Mars Hill racketeering case against Mark Driscoll and former elder dismissed

Driscoll, who now leads Trinity Church in Scottsdale, Arizona, called the allegations "false and malicious".

Former Mars Hill pastor Mark Driscoll, and his former executive elder Sutton Turner, have had a civil racketeering case against them dismissed.

A judge on Thursday ruled that the suit was dismissed without prejudice. Both Driscoll and Turner had denied the charges.

Driscoll, who now leads Trinity Church in Scottsdale, Arizona, told the Christian Post: "I am grateful to God for the dismissal of these false and malicious allegations.

"I remain steadfast and committed to preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am forever humbled and thankful for the prayers and tremendous support of family, friends, and fellow pastors."

In a blog post, Turner said: "To many, it would appear that the final chapter of Mars Hill's history is now closed, and for the most part they would be correct. However, I am still learning and healing from the experience, and I hope to help others do the same."

He added: These past two years have been extremely challenging for my family and me, and the harsh and even defaming statements in the lawsuit were quite painful. Through it all, we have clung to God's promises and we know that what man meant for evil God meant for good (Gen. 50:20)! I remain committed to seek reconciliation, and I plan to meet people on my next trip to Seattle (Luke 17:3-4, Matthew 5:23-24, 18:15, 6:14-15, Mark 11:25). I will not respond to the Plaintiff legally with a counter-suit (1 Cor. 6:1-6). I will not act like a victim of the culture, which I was not (Romans 8:28). I will continue to not be silent (Col. 3:12-17) but listen to Jesus and continue to help others where opportunities arise."

The case against Driscoll and Turner was brought by Brian and Connie Jacobsen and Ryan and Arica Kildea, former Mars Hill members, who said they should be reimbursed the $92,000 they donated to the church and receive triple the amount in damages.

The suit alleged that Driscoll and Turner were guilty of racketeering in how they conducted the church's affairs.

Following the judge's decision on Thursday, Brian Jacobson told RNS: "The plaintiffs will be considering our options for moving forward with this lawsuit.

"We are ready to refile, if someone stepped up and offered to fund it. We will also be considering class action and contingent fee possibilities."