- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Megachurch pastor Mark Driscoll resigned Tuesday after elders of the Mars Hill Church completed an investigation of him, according to an announcement made public Wednesday.

“I readily acknowledge I am an imperfect messenger of the gospel of Jesus Christ,” Mr. Driscoll said in an Oct. 14 letter, first published by Religion News Service.

Church leaders did not seek his resignation, and Mr. Driscoll noted in his letter “there have been no charges of criminal activity, immorality or heresy.”

However, other issues, such as “aspects of my personality and leadership style, have proven to be divisive within the Mars Hill context, and I do not want to be the source of anything that might detract from our church’s mission to lead people to a personal and growing relationship with Jesus Christ,” Mr. Driscoll wrote.

Mr. Driscoll, a prolific author and speaker known widely as “Pastor Mark,” had spent 18 years working to build Mars Hill into a congregation of 14,000 people at 15 locations across five states, plus tens of thousands more who watched online services.

However, the congregation and donations began to shrink in the wake of complaints against Mr. Driscoll, accusing him of bullying, rude and harsh behavior, as well as accusations that he plagiarized some of his writings and inflated book sales, RNS said.

Mr. Driscoll had also become known for his criticisms of “sensitive emasculated” men, feminism and homosexuality, RNS said.

According to news reports in August, the “evangelical bad boy” with the sharp tongue and frank talk about sex was “being urged to leave” his church. He announced then that he would step away from the pulpit for six weeks, while church elders investigated charges against him.

He wrote this week that he was resigning “with profound sadness, but also with complete peace.”

In a statement on the church’s website, leaders of the Mars Hill Board of Overseers asked “for patience as we now make plans for the first transition of pastoral leadership in the history of Mars Hill Church.”

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