Less than a year ago, Mark Driscoll, an evangelical pastor, was flying high.
His hometown Seattle Seahawks were in the Super Bowl, and the brash pastor scored a big, faith-fueled interview with five of the team’s top players, including quarterback Russell Wilson.
But in a remarkably fast fall from grace, Driscoll resigned Tuesday as pastor of Mars Hill Church, a congregation he founded 18 years ago and turned into a force in the mostly secular Pacific Northwest.
In a statement, Mars Hills’ board of overseers said Driscoll hadn’t committed any acts of “immorality, illegality or heresy” — sins that have felled many a powerful pastor.
Instead, the board said, Driscoll is guilty of “arrogance, responding to conflict with a quick temper and harsh speech, and leading the staff and elders in a domineering manner.”
Driscoll was not asked to leave, the board added, saying they were “surprised” to receive his resignation letter.
In that letter, obtained by Religion News Service, Driscoll says: “Recent months have proven unhealthy for our family — even physically unsafe at times — and we believe the time has now come for the elders to choose new pastoral leadership for Mars Hill.”
The 43-year-old pastor acknowledged that, “There are many things I have confessed and repented of, privately and publicly, as you are well aware. Specifically, I have confessed to past pride, anger and a domineering spirit.”
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