Mars Hill Church is still seeking donations two weeks before closure

Dave Bruskas, senior pastor at Mars Hill Church.Mars Hill

Mars Hill Church in Seattle is still seeking donations from its members only two weeks before the troubled organisation is to wind up.

The church will close at the end of the year, with its 11 congregations becoming independent churches responsible for funding their own operations.
However, an appeal on the church's website  says: "As we close out the year and say good-bye to Mars Hill, your gifts continue to be very important as they will determine how much will be distributed to help fund the 11 independent churches launching in January. Without generous people like you continuing to give through the end of the year, many of these churches may not have the necessary funds to continue as new churches."

Warren Throckmorton, who has reported the unfolding developments at the church and broken stories about the conduct of its leaders, said that it was not clear who had made the appeal or "just who is making decisions" at Mars Hill. He commented: "No explanation is given for why giving to Mars Hill and having that donation split eleven ways is going to help the local churches more than a direct donation to that local church. If they can't raise the necessary funds on their own now, then how will they ever do it?"

The church has been accused of diverting funds raised for church-planting work in Ethiopia and India into its general fund and may face a lawsuit. Former deacon Rob Smith has called for the dissolution of the church to be delayed until the issue is settled.