Saturday, April 07, 2018

a sermon Mark Driscoll preached in Wenatchee in 2016 is no longer available, partial transcript of sermon in which Driscoll referenced tree falling on his house in "Seattle"

For those who may (or may not) have read this blog post by Warren Throckmorton.
In 2016 Driscoll preached a sermon in which he mentioned something that happened to the house that he initially told Bowen was some kind of wrong address back in 2014.  Since ...
is a dead link ...

Thou Art The Man blog made mention of the sermon, and the folks over there may or may not know that the Grace City Church sermon Driscoll preached doesn't seem to be available any more. There's reference to Larry Osborne as "wise counsel", which is interesting for those familiar with the 2006-2007 governmental changes to Mars Hill because Mark Driscoll specifically name-dropped Osborne as one of his wise counsel guys from that period.  Interesting that the man would play a "wise counsel" role in the 2018 Mark Driscoll gig eleven years later.  If Larry Osborne had an advisory role in the controversial Mars Hill reorganization and bylaws revision period of 2006-2007 what's the new approach with The Trinity Church?  Or is there a new approach?

The reason it's worth looking back at a roughly two year old sermon is because ...

Driscoll shared a story about how his house was hit by a falling tree, which house? The one he told Russ Bowen was "wrong address, I don't know"?

August 29, 2014 story

That was back in 2014 and by 2015 Mark Driscoll shared at the Thrive Conference that the media showed up and blocked the driveway to the house.  If this was the house that looked pretty fully gated that Bowen couldn't even set foot on unless the gate was opened it's a little tough to see how the media could have blocked the driveway to the house if there was no indication in the KOMO coverage the gate(s) were open.  Something to keep in mind.  Something else to keep in mind is the chopper.

Transcript | Mark Driscoll | Thrive 2015-05-01
See Links to Timestamps at the end of this doc.

Things really escalated when the media showed up and blocked the driveway to the house, seeking an interview and brought a helicopter overhead to flush me out for an interview.  My kids had been outside playing and, uh, all of a sudden we heard this helicopter over the yard and so we pulled the family into the house and tried to figure out how to not be in front of a window because we didn’t want to be on the news and didn’t know what was going on, to be honest with you. 

That night my oldest son, he was 8 at the time, he came to me downstairs, my wife Grace was cooking dinner and uh, he had on this jacket, it was a military jacket with patches down the side.  He had his AirSoft gun and I said “What are you doing little buddy?” He’s nine now.  And he said, “Dad is this jacket bullet-proof?” (crown groans) And I said, “Why’s that little buddy?” And he said, “Well, if the bad guys come, I want to be able to protect the family.” [4:59]

I didn’t know that he – he didn’t know it was a news crew. The only thing he’d ever seen were the uh, um, the bad guy movies where they come in helicopters and shoot everybody.  It took months.  He would have night terrors. He wouldn’t sleep in his room.  He wouldn’t take a shower, get dressed in his bedroom by himself. Something we’re trying to encourage him through.  Just real fear came into him.  The kids wanted to sleep outside in a tent one night.  We told them no, because as soon as we had the tent set up and were going out to sleep in the tent, the media posted the address to my house as a new story which I felt like we were in danger again so I grabbed the kids and left for the night and went to a hotel for a couple days.  Then came back and I preached what would be my last sermon -- I didn’t know it would be my last.  The New York Times was there.  It was a big media situation.

So, the kids were like, “Dad, we just want to sleep in a tent in our house.” So we slept in a tent.  I didn’t really sleep, but the kids -- the younger kids slept.  Woke up in the morning and somebody on the other side of the fence was throwing large rocks at my kids at about 6:30 in the morning.  And at first, I didn’t know what it was and then the dog thought we were playing fetch and started picking up these rocks and it dawned on me, like rocks are flying at my kids in the yard.  So we filed a police report and went away for a little bit. Came back and there was a bucket of nails all over the driveway.  Picked those up um.  ...

