Former Mars Hill elder Sutton Turner offers to meet racketeering plaintiffs

Former Mars Hill general manager Sutton Turner.

Former Mars Hill elder Suttton Turner has offered to meet the plaintiffs in a racketeering case launched at the end of February against him, former pastor Mark Driscoll and others.

The case focuses on the alleged misrepresentation by the church of projects including its Global Fund, which the plaintiffs say was billed as supporting church planting abroad but whose income was used for domestic Mars Hill projects.

According to the lawsuit filed on behalf of plaintiffs Brian and Connie Jacobsen and Ryan and Arica Kildea, Driscoll and Turner "engaged in a continuing pattern of racketeering activity by soliciting, through the internet and the mail, contributions for designated purposes, and then fraudulently used significant portions of those designated contributions for other, unauthorized purposes".

In a blog post, Turner writes that many former Mars Hill members still have questions, saying: "I understand their hurt and pain."

He says he has reached out to various people since early 2014 and has met with many of them personally, as well as writing a series of blog posts on the issues "to help me heal as well as to bring clarity to others for their healing".

He also writes: "After recently being named in a legal proceeding, but having yet to be served, I have reached out to the plaintiffs directly. They were probably unaware I was willing to meet with them directly. I hope to meet with them, empathize with their hurt, pray with them, apologize to them, and clear up anything I can."

Turner has written a series of blog posts in which he has addressed Mars Hill issues including the controversial campaign to boost sales of Mark and Grace Driscoll's book Real Marriage.

Among other admissions, he says: "Instead of being an agent of change for good, I simply reinforced negative sinful behavior."

Driscoll announced the formation of a new church which will meet for the first time on Easter Sunday in the Glass and Garden Drive-In church in Scottsdale, Arizona. He has dismissed the allegations of racketeering saying they were "false and malicious".