So Mars Hill is dissolving and recent reports have it that Mars Hill campuses/satellites/churches are planning to become independent. But if as some have reported all the assets were cross-collateralized into a single loan a few years ago is it possible the campuses have been lump-summed? How would churches gain independent in this setting? Perhaps once the corporation known as Mars Hill dissolves the individual attenders of the respective churches could buy up the real estate but who's got pockets for that?
And as pockets go, it's still not clear where all the funds given to and through Global went. An apology is one thing, accounting for where the money went after it was designated is another. Informally Wenatchee has heard from just enough former members who donated to fixed projects who discovered MH dumped the money in the general fund that if that thing happened to you, dear reader, don't rule out contacting the attorney general. This isn't about some guy playing 1 Cor 6 as a way to avoid financial transparency, it's about the sword not being wielded for nothing. The controversies that erupted within Mars Hill in the last year have since cast doubt on the financial transparency of its leadership set in a way that atheists could cite as a reason other churches don't deserve any tax exempt status at all. And, of course, if you've kept track of some court cases the housing allowance exemption has been questioned. In a paradox of persecution complex defenders of Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill may not fully realize how this whole situation can look to secularists (not that Wenatchee is a secularist)--Mars Hill's shenanigans could be part of a process that wrecks things for other churches.
If Mars Hill's death is going to include positive steps forward divulging the finances of the church would give a more honest and clear indication of where all these would-be independent churches have come from and what they have to work with.
It has been increasingly clear that Driscoll resigned rather than face the restorative plan that was being offered to him and that some at Mars Hill seem determined to not address that that implies something about Driscoll. The article at the Christian Post features Tim Smith and Justin Dean, whose comments seem weirdly upbeat in the wake of the BoAA authorizing the dissolution of the corporation. Why's everybody so happy? Is it because they feel that though this is a "trying season" nothing's functionally changing? You'd think that with the resignation of Driscoll and the continuing public statements by former elders as to the sinfulness of the leadership culture that the public response might have more sackcloth and ashes.
Apparently not at Mars Hill. No book of Lamentations stuff there, just excitement for a future without any clear explanation of where all the money's going to come from for this future. Worse, none of these leaders have shown that there's a REASON to trust them with your money, those of you who may still be attending Mars Hill.
For those with some familiarity with the histories of Bellevue, Ballard, Olympia, Tacoma, Sammamish and the others it's not clear that any of these campuses have guys running them with the kind of charisma and momentum to keep things going for too long, at least so far as Wenatchee can surmise.
After all, Mark Driscoll's persona had functionally transformed Mars Hill into a tele-church where people watched sermons a week later on big screens. People came for Driscoll and Driscoll quitting may have signed the death warrant of the church he co-founded.
Mars Hill Church is dissolving and for those who keep track of it by UBI ...
MARS HILL CHURCH
|State Of Incorporation||WA|
|WA Filing Date||12/22/1995|
The expiration date is the end of this year anyway. Driscoll's still listed as president, Turner's still listed as secretary & treasurer, and Bruskas is still listed as vice-president. And the corporation is dissolving. Is there gonna even by an FY2014 report?
Which gets us to Mark Driscoll's intellectual property, which is the only way to talk about the legal definition of what increasingly seems to be an accumulation of second-hand thoughts and jokes.
His corporation On Mission, LLC has an expiration date of ... the end of this year.
ON MISSION, LLC
|State Of Incorporation||CO|
|WA Filing Date||12/06/2012|
For sake of review this was precisely the kind of side company Driscoll said in 2009 that he didn't have and that he considered a sign of selfish greed. And one of the constituent parts of On Mission, LLC is the OMCRUT and another is Lasting Legacy, LLC.
Lasting legacy expires around April 2015
LASTING LEGACY LLC
|State Of Incorporation||WA|
|WA Filing Date||04/17/2012|
|Agent Name||CT CORPORATION SYSTEM|
|Address||505 UNION AVE SE STE120 |
|Member,Manager||DRISCOLL , MARK||23632 HIGHWAY 99 STE F441 |
EDMONDS , WA 98026
|Member||DRISCOLL , GRACE||23632 HIGHWAY 99 STE F441 |
EDMONDS , WA 98026-9211
Can anyone to this day explain what Lasting Legacy even does?
Mark Driscoll's intellectual property is still one of the bigger assets Mars Hill is sitting on for the moment other than the brand/trademark of Mars Hill itself. What's that worth? Who gets the trademark? With the corporation dissolving who would get it? The creditors? Might it be gifted to Mark Driscoll who could just turn around and relaunch Mars Hill? Who knows? Driscoll said in 2007 that at a certain point "you need a whole new core." Whoever gets the trademark/branding contents gets the brand. That the would-be independent spin-off churches DON'T GET TO USE THE NAME has been made clear by Justin Dean.
But what's not clear is pretty much anything else.