So if Driscoll told Bowen, "sorry, wrong address. I don't know" he can't just turn around in the next calendar year and regale an audience with how the house that wasn't his while the camera was rolling for Bowen magically became the house that had its driveway "blocked by the media".  Still less does it make sense to invoke the youngest son being afraid of "bad guys" because a news helicopter flew over the house that was "sorry, wrong address. I don't know." 

Now there was a police report filed in Woodway about harassment August 25, 2014

The complaint notes that the assailant(s) were on the other side of a six-foot high wooden fence and could not be seen. 

Granting the event described as indicated on the police report, perhaps KOMO can confirm whether or not the helicopter flew over what they believed was the Driscoll residence in Woodway on the same day as the rock throwing incident. It's possible both incidents took place on 8-24-2014 but KOMO would have to confirm and they obviously havenews to cover.  Bowen isn't in the Puget Sound area any longer, if memory serves.  Working elsewhere. 

But you can work out the basic idea here, Driscoll can't claim "wrong address" on camera and then turn around in stories on the road in 2015 in which he talks about a press helicopter flying overhead or "the media" blocking the driveway to the house.  The police report mentions a six-foot tall wooden fence past which assailants could not be seen.  Bowen mentioned in the KOMO footage that a dog was being let out.  Would the Driscoll household letting out their family dog make it into the story?  Whether or not those kinds of details end up in whatever Mark Driscoll shares about his decision to start The Trinity Church in Spirit-Filled Jesus may have to wait.

With all that in mind we finally get to the now-missing 2016 sermon preached at Grace City Church in which Mark Driscoll talked about the prospect of selling that house in Woodway.  The house in Seattle proper that was at Montlake Blvd sold in December 2014 so it's literally impossible for his former Seattle house to have been on the market between January 2015 and February 2016 as it was already sold.  By the February 21, 2016 sermon Driscoll did not own real estate in Seattle city proper or in King County as best as can be confirmed by county records.  Something to keep in mind for ...

Throckmorton referenced the sermon but it's down. 
We'll have to settle for a transcript we made back in 2016 of the sermon when it was available to download.
I put my house on the market. I'm thinking, "Okay, my house will sell." I gotta go down and I'm--we can't get the kids into school. The school's are already full. We're there too late because the school districts are different between the northwest and the southwest. We're renting a place temporarily. All my stuff, all our stuff, is up in our place in Seattle. Our house is on the market. Our house is not selling. ...

and I was in Arizona trying to figure out what the next season of life looks like with elementary, junior high, high school, college and my phone alarm starts going off and I assume somebody broke in or whatever. So I send my realtor over. My realtor calls me and his voice is trembling and he sends me this photo. He said, "I'm standing at your house and here it is." [audience reaction of dismay, apparently at a photo] Yeah,that--that's my house. Or WAS my house. And a 200-foot tree fell on my house and crushed our bedroom. Our bed is under that rubble. If my wife and I were taking a nap at 1 o'clock on a Saturday we'd be dead.

So I flew up late at night. I go to the property all the power's out. I'm there with a flashlight. It's pouring down rain and I'm going through the rubble that is our home and I'm glad that nobody in my family died. And I'm thinking, "How--this is all my equity. This is what I was going to use to relocate and provide for my family. And, and here it is." And now I live in another state so how am I supposed to fix this?

I remember sitting at the house, actually, outside in the rain looking at what used to be my house.  I'm like, "Okay, Lord, this family is my responsibility." My stuff is in this house. My family is in another state. We don't have a permanent place to live. I can't find a school for my children. All of our equity and wealth is in a destroyed home and I'm unemployed. ...

