Sunday, October 12, 2014

Throckmorton: Mars Hill Sammamish building for sale

Warren Throckmorton has published a post that confirms what Wenatchee had heard was coming along.
for the listing

MH corporate HQ has been on the market for months
Wenatchee The Hatchet noted this development about the MH HQ building back in March

Pastor Alex Ghioni is part of the Board of Elders tasked with assessing some charges

Most of the material presented below was published back on September 15, 2014 but it may be worth recycling for sake of review.
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.

The history of Mars Hill real estate acquisitions can be a bit byzantine even to someone who was at Mars Hill for a decade.  Wenatchee The Hatchet set aside the "real estate and Mars Hill" series for a long time because the plagiarism and Result Source stories were pretty big in the last calendar year.  As previously noted when there are 80+ posts in a tag some backward updating of tags is going to be needed. 

So all that is to say that it turns out Wenatchee The Hatchet hasn't gotten around to even writing about Mars Hill Sammamish until after it's been made officially on the market. 

Mars Hill Church | Sammamish
Address: 120 228th Ave NE, Sammamish, WA 98074
What's amazing is how recently the sale seems to have been finalized
2682986 20140804000170 7/22/2014 $0.00EVERGREEN CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIPMARS HILL CHURCHQuit Claim DeedOther

John Sutton Turner signed the deed on 7/13/2014 and here we are, mere months later and the real estate is on the market?  So from 2011 when Driscoll announced Sammamish was a go to now it wasn't until July 2014 that there was a transaction, it seems.  The real estate seems to have a history of being in trouble.

There's not a lot of new stuff to add to this news since the news is that the real estate is officially on the market.  It might be a bit speculative but given how under water Mars Hill may have become with finances, for as long as it took to finalize the formal transition of ownership for what is now Mars Hill Sammamish, one can only wonder if the decision to put the real estate up for sale as soon as ownership and any pertinent renovations were achieved might not have been made almost as soon as ownership was secured.  A commenter a few years ago said nearly everything Mars Hill owned in terms of real estate was cross-collateralized into a single loan and Sammamish might have been the exception that proved the rule.  At the risk of speculating a bit and inviting reader commentary, that Mars Hill would need to liquidate real estate to salvage itself financially would be a virtually foregone conclusion but the problem would be settling on which (if any) pieces of real estate weren't already cross-collateralized.  Sammamish may have been one of the only possibilities.

There's no mention of Mars Hill U-district being on the market yet, though that might seem to be just a matter of time.  Remains to be seen.  If readers have information to contribute they can chime in.  While Wenatchee was having a social life for a weekend it appears other big things have happened. Or at least announced

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