Friday, June 08, 2012

Mars Hill Albuquerque, moving beyond Washington state

October 10, 2007
by Pastor A. J. Hamilton
At the same time that Federal Way launched MHC, did something new and not entirely included in our grand plan for strategic expansion: We launched an out-of-state campus in New Mexico. MH Albuquerque celebrated its one-year anniversary on September 19 [emphasis added], one week after celebrating our joy in the Holy Spirit with 13 baptisms and nearly 30 testimonies across the three services located in the historic Lobo Theater on the old Route 66. The makeup of these campuses is diverse. Then, less than three weeks ago, the U-District campus because our biggest campus launch ever: In just two Sundays, they went from 350 to 800 attendees at two services, saw 30 baptisms, and had held two dance parties. They'll be at three services by the end of the month. It is difficult to recall all that Jesus has done in the last four years, events have transpired so quickly and seemingly on top of one another. What is clear in my mind how good God has been to us and continues to be. 

Pastor AJ is in charge of operations at the Albuquerque campus, and has been on staff for almost a decade. He wrote for the blog last week about why God called MH to New Mexico for its first out-of-state campus.For more, check out a clip from Pastor Mark from the Trial series about multi-site church in 60 A.D

Published Friday, August 13, 2010 at 10pm
By Janet I Tu
Seattle Times Staff reporter

Last year, the church opened its first out-of-state campus in Albuquerque, N.M. The pastor there — who was familiar to Mars Hill's leaders — already had started a church, but thought he could reach more people by partnering with Mars Hill.

It's all part of the church's hope to create 100 campuses, with 50,000 members, by 2019.

This campus caught blogger Mike DeLong by surprise, if I read this entry correctly.

You can read all of Mike DeLong's posts about Mars Hill Albuquerque over at his blog.

This one is short and worth quoting, though.
a quick note about Dave Bruskas

August 16, 2011

Mike DeLong

Yes, Dave Bruskas, now-former pastor of City On A Hill (now Mars Hill Albuquerque) has apparently [link] left Mars Hill Albuquerque for a position in the Seattle area [link]. The transition was apparently an amicable one [link], although I have not seen an official announcement for those of us outside the Mars Hill Church circle of light, etc. We wish the Bruskas family all the best in their new situation.

Pastor A. J. Hamilton is now listed as lead pastor at the Albuquerque site.

The site also got a new home in November 2011

Sunday, December 11 – Mars Hill Albuquerque 

I will preach at the grand opening of the new home of Mars Hill Church Albuquerque, which is under the leadership of Pastor A.J. Hamilton, who many years ago was my executive assistant. This is our fastest-growing church, with the highest percentage of conversions. I’m praying for at least 1,200 people on this Sunday.

Time: 9 a.m., 11:15 a.m., & 5 p.m.

Location:  4700 San Mateo Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109

For more on Mars Hill Albuquerque, see

Some reference to Albuquerque is made by Driscoll in the following entry:
by Pastor Mark Driscoll on November 29, 2011

Mars Hill Albuquerque

In 2009, Pastor Dave Bruskas, planter and lead pastor of City on a Hill in Albuquerque, New Mexico, began talks with us on merging the church he’d pastored for over 10 years with Mars Hill Church and becoming our first out of state church. [emphasis added]

At the time, City on a Hill was running over a 275 people, healthy, and doing good ministry in their city. There was lots of discussion as to whether the merger was the right move, but as Pastor Dave relates, “One question rose above all the others as most important: ‘Would more people meet Jesus if we went through with this?’ After months of deliberation, the leaders of both churches unanimously answered that question with a resounding ‘Yes!’”

The driving force behind the merger between Mars Hill Church and City on a Hill was one of shared mission. Our desire was to see as many people as possible in the city of Albuquerque meet Jesus, and we both felt strongly that this could be accomplished better together than apart.

God has been gracious to us. Today, Mars Hill Albuquerque has over 800 people meeting to worship together and serve their community each week. And we thank God that 250 people have met Jesus and been baptized at Mars Hill Albuquerque since the merger in 2009. Today, the church has outgrown its building and is officially replanting in a new larger building on December 11. Pastor Dave is now an executive elder at Mars Hill, the #2 ranking pastor in all of Mars Hill, and a tremendous gift to our church. [emphasis added]

Some description of the new location can be found here:

Early last year, the Albuquerque elders started seeking out a new location that could accommodate more growth, give more space for the children's area and ministries, and allow the church to become a regional hub in the Southwest for training and church planting. As the leaders began to look into the former Gold’s Gym near the corner of San Mateo and Montgomery, "perfect" was the only word that could be used. It was as if God built us a home decades ago that we are just now moving into. The new building will allow the Albuquerque church to seat over 550 people in the auditorium, including over 3,500 square feet in children’s space.

On February 7, 2012 Mark Driscoll wrote a letter to Acts 29 members and made the following announcement.
February 7, 2012

The following are three changes that will take place on the A29 board.

1. The Board of Acts 29 will be myself, Pastor Matt Chandler, Pastor Darrin Patrick, and Pastor Dave Bruskas. Each man has been able to hand off their network to full-time staff, thereby freeing them up to go to the next level of leadership and help me work across all of Acts 29 and serve all of the networks that comprise the A29.

Christian Post
April 11, 2012
article by Alex Murashko, Christian Post Reporter

... Mars Hill Church Pastor Mark Driscoll announced that he was stepping down from the reins of Acts 29 late last month to make room for Chandler, the lead pastor at The Village Church in Highland Village in Texas. Driscoll remains on the organization's current three-member board which also includes The Journey's (St. Louis, Mo.) lead pastor, Darrin Patrick. The group's headquarters will move from Seattle to Dallas.

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