And I remember just standing there in the rain just like, "Father, Dad, I need help now. I need wisdom. I need provision. I need a path forward. I accept responsibility for the well-being of my family. But how to proceed forward, Dad, I'm not entirely clear on. I could really use your help." And God's a good father and he has answered that prayer and He's taken care of our family. And, actually, the good news is we closed this  house last week and it got fixed and somebody bought it who was willing to take that off our hands and allow us to move forward with our lives.
It needs to be kept in mind that while Driscoll used the word "Seattle" the actual house he at one point had in Montlake went on the market in 2014.  It sold in December 2014 according to Redfin.
So it wasn't Mark Driscoll's house on 2904 Montlake Blvd E in 2015.  Driscoll may have felt that talking to people in Wenatchee might have meant that he could safely say "Seattle" despite the fact that literally anybody within Washington state could, if they knew who Mark Driscoll was, enquire as to whether or not he actually owned a house in Seattle.  Woodway is not Seattle.  It's not even in the same county as Seattle.  His real estate equity may have been harmed by the windstorm that hit the region a few years back but he managed to snag a whole lot of intellectual property in his departure from Mars Hill.  Nobody who has recycled as much preaching material as Mark Driscoll has from his Mars Hill days has "nothing". 

Now the Woodway home did, in fact, sell according to Snohomish County records, the one that was formerly owned by Future Hope Revocable Living Trust.


sale date
entry date
recording date
recording number
sale amount
excise number
deed type

transfer type

grantor (seller)
grantee (buyer)
other parcels

But the trustee for the Downs Family Revocable Living Trust wasn't Mark Driscoll.  So in a sense it wasn't Driscoll's house in the sense of documentable ownership.  In a far more literal sense it certainly wasn't Mark Driscoll's house in Seattle that had sold a bit more than a year prior to Driscoll's February 2016 sermon. 

Why does this stuff matter?  Perhaps it matters because a guy like Mark Driscoll wanting to tell young men to take responsibility and not be cowards doesn't come across like he displayed a lot of courage telling a KOMO report "sorry, wrong address. I don't know" in a way that let all of us here Pastor Mark deny being at the address and then a few months later regales a conference audience about how "the media blocked the driveway" or a helicopter scared one of his sons and there were rocks being thrown.  Okay, these things can be confirmed ... at some place in Woodway that Driscoll wouldn't confirm was his to Russ Bowen.  The incidents invoked suggested that even with the tepid denial from someone who sounds just like Mark Driscoll plenty of people knew the house in Woodway was his.

If Mark Driscoll plans to discuss how and why he and his family came to the place of planting The Trinity Church in Arizona and intends to reuse material he's shared on the road at church conferences or in sermons in Wenatchee then we can keep some accounting of what he's said so far and compare that with available county records to see how clear or vague he's been.

A passing thought in conclusion, there might be people who watched that Charisma House video and declared that Grace Driscoll is a Stepford Wife.  That's the kind of lazy tagging that is typical of people on the internet.  No, I don't think Grace Driscoll is necessarily a Stepford wife.  Even if she is that's not what was on display in the recent Charisma House video.  It makes more sense to propose that what Grace Driscoll was doing was public relations.  After all, it's what she trained to do.

Grace Driscoll has spent her entire life in ministry. Her mom and dad planted The Trinity Church in Seattle, Washington before she was born. She grew up serving in the nursery at her father’s church. Before graduating with her bachelors degree in Public Relations from the Edward R. Murrow of Communications, Grace married her high school sweetheart Mark, who is her best friend.

Today, Grace is the mother of five wonderful children who all love Jesus. She has co-authored the book Real Marriage with Mark, and together they have appeared on ABC Nightline, Loveline with Dr. Drew, Fox and Friends, as well as The View with Barbara Walters. She has also joined her husband in answering questions at conferences around the nation and world, most often addressing issues for women related to their identity in Christ and how to be a godly woman, wife, mother, and friend.
Grace helped her husband plant The Trinity Church in Scottsdale, Arizona, named in honor of her parents as her dad has gone home to be with the Lord. At The Trinity Church, Grace leads the Flourish Women’s Ministry. In her free time, Grace likes finding good deals on shoes, spending time with her family, and catching up with friends.


Not everyone has the greatest job in the world and I wouldn't want to do public relations myself, but if public relations for her husband is part of the job of being married to Mark Driscoll Grace seems to understand by now what comes with that set of tasks. 

One of which may be further discussing how they ended up in Arizona after decades of being in Seattle and having co-founded what used to be Mars Hill Church.


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