For the first time since the latest round of controversy started roiling Mars Hill Church, its West Seattle site‘s future is in question. Today Mars Hill leadership announced online that it’s disbanding and that individual remaining churches will be able to either go independent, or will be sold:
…the board of Mars Hill has concluded that rather than remaining a centralized multi-site church with video-led teaching distributed to multiple locations, the best future for each of our existing local churches is for them to become autonomous self-governed entities. This means that each of our locations has an opportunity to become a new church, rooted in the best of what Mars Hill has been in the past, and independently led and run by its own local elder teams. …
The West Seattle Mars Hill building at 35th/Ida in Gatewood was previously Doxa Church, whose members joined forces with Mars Hill in 2006. That’s when Mars Hill bought the church for $180,000, according to county records, which show its appraised value at almost $3 million. Today’s announcement says, “All of Mars Hill’s existing church properties will either be sold, or the loans on the individual properties will be assumed by the independent churches, subject to approval by the lender …”
The online message about Mars Hill’s future is signed by Pastor Dave Bruskas, who has spoken for the church since its founder and Senior Pastor Mark Driscoll resigned earlier this month. He writes that Mars Hill is on a fast timeline for the reorganization plan – to be complete by the first of the year.
ADDED 8:50 PM: One more note on the Mars Hill purchase of the West Seattle church in 2006: As noted in the comment discussion below, we have found one more document, indicating that the purchase price was the “underlying debt” that remained on the property, while the equity beyond that was “a gift” from the seller. Even back in 2006, the county valued the property at almost $1.8 million.
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