Saturday, September 20, 2014

repeating an earlier question as a standalone post, with Sutton Turner's departure who will run Resurgence Publishing, Inc?

Resurgence Publishing, the for-profit branch of Mars Hill executive elder activity
UBI Number 603207560
Category                      REG
Profit/Nonprofit           Profit
Active/Inactive            Active
State Of Incorporation WA
WA Filing Date           05/17/2012
Expiration Date           05/31/2014
Inactive Date 
Duration                       Perpetual
Agent Name                 JOHN SUTTON TURNER 
Address                        1411 NW 50TH STREET
City                              SEATTLE 
State                             WA
ZIP                               98107 


1411 NW 50TH ST
SEATTLE , WA 98107 
From the old post:

So that means that when you buy a book through The Resurgence store over here, you're probably buying a book with a copyright owned by the author and not the church said author might be a pastor at.

Let's take a look at some for-instances,  Darrin Patrick's book
Church Planter, copyright owned by Darrin Patrick.  Then there's Community, by Brad House, who also owns the copyright to his book. Or Redemption, by Mike Wilkerson, who owns the copyright of the book. How about Scandalous, by D. A. Carson with a copyright owned by (no surprise) D. A. Carson?

Don Carson is a significant name in that he was one of the editors of a volume that was published by Intervarsity Press with material that was, in the finished introduction by Mark Driscoll to the Trial Study Guide, not citing sources while using the material.
In recent weeks, it was brought to my attention that our 2009 Trial study guide on 1&2 Peter contained passages from an existing work for which no proper citation to the original work was provided. The error was unintentional, but serious nonetheless.  I take responsibility for all of this.[emphasis added] In order to make things right, we’ve contacted the publisher of the works used in the study guide, offered an apology, and agreed to work with them to resolve any issues they had. Also, I personally contacted one of the editors of the work that was not rightly attributed. Thankfully, he and I have a longstanding relationship, which includes him teaching at Mars Hill and publishing a book with us through Resurgence. He’s a godly man who has been very gracious through all of this. I am deeply thankful for his acceptance of my apology, as I deeply grieve this mistake with a brother in Christ whom I appreciate very much. [emphasis added]

Our Full Council of Elders and Board of Advisors and Accountability have all been thoroughly informed, as I am gladly under authority both internally at Mars Hill to a team of Elders, and to a formal leadership team from outside of Mars Hill.

We’ve removed the free PDF version of Trial from our website, and we are reviewing the rest of our self-published materials to ensure that no similar mistakes have been made elsewhere. We are also making changes to our content development process to avoid these mistakes in the future. In addition, we are working with all of our past publishers to review other books we have published. If other mistakes were made, we want to correct them as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, when we removed the Trial PDF from the Mars Hill website, we replaced it with a statement that claimed the book was never sold. That study guide was originally created for in-house small group use at Mars Hill so we gave it away at our church. We first believed we did not receive any revenue from this, but we later discovered that Trial was in fact previously sold on the Resurgence website and by Logos Software. To the best of our knowledge, total profits to Mars Hill from these sales are $236.35. We have corrected the previous statement on our website, and apologize for this error as well.

Mistakes were made that I am grieved by and apologize for. As a Bible teacher, I know that Jesus loves us and uses everything for good. I know he cares very much that we do things in a way that reflects his glory. As a result, I have been praying that he would help me learn through all of this to become more like him and more effective for him.”

A few words of observation in light of the March 17, 2012 memo.  If financial reporting was as incoherent and sketchy as Turner's memo from early 2012 suggested it's not entirely clear how reliable the dollar amount mentioned in the press release in late 2013 might ultimately be.  We can take it or leave it but the March 2012 memo introduces a new narrative wrinkle about how certain we can be that the specific number of $236.35 could be certainly accounted for.  "to the best of our knowledge" may not have been very knowledgeable, in other words. Since some of the product was clearly sold by third parties those profits would not necessarily be germane to the questions addressed by the press release. 

Driscoll wrote, "I take responsibility for all of this." but to date has issued no apology about how MH PR passive aggressively shifted blame on plagiarism with Mark Driscoll's name on it on to research assistance. 

