Friday, August 29, 2014

Throckmorton reports Jon Phelps added to MH BoAA, an overview of compiled writings on Phelps


Three people who do have specific titles at Storyville are the three owners. The owner and CEO is Islander and philanthropist Phelps, also the founder of Full Sail University, a for-profit Orlando-based school specializing in music and the entertainment industry that was highly touted by Mitt Romney during his presidential campaign, and co-author (with Mark Driscoll) of Reverse Engineering Your Life and Marriage. Co-president Munson is a former executive pastor of the controversial-in-the-news Ballard-based Mars Hill Church (for which Driscoll is the pastor). Co-president Kris Rosentrater is the former drummer for Christian goth/electronic band Spy Glass Blue.

Note that earlier this year it was reported Jamie Munson has resigned membership and eldership from Mars Hill Church.

As for Storyville Coffee, on October 2, 2013 The Stranger discussed the company:


One of the copresidents of Storyville is Jamie Munson, former executive pastor of Mars Hill Church. Munson was on staff at Mars Hill for a dozen years before resigning from this high-up role in 2011; his resignation letter, posted online at, declares "I LOVE MARS HILL," noting, "My time on staff at Mars Hill Church has come to an end, but the Munson family is not going anywhere, and we're so excited to see what Jesus does in the next fifteen years."

That resignation letter has been thoroughly scrubbed as of some time this year, so you won't be able to go read it unless someone archived that page somewhere.  Bethan Jean Clement's article also went on to feature this:

I tried to reach Munson, Rosentrater, and Esther Phelps for comment; I was directed to send an e-mail. A Storyville marketing manager then assured me, "As a company, we are not affiliated with any religious organization of any kind." I answered that while there may not be an official connection, given the involvement in Mars Hill of the company's principals, it seems logical that profits from Storyville will end up benefiting Mars Hill. Would they be willing to comment on that? As of press time, no reply has been forthcoming.


Storyville Coffee is the new cafe in Pike Place Market owned by people with serious ties to neo-evangelical, homophobic, misogynist Mars Hill Church—here's the story on that. Asked about the connection, a Storyville marketing manager assured me, "As a company, we are not affiliated with any religious organization of any kind." I answered that while there may not be an official connection, given the involvement in Mars Hill of the company's principals, it seems logical that profits from Storyville will end up benefiting Mars Hill. Would they be willing to comment on that? They still have not responded.
Now an internet sleuth in comments on that story has discovered a cached page from the Mars Hill website that indicates that as recently as 2009, the Storyville Coffee Company (which at that point was a roastery without any cafes) was donating directly to Mars Hill Church:
God has used Storyville Coffee to bless Mars Hill Downtown. Since the Downtown campus has been planted Storyville has donated tens of thousands of dollars worth of coffee, supplies, and equipment. God is continuing to use Storyville to bless people and advance the gospel message.
The blog post has apparently since been taken down.
I think it is naive to believe that Storyville profits will not end up in Mars Hill pockets. Various commenters have other theories about the Storyville/Mars Hill link.

Bear in mind that while The Stranger used to reference older forms of info Mars Hill has since introduced robots.txt to preclude web crawls of content.

No, wait, actually this one still works!

Material published by Throckmorton reads as follows:

Update on Paul Tripp & The BOAA
As we have shared before, Paul Tripp recently resigned his membership from our Board of Advisors and Accountability. To the best of our knowledge at the time, this was due to his intent in helping Mars Hill as a paid consultant.
Paul later released a statement, adding additional comments that he did not believe the structure of the Board that he joined was healthy, and that we should add accountability from local members of the church. Paul’s concerns were not made known to the Board as a whole before he resigned; however, we agree there is wisdom in adding local members to this board and we were already in the process of doing just that.
We have now become aware of new comments and concerns that Paul Tripp has voiced about Pastor Mark and Pastor Sutton within the last week to a small group of current elders at Mars Hill. These elders then posted these comments as a letter in an unsecure place, and the letter has since been posted online by various critics and media sources.
Paul Tripp’s comments to our elders were never made directly to the Board of Advisors and Accountability, as we have minutes of these meetings. We are deeply disappointed that Paul did not bring these concerns to our full Board or to the Executive Elders directly.
The concerns brought forth by these elders and the comments from Paul Tripp have been heard and are being taken seriously. Their letter, as with past letters voicing accusations toward Pastor Mark, will be processed in accordance with our bylaws. This means the accusations will be thoroughly examined and a report issued when the review is complete.
As for the Board of Advisors and Accountability we are pleased to announce that the vacancies created on the Board were filled with local members of our church who meet the ECFA guidelines for independence. Pastor Matt Rogers is a local Seattle business leader and has been serving as a volunteer elder at Mars Hill Church Bellevue. He will also serve as the Chairman of the Board of Elders which will provide increased accountability in areas of financial responsibility, staff and elder transitions and church culture. The other vacancy on the BOAA has been filled by John Phelps. John is a successful businessman and longtime member of Mars Hill. We are excited for these men to provide local perspective and accountability on our Board.

