Wenatchee The Hatchet has not yet gotten to Sammamish in the series "real estate and Mars Hill" and may have to get around to that. Meanwhile, Alex Ghioni's affiliation is Mars Hill Sammamish so for the moment Ghioni's background may suffice.
November 16, 2011
By Christopher Huber
Members of a Sammamish church are finding new life as a branch of the mega-church Mars Hill in the midst of a financial failure.
Evergreen Christian Fellowship nearly had to close its doors along 228th Avenue Northeast this fall, but instead turned the crisis into an opportunity for the two congregations to join.
The church, which has been around since 1990, voted Oct. 23 to become Mars Hill Sammamish. It is now part of the family of churches led by Seattle pastor Mark Driscoll.
Evergreen will officially launch as Mars Hill Sammamish Jan. 15, according to a letter posted to the church’s website.
“The (Evergreen Christian Fellowship) congregation’s unanimous vote to become a Mars Hill Church speaks of their passion to move this ministry on the plateau forward for the glory of Jesus and their conviction that this will be done best as a Mars Hill Church,” said Alex Ghioni, the pastor leading Evergreen through the transition.
Leaders at Evergreen first met with Driscoll and Mars Hill pastors in early October to see what kind of interest or resources the rapidly expanding church had to merge the congregations, Ghioni and Evergreen transition team leader Guy Dalrymple said.
“We had a specific financial goal to achieve if we were going to go forward as an independent church,” Dalrymple wrote in a letter posted on the church’s website. “Although many families did step up their sacrificial giving in a big way, it was just not enough.”
After the meeting, Evergreen leaders said they were confident about merging to the two independent churches. Dalrymple called Driscoll’s vision and enthusiasm “contagious.”
Ghioni also got a mention from Driscoll in later 2011 at Pastor Mark TV.
Pastor Mark Driscoll
Nov 26, 2011
Sunday, November 27 – Mars Hill Sammamish
I will be preaching at Mars Hill Sammamish. We will be installing the first members of our latest church, comprised in large part of members of the former church, Evergreen Christian Fellowship, who unanimously voted to merge with us.
This will be our first Sunday with two services as we prepare to launch the church officially on January 15, 2012, under the leadership of Pastor Alex Ghioni and with help from Mars Hill Bellevue lead pastor, Thomas Hurst. I’m praying we see 1,000 people at this core group meeting.
and later in 2012
We have some success, by God’s grace, adopting in an existing church and transitioning it to a Mars Hill church. In New Mexico, we’ve seen a church go from a few hundred to over 1,000 worshipers in a few years—primarily by conversion growth. In West Seattle, we saw a church go from under 200 to as high as 1,000. In Sammamish, east of Seattle, we saw church go from under 200 to around 800 in a matter of months. This is not all transfer growth. Fully 1,392 people were baptized at Mars Hill last year, and every one of our 14 churches across four states is seeing people meet Jesus regularly.
If someone has documentation of some kind for this ...
Alex's story: A Witniess in Sammamish, The Mars Hill blog
Pastor Alex Ghioni was never planning on pastor a church. But God was.
The link is dead and thanks to robots.txt you can't use the WayBack Machine to get the story, but perhaps someone knows it.