect anyone to bring forth concerns when your immediate action is to kick people off the property and out of church altogether?
- How can anyone bring forth a concern and resolve issues without a proper and accessible board of Elders to hold you and the other pastors accountable?
- How can anyone feel comfortable bringing forth a concern when you threaten to “bankrupt them in court and bleed them dry?”
This threat about attempting to bankrupt former members by pursuing a phony lawsuit is despicable.
Making sure to be nice to the people who donate the most.
Why did you mention in January that Trinity is no longer a relational church, but the Pastors and staff need to focus on the relationships with those who donate a certain amount of money, at a minimum remembering their names and saying hi to them?
Driscoll appears to have in-law problems and security is expected to deal with them.
- Why do you not have a good relationship with Pastor Landon’s parents?T hey are your daughter Ashley’s in-laws.
- Why do you not have a good relationship with Chloe’s parents? They are your son Zac’s in-laws.
- I discussed with Brandon about the in-laws not allowed on the property as I heard this across the campus throughout the congregation.
- Why did Pastor Brandon kick Chloe’s mother, Jolie Monea, off campus the Wednesday before Zac and Chloe’s wedding?
- Why do you cause division with Pastor Brandon’s in-laws, specifically Lanna Andersen’s stepfather and the family?
The hidden, and useless IMO, board of translocal elders
They are now hidden from view but here they are. (And I doubt they are involved whatsoever.) As for being wise, judge for yourself. I certainly have an opinion and I’ve written about my thoughts on Robert Morris.
Other articles have been written about you not having a board of elders. When, in fact, you do have a board of overseers that are geographically distributed, or translocal.
You no longer list this team on The Trinity Church Leadership page. You used to have them listed, and they can be seen on an archived version of the Trinity Website from February 2021. Why are they now hidden?
And if you ever had any doubt that this church is not the Driscoll family busine$$
In another security meeting, you told the team that you are the “Head Coach,” and no decisions are made without your guidance and ultimate approval. You told the team if they did not like that, they could find another team. You went on to say the church is structured on your family’s values and the security team is to support what you and your family believe.
There was a group of men who were trusted to be part of Driscoll’s security entourage.
The detail was formed to provide safety for you and your family, with Marc Stirton running the screening and selection process for those so allowed to be in your “inner circle” as he is a “trusted” friend of the family.
…Having your entourage escort you from the parking lot to your office, to the sanctuary and back to the office, then back to the parking lot, and even driving you to and from your house is a tad dramatic
Driscoll is increasingly isolating himself and is allegedly building a secret corridor(I wonder if the church members are paying for this?)
You currently have an engineering team working on drafting the plans to blast a hole through the concrete and steel wall backstage to have a private entrance into your office from behind stage so you “don’t have to deal with being interrupted by people.”
Bloggers are crazy.
You often bragged how the videos online are edited, and your controversial sayings are removed, so the crazy bloggers hiding in their mom’s basement do not attack.
What happened when there was a possible child abuse situation? Guess who got thrown out of the church?
On Thursday, March 11th, Paul W., a security team member, brought forth serious concerns involving a staff member’s actions with a child. He was specific in examples of activities which if true, would violate child safety practices and potentially trigger a report to child protective services. When Paul reported this incident to a member of Mark Driscoll’s security detail, Paul was called into a meeting. He thought he would be asked to retell what he witnessed in order to document and trigger an investigation. Instead, the decision had already been made before the meeting that Paul and his family were immediately kicked out of the church, his life group, his real men’s table, as well as the Chaplain Certification Program. This happened because he attempted to report an incident that involved a staff member, and it would be too damning for the church and the Driscoll brand.
…A few weeks later, I sat in a security meeting where we discussed this, among other topics. You and the other pastors laughed about the accusation, just summing it up as a laughable absurdity. You all accused the individual that brought forth the concern of being “demonic,” which is the same thing you say about others that have left or been kicked out. This type of behavior was sickening and indeed not laughable.
Finally, the incident regarding the 15-year-old boy who kissed Driscxoll’s 17-year-old daughter.
On Wednesday, March 24th, 2021, you discovered that Angelo Manuele’s 15-year-old son had kissed your 17-year-old daughter. Brandon pulled Vince into his office to question him about the incident, to which he got angry and went off on him, a kid two years younger than your daughter.
…The week building up to Easter, Angelo certainly had a flood of emotions he had to battle daily. He was angry and hurt by the entire situation, especially seeing how horribly his son was treated. His family had been trespassed from the property and kicked out of the church. For the first time, Angelo and both his sons were starting to see your behind-the-stage behavior
…We had information and reports from other church members who had private conversations with Angelo stating he wanted you to resign as the Senior Pastor and repent for your behavior. Angelo requested you form a board of elders to hold you and the other pastors accountable for your actions and properly oversee how business was conducted.
…In these meetings, you said Angelo was “demonic” and labeled him as an out-of-control lunatic. You all made the situation much worse than it was, all because of pride and ego getting in the way. At the time, even I bought into it and was full force on stopping Angelo. You had me and the security team convinced he was pure evil.
…Many fingers are being pointed at me as being the one who recommended we have someone follow Angelo. That is true. I did. I take full ownership of that. In many conversations, phone calls, and face-to-face, I was told things that turned out not to be true. On March 29th, Brandon asked for a Private Investigator and wanted as much info on Angelo as possible. On April 1st, I recommended having our Private Investigator follow Angelo, and later that night, Brandon wanted professional eyes on Angelo and made a point how we couldn’t predict crazy.
Threatening to sue Angelo and his family.
In another Angelo security meeting, you and Brandon discussed how you had tripled your litigation fund to approximately $10 million. You said something along the lines of “If Angelo crosses me, I will just bankrupt him and bleed him dry in court. It is a numbers game. I guarantee you he runs out of money before I do.” You followed that up with, “In fact, that goes for anyone.” You continued to talk horribly about Angelo and said, “Hell, he’s a broke-ass dad that could not financially take care of his son. He only tithes $25 per month. He doesn’t have much money so bankrupting him will be easy.“
The spectrum of trust when the Driscolls are a level 10!
Brandon said my ability to lead my family was in question because I was seen in a photo with a Pastor Dustin, whom you treated horribly and slandered. Brandon said he just sat through a staff meeting where you went over a “Spectrum of Trust” with the staff, where you rated individuals on a sliding scale of 0-10 based on how much trust you and the church have in them. He pulled up a picture he took from the dry erase board in your office and proceeded to brief me on this spectrum of trust. Brandon said that the higher the level of trust, the more access someone gets. I asked, “access to what?” to which Brandon replied, “The Driscolls because they are at level 10“. Once again, It’s All About the Driscolls.
Finally the bus on the church property. What’s it there for?
I have serious concerns about the Trinity Bus, as do many others. I asked Brandon about the use of the bus, and he said it is only to be used as a “prop”. Kevin Pankey offered to drive it, and Brandon gave the same answer, just a “prop”. After an article was published and photos of the bus appeared online, you attempted to hide it by moving it behind a dumpster. Why? What is there to hide?