But Driscoll did make a point of mentioning who he called. Someone who has taught at Mars Hill Church and has also had a book published and was one of the editors of the Intervarsity Press publication would narrow the field down to just D. A Carson, aka Don Carson.  Quick phone call and things are made right.  Not exactly.  The blame game has not been apologized for to this day. 
Conversely, in Driscoll's account a skeptical reader could say that what saved the bacon of Mars Hill Church as a corporation from an egregious case of copyright infringement was what some might cynically call the good old boy network.

Now ...  let's revisit a comment from the old post
Anonymous said...
How is it that these "pastors" are or were on salary, wrote their books 'on company time' so to speak, using company equipment and staff, and yet the company does not own the copyrights?

And if they were not writing their books on company time, then what were they doing?

That's an interesting point to mention because if we consult the copyright indications for Sutton Turner's book it is copyrighted to Resurgence Publishing Inc and not necessarily Sutton Turner as an individual.  Granted, Sutton Turner as an individual seems to be the president, secretary, treasurer and chairman of Resurgence Publishing Inc but this technicality may be that compared to so many Mars Hill pastors past having published books for which they own the copyright.
cue some glowing endorsements from
Mark Driscoll who is still described as New York Times #1 Best-Selling-Author in his blurb for Invest.

Larry Osborne, member of the Board of Advisors and Accountability

Matt Rogers, nonpaid elder at Mars Hill Church and recent addition to the Board of Advisors and Accountability

Turner's resignation from eldership at Mars Hill Church does not necessarily indicate anything about formal contracted church membership at Mars Hill that we know of (yet).  While historically men who resign from Mars Hill eldership rarely stay for long at the culture it remains to be seen whether the Turner family abandons Mars Hill Church altogether.  That would be the historic norm in light of the dozens of cases Wenatchee The Hatchet has been able to track but not everyone bails at the same rate.  Munson took years to leave but he apparently resigned his eldership and membership in one go.

And what's going to be interesting since Resurgence Publishing Inc is a for-profit company with only John Sutton Turner as its governing person, where Resurgence Publishing goes from here.

It also invites questions as to how and if Mars Hill Church can survive as a corporation if the leadership consists of the executive leadership that consists of Mark Driscoll and Dave Bruskas.  After all, their leadership approach may have been a large part of what got Mars Hill into the fiscal disaster it was facing down in early 2012.

From an earlier post:
Consolidated financial statements
for the year ended June 30,2012

from Nature of Activities -
... The Church's programs include Sunday services, community oriented ministries, leadership development, and training. One program, the Resurgence, fulfills many of the Church's leadership and training functions by publishing content online and in print, hosting conferences and events, and providing internships and classes, including Re:Train (The Resurgence Training Center), which offers graduate-level instruction for leaders from around the world.

Principles of Consolidation -

The consolidated financial statements include the accounts of Mars Hill Church and its wholly owned corporation, Resurgence Publishing, Inc, and wholly owned LLC, Mars Hill Properties - 50th LLC, which was dissolved during the year (collectively, the Church). All material inter-organization transactions have been eliminated.
What the material inter-organizational transactions were would be something to investigate, if possible.  The for profit Resurgence Publishing, Inc is wholly owned by Mars Hill Church.  There may be a way a non-profit can wholly own a for-profit company, any number of ways, but let's leave it to people with training and experience in that to articulate how that could work. What material inter-organization transactions between Mars Hill Church and Resurgence Publishing Inc was eliminated?  If Mars Hill Church currently wholly owns Resurgence Publishing, Inc. where does Mars Hill Church plan to go with the company? 

page 6... The Church is exempt from federal income tax under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)3 except to the extent of unrelated business taxable income, if any.  ... Resurgence Publishing Inc., did not have significant activity during the year or positive net income and as such has not included a deferred tax asset or liability or provision for income taxes in the consolidated financial statements. [emphasis added]

Financial statements made available would be nice, though if the company is not a public company (why would it be?) it would make sense if those statements are never made available. 

09-20-2014 07.22pm

As to where Turner may be going, well "Sutton of Arabia" is a possibility that someone could choose to read into the tiny amount of Twitter activity of late.

Or not, it's a bit too soon to be certain in any case.

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