Mark Driscoll, the evangelical pastor and author who founded the now defunct Mars Hill Church and the current founding pastor of Trinity Church in Scottsdale, Arizona, continues his career despite allegations of un-Christlike behavior.
The 51-year-old is set to headline a marriage conference with Jimmy Evans' XO Marriage at Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas next month. Fellowship Church is one of the 10 largest churches in America and is led by Ed Young.
According to investigative reporter Julie Roys, Evans is a longtime supporter of Driscoll and is even one of three directors for Driscoll's Trinity Church. Other speakers joining Driscoll at the marriage conference include pastors of other churches who are associated with Association of Related Churches or ARC, which is known for restoring pastors who were shunned by their chuches over sexual immorality or other sin.
Joining Driscoll at the marriage conference are American Gospel singer CeCe Winans and her husband, Alvin Love, pastors of Nashville Life Church, an ARC church in Tennessee; Earl and Oneka McClellan, pastors of Shoreline City Church, an ARC church in Texas; Tim and Jen Timberlake, pastors of Celebration Church, an ARC church in South Florida; Jon Chasteen, pastor of Victory Church, an ARC church in Oklahoma; and Dan Lian, a teaching pastor at Newspring Church, an ARC church in South Carolina.
ARC has been previously named in two lawsuits that alleged the organization covered up sexual abuse and/or harrassment by ARC pastors. Several ARC pastors have since resigned or taken sabattical leaves due to sexual scandals. While ARC does not have any formal relationship with Driscoll, Gateway Church, which is the largest ARC church in America, together with its pastor Robert Morris, were the first to platform Driscoll after he abruptly resigned from his role in Mars Hill Church in 2014.
The controversial pastor and founder of Mars Hill was described in 2014 as "vicious, abusive and controlling," by the Seattle Times. The report said Driscoll was subjected to investigation on "whether he was fit to lead," after allegations of him having "bullied members, threatened opponents, lied and oversaw mismanagement of church funds."
During a 2014 Gateway conference, Morris introduced Driscoll and addressed the audience, saying that Driscoll had made some mistakes but that "most of what you read is not true." He even went on to defend Driscoll.
"We have two choices. One is we could crucify him. But since someone has already been crucified for him the other choice is we could restore him with a spirit of gentleness considering ourselves lest we are also tempted," Morris remarked at the time. "And it's very sad that in the church, we're the only army that shoots our wounded and I want you to stop it."
Meanwhile, Morris's spokesman said last year that the religious leader is no longer an overseer at Driscoll's church "but is available if counsel is sought by the church leaders." In August, Driscoll was a speaker at a Gateway-hosted preaching conference. In May, Driscoll was the main speaker at another ARC church's leadership conference, this time in Echo Church in San Jose, California.