Read more:
As yet more formal verification by public announcement from Mars Hill has not been spotted by Wenatchee The Hatchet, but this may be a suitable opportunity to keep revisiting past writings about Jon Phelps

From ...

Real Marriage: the truth about sex, friendship & life togetherMark and Grace Driscoll
Thomas Nelson
(c) 2012 by On Mission, LLC
ISBN 978-1-4041-8352-0 (ie)
page 208

I had multiple stress-related symptoms--heartburn, headaches, nervous eye twitch, aggressive driving, constant low-level anger, high blood pressure, and self-medicating with foods and drinks packed with fat, sugar, and simple carbohydrates, along with caffeine.

Perhaps a few months after things had reached this level, a godly friend in the church, named Jon, scheduled a meeting with me. God had laid it on his heart to speak some wisdom into my life. He did so with great humility, and in that meeting he gave me some insights that were life changing.  [emphasis added]

Jon had been taking notes on how he organized his life, things he had learned, and what he felt the Holy Spirit had asked him to tell me. His wisdom was a priceless gift. He called it "Reverse Engineering." The big idea is to anticipate life forward and live it backward. 

... For my health I found a doctor named John who was a naturopath and ordained pastor and started doing what he told me to do, which has changed my life. 
Mark credits Jon Phelps with the idea but gets first billing in the copyright?  Interesting.  Let's keep in mind that date because Reverse-Engineering Your Life ended up being the first session at the 2005 Mars Hill Men's Training Camp:

From ...

Confessions of a Reformission Rev
Mark Driscoll, Zondervan, 2006
Copyright 2006 by Mark Driscoll
From pages 34-35

Question 9
Do you have the courage to shoot your dogs?

Dogs are idiotic ideas, stinky styles, stupid systems, failed facilities, terrible technologies, loser leaders, and pathetic people. Most churches know who and what their dogs are but simply lack the courage to pull the trigger and shoot their dogs. Therefore it is vital to name with brutal candor the people, programs, structures, and ministry philosophies that are dogs needing to be shot. Be sure to make it count and shoot them only once so that they don't come back and bite you. [endnote 35 here]

Page 202
35. I took the concept of shooting our dogs from a conversation I had with a friend named Jon Phelps, who is the president of DC-3 Entertainment and the founder of Full Sail College. 
Jon Phelps is co-credited with Mark Driscoll for Reverse-Engineering Your Life

Skipping the phrase "shoot your dogs" entirely and moving on to names and references, to get some idea of who Jon Phelps is we may have to go find out what there is available about the two things Driscoll refers to Phelps being president and founder of respectively.

So ... DC-3 Entertainment.

Nathan Burke, who served as executive assistant to Mark Driscoll and as executive elder at Mars Hill Ballard wrote the following (at one point) in his LinkedIn profile:

Project Manager

DC3 Entertainment

May 2005April 2006 (1 year) Greater Seattle Area
A start-up entertainment company that ended up morphing into a coffee company:

Precisely how DC-3 Entertainment mutated into Storyville would be a story that perhaps someone else can dig into because even though it's Labor Day weekend Wenatchee The Hatchet does things besides research and writing.  Anyway, let's get back to recycled material in homage to the spiritual warfare series that's been published lately ...

So what is Full Sail College?  Driscoll's reference was made in an endnote in a book published in 2006.  Well, now it is 2013 and Full Sail College is now  Full Sail University.  For people who kept tabs on the 2012 presidential race some of you may remember that Rachel Maddow discussed Full Sail University in particular and for-profit colleges in general as a talking point for the Romney campaign:

It's a ten-minute clip and for those who don't feel like watching it, well, the short of it is that Maddow notes that students who enrolled in Full Sail University's computer gaming animation program the on-time graduation rate was 14% and the cumulative graduation rate was about 34% and the median debt incurred regardless of the academic outcome was 59k.  Maddow then transitioned into discussing how for-profit colleges have made a point of targeting veterans.  If you're not the sort to watch Maddow clips this summary might not convince you to watch the clip.

According to an article in the Orlando Sentinel, Jon Phelps founded Full Sail in January 1979.

On February 24, 2013 the following video got posted to Youtube by fullsailreviews, which looks like a pretty anti-Full Sail University channel overall.  But independent consultation of real estate listings shows that the Phelps have a lot of money landed in Seattle real estate. 

Mark Driscoll and Jon Phelps are co-creators and owners of the copyright in "Reverse-Engineering Your Life" which appeared in some mens' retreat materials circa 2006 and in a different format at the end of Real Marriage.

But even if we consider the bias against Full Sail University there is an inferential case to be made that the Jon and Esther Phelps own enough real estate in the Puget Sound area to propose the possibilities that 1) they are members of Mars Hill Church or may be present in some capacity and 2) that Phelps has been credited by Mark Driscoll with axioms on leadership and planning that have featured in at least two of Driscoll's books. 

Thus endeth the passage of recycling, and as of today it can't be confirmed whether Phelps is a member beyond the recent public statement, and it would be rather difficult (to say the least) to know if the said membership would entail, say, any evidence of existence on the town.


Unknown said...


Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

yep, spotted that.

For sake of information

Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

and this might another possibly interesting ubi listing