Tuesday, August 13, 2013

where are they now? Mars Hill pastors from 2007 and what they're up to now, part 3 Bubba Jennings

Bubba Jennings is of note in this series because alongside Mark Driscoll, Jamie Munson, and Scott Thomas he was the fourth executive elder at the meeting in which Bent Meyer and Paul Petry were fired.  See the email Petry sent to the four executive elders after he was terminated.

Jennings ended up being the lead pastor at the Ballard campus, though in time this may have proven to be an interim leadership role. 

Mars Hill West Seattle

Mars Hill West Seattle was a result of conversations I had with Pastor Bill Clem, who now leads our Ballard church. Bill planted Doxa Fellowship in West Seattle after having served as the North American Director for Sonlife Ministries, a national discipleship ministry. The church was part of the Acts 29 network and running under 100 people when Bill and I began talking.

At the time, Bill’s wife was diagnosed with cancer, from which she eventually passed away. I called up Bill to offer support for the tough battle he and his wife were facing, and I also asked if he’d be open to letting us use Doxa’s building on Sunday mornings, as Doxa was only meeting on Sunday nights.

Eventually, as our church met in his building in the mornings, as we talked more and more, and as Bill’s wife faced a continuing and difficult battle with cancer, Doxa decided to merge with Mars Hill and become part of our church. We gave Bill many months off, paid him a full salary, and let him care for his dying wife and get a break from the exhausting work he’d undertaken in planting a church with an often bedridden wife. [emphasis added] Her funeral was held in the church building that Pastor Bill had been given, and once he was ready, he started working for Mars Hill and is now our lead pastor at our biggest church, Mars Hill Ballard. [emphasis added] Additionally, he has published the book Discipleship for us, and is the Northwest regional director for Acts 29.

This could be read as a statement that Clem had been intended to be the lead pastor at Mars Hill Ballard but that Jeannie Clem's cancer presented an obstacle to that goal being realized.  Other interpretations of the above statements are possible but this particular interpretation seems most likely.

In lieu of Clem being in a position to be lead pastor at Mars Hill Ballard, Bubba Jennings took on that role.  Other than being part of a team of pastors who voted that Petry be removed from eldership there's no certainty what, if anything Jennings said or did during the termination/trial process of 2007.  As to what he's been up to since then, he's remained at Mars Hill, though he is no longer an executive elder.  He has recently been mentioned as having a vision to plant Mars Hill Church Tacoma.  Jennings and his wife have been at Mars Hill for quite a few years now.  Jennings resigned his role as executive elder in 2008 to focus on being lead pastor at Ballard.  Once Clem was ready Jennings may have simply stepped down and transitioned into another leadership role.  Jennings is currently listed as lead pastor of Mars Hill Federal Way.


Anonymous said...

What happened to the first Federal Way lead pastor?

Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

Samuel Choi