Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Throckmorton: Former MH staffer says Mars Hill Church global fund was restricted


A former staffer named Rachel Macor opted to go on record to Throckmorton. Throckmorton and Macor are quoted below:

A week ago, I posted an anonymous statement from a former staff member in the central office at Mars Hill Church. Today, I can offer you another statement from the same staffer. I received this quote from Rachel Macor, a former staffer in Mars Hill finance department.  Here is her quote.
I believe that Mars Hill leadership knew from the start that donations to the Global Fund were restricted and could not be used for unrestricted purposes. In fact, there was a separate account for Global in the books to note this distinction. During my time in the Finance Department, there was a pointed emphasis to be sure that restricted funds were not co-mingled with general funds. I believe that among the Financial Leadership Team (which includes multiple CPA-level staff, who would know all the ins and outs of restricted and unrestricted donations), there was a clear awareness that any restricted funds could not be directed to the general fund.  Without a doubt in my mind, Mars Hill leadership knew what they were doing.
Throckmorton continues to note that ECFA president Dan Busby wrote a document clarifying donations and designations and that "Busby makes it clear that donors signal donor intent, not the organization who received the donation."   Organizations that receive donations have to designate donations based on what the donor's restriction might specify rather than the aims (stated or otherwise) of the entity doing the fundraising. 

For those who may not know what Macor's role was, a composite screen capture of a 2011 event may be helpful.

For those unable to read the imaged text:
Danelle Williams on 04/18/2011
Aspen, Rachel Macor could help you w/this, she’s the income bookkeeper and processes the credit card payments.  MHC does take AmEx and she should be able to troubleshoot for you.
Danelle Williams, Expense Bookkeeper
Mars Hill Church: Finance

So that establishes that Macor was publicly recognized within Mars Hill as the income bookkeeper and as someone who processed credit card payments.  While the sermon from 2009 in which Driscoll publicly fielded the subject of Mars Hill Global has been scrubbed since earlier this year, Wenatchee The Hatchet transcribed a segment of the sermon (and has the audio) of the sermon so that Driscoll's past statement about Mars Hill Global under Jamie Munson's tenure as legal president of Mars Hill may be pertinent:

Prophets, Priests and Kings
Trial: 8 witnesses from 1 & 2 Peter
May 3, 2009
1 Peter 5:1-5
starting about 0:47
... I have announcements for you.

First of all, kinda let you know what's going on at Mars Hill, Pastor Scott Thomas runs our Acts 29 church planting network along with Pastor Tar, Pastor Tyler Powell and that's going great. We give ten percent of our dollars [to] church planting. Acts 29 has 250 churches in the US, many, many, many more overseas. Our goal is to see over 1,000 churches planted within ten years. We're well on the way to that goal and that includes sending Pastor Jesse, who has been our campus pastor at Bellevue, to go plant in California. He's sensing that call on his life.

Pastor Mark (it's a different Pastor Mark), Pastor Mark up at the Shoreline campus, is going to go plant in Chicago, a new church, and Andrew Pack is planting in Seattle out of the Lake City campus. Some have asked, "Why start another church in Seattle?" Cuz we need a zillion and this will make two of them. We're well on our way to a zillion. We need lots of churches in Seattle and we praise God that Andrew and others want to plant churches. We're all for it. 

Additionally, marshillglobal.com is an initiative led by your Lead Pastor Jamie Munson and here's where we're going: from seven campuses of Mars Hill to a hundred; from upwards of 10,000 people on any given Sunday to 50,000 in the next ten years. Leading this is Pastor Rick Melson, one of our executive elders and he's a great guy. We stole him from John Piper in Minneapolis. I'll rephrase that, we borrowed him for a long time to the glory of God from John Piper in Minneapolis, and he [Melson] is also running the Resurgence Training Center--it's a school that will open in the fall so that we can have a leadership engine to train more campus pastors, church planters and potential elders. We're seeking fifty students for the fall term.

For all of this we will need to raise four million dollars above and beyond budget and Pastor Jamie has a really smart idea to take microgifts from a lot of our fans online. There's upwards of 20 million downloads of our sermons and content every year. [We're] asking those people who enjoy all that we give away to give some small gifts to help fund this global expansion and initiative. Many have asked--it's cool, we've recently had checks as large as ten thousand dollars--saying, "We love you. We listen to a lot of things. Here, how can we help?" So we're going to open that opportunity up. We're going to invite you to give as well, above and beyond your general tithes and offerings. And, amazingly enough, a generous donor stepped forward and said "I'll do a million-dollar matching fund. For everyone who gives any amount I'll match that up to the first million dollars." So that's the great kick-off. We praise God for that.

marshillglobal.com, you can check in there to get updates on where we're going, what we're doing and how we are expanding. That includes our newest campus, Mars Hill Albuquerque. We officially announce it today. We're going to New Mexico.  ...
So back then Driscoll made it clear that marshillglobal was an iniative led by Jamie Munson with the aim of soliciting online listeners and supporters to donate to expansion projects.  To the extent that Throckmorton has been blogging about Mars Hill Global with questions about where the money was going and how the money was being solicited the fuzziness seems to have set in regarding Mars Hill Global not so much during the tenure of Munson (as Wenatchee The Hatchet currently understands it) as when Sutton Turner arrived and a massive overhaul in staff and employees took place between 2011 and 2012. 

Throckmorton, in the close of his piece reiterates that the donor rather than the solicitor is the one to determine the designation and purpose of a gift and that Mars Hill policy seems to have been backwards on this set of responsibilities. 

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