Man Forced Out of Seattle Megachurch for Asking Salary Questions
Pastor Mark Driscoll and his Mars Hill Church are reportedly in "emergency mode" because of unflattering media reports and claims by ex-church members over the past few months.
The latest news about the megachurch, based in Seattle, comes from psychology professor Warren Throckmorton who recently published correspondence with Dalton Roraback who claims he was forced out of the church for daring to ask about the salaries of church executives.
According to Throckmorton, Roraback was a "coach" at Mars Hill Church who provided mentoring for community group leaders.
Due to his position and experience, Roraback knew many of the upper level executives at the church and recently asked them at a church meeting about their salaries and the identity of a "non-charitable beneficiary" that gets an annual payment from the church.
In a statement to Throckmorton, Roraback recalled that one of the elders said that everyone who was questioning Pastor Driscoll and Mars Hill Church were those who "only want to hurt the gospel, the church, and Mark Driscoll."
Roraback says that five days later he was removed from his "coach" position by Mars Hill Church, which reportedly claimed he was a "divisive spirit." Roraback and his wife soon resigned from the church.
Throckmorton says sources have told him that church executive salaries are somewhere between $600,000 and $900,000.
Earlier this year, PajamaPages.com reported that Pastor Driscoll told church leaders that he and his wife were “tithing 100 percent” of their book sales' money to Mars Hill Church, but almost all of the book profits went back to Pastor Driscoll via a tax vehicle called a "Charitable Remainder UniTrust."
According to The Atlantic, the myriad of problems facing the church and Pastor Driscoll have recently included: paying a marketing firm $200,000 to buy up Pastor Driscoll's books to get him on the bestseller lists, accusations of plagiarism by Pastor Driscoll and making church employees sign non-disclosure agreements.