Mars Hill legacy churches will continue to support Global Fund Ethiopian pastors

Mars Hill's Ballard church, now Cross & Crown, is supporting Ethiopian pastors.Frank Brown

Three former Mars Hill churches have pledged to continue their support for Ethiopian pastors once funded by Mars Hill Church in Seattle.

The church, which dissolved at the end of last year following a string of revelations about the conduct of its pastor Mark Driscoll and his leadership team, had mounted a major fundraising campaign to support church planting in Ethiopia and India through its Global Fund. Among the other controversies which it faced, the church was accused of diverting funds raised for overseas mission to general church projects.

However, blogger Warren Throckmorton, who has reported extensively on developments at the church in recent years, was told that the "legacy churches" left after Mars Hill's dissolution would continue to support the 40 Ethiopian pastors.

Pastor of Trinity West Seattle David Fairchild told him: "Trinity is initially picking up 10 pastors/evangelists to start with and the other legacy churches will pick up the remaining 30 between them." He said the pastors of the legacy churches wanted to ensure the Ethiopian pastors did not experience negative effects from the closing of Mars Hill.

The executive director of the Ethiopian partner, the New Covenant Foundation, Eric Laursen, told Throckmorton: "In the wake of one of the most difficult seasons for anyone connected to Mars Hill, I am so honored and impressed by the integrity of the lead pastors who have committed to the work that was started in Ethiopia. The excitement that they bring to the table about supporting church planters and reaching the unreached has put gasoline on my fire for missions."

The churches that have pledged to continue their support are Foundation Church (formerly Mars Hill Everett), Trinity West Seattle (formerly Mars Hill West Seattle) and Cross & Crown Church (formerly Mars Hill Ballard).