And I am so grateful for every single story.
Before now, it’s my understanding that Paul and Jonna have never shared their stories before…
And their retelling is detailed, provides thorough support and documentation, and even includes a TIMELINE of their experiences at Mars Hill. The site even includes a documented account of the “trial” that Paul endured prior to his firing.
But why are they speaking up now?
Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
Those who do not remember the past will have it rewritten for them.
Well, not in this case. Not anymore. Four and half years ago, I was fired from Mars Hill Church because I refused to resign under pressure. I was a pastor on staff, an elder, and an officer of the corporation along with a group of other men. I spent months seeking formal reconciliation and years hoping for a better course. I have not spoken about these matters publicly until now. With the mounting stories and “histories” coming out regarding Mars Hill Church, it no longer seems right or beneficial to remain silent.
This website serves as a depository, a historical record of the events I and others experienced at that time – including documents, written correspondence, and personal narrative – with the hope that greater love and reformation will emerge and transcend our weaknesses and failures.
In addition to the straight history, my wife, Jonna, has written a personal narrative describing these events. It is an important story and I am thankful she had the courage to write it. Our journey with Mars Hill Church began as a wonderful season God used to grow and strengthen our marriage, our children, and me – then came a very dark time, but by God’s grace, our marriage, our family, our faith (and our noses) remain intact, though forever changed.
For my part, what was written in these letters and documents speaks volumes and is enough for now. Perhaps at a later date I will have the time and inclination to contribute more. There are many fellow sojourners with their own stories yet untold. Though we are “joyful exiles,” we do not take joy in sharing this sad history. It is much like uncovering “hidden abuse” the family was unwilling to talk about for years, yet is necessary for healing and freedom.
“Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” — Ephesians 4:14-16
GO READ JOYFUL EXILES. It’s eyeopening, detailed, and worth the time it takes to get through all of the information that Paul and Jonna (read her story here!) have provided us here…
I’m so grateful that people are finally telling their stories.