Rick Warren to deliver final sermon at Mars Hill Church

After a year of scandals and misconduct allegations, the Mars Hill Church is closing, but it is doing it with a bang.

Mega church pastor and bestselling author Rick Warren will preach the last sermon for the Seattle-based church via video on Sunday before it officially dissolves at midnight on New Year's Eve.

(Photo: Saddleback Church)

The church, which is hosted at a dozen regional locations, announced on its website, "Each of our churches will be showing a special message from Pastor Rick, based on John 12:24. 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.'

"Our hope is that this timely message will be an encouragement for the people that have called Mars Hill Church their home, as we reflect on the great impact our church has had on the kingdom of God, as well as an encouragement for the new churches emerging out of Mars Hill, and the potential they have to continue bearing much fruit."

The video of Warren's sermon will be shown in Mars Hill and distributed to its campuses.

Mars Hill leaders decided to close the church after its founding and former lead pastor, Mark Driscoll, resigned on October 15 amidst leadership issues.

According to a Christian Post source, Driscoll received counsel from Warren, whom he regarded as a mentor, over the last year, during which the former was accused of plagiarism, book ranking manipulation, and inappropriate leadership.  

Driscoll admitted he had not behaved in the way expected by his flock and his former church announced on October 31 its plan to dissolve, leaving it to the individual congregations to decide their fate.

Mars Hill Church officials stated on the church's website, "As we reflect on over eighteen years of ministry, and ultimately close the doors on Mars Hill Church, we are thankful that many of our churches will continue as new independent, autonomous churches.

"While Mars Hill Church will cease to exist, God's work through his people will continue."