Recently, Sutton Turner deleted the Mars Hill Church information from his Twitter profile as well as most of his past tweets. His Linked In profile went private.
An announcement may be coming yet today. Reportedly, an announcement has been made internally. Reports are that Turner will no longer be an executive elder or staff.
If the reports are accurate, it will be interesting to learn if the severance situation is like the other pastors.
In 2012, Turner offered a blunt assessment of the church’s financial situation and called for greater transparency:
It is my belief that the reason we have such poor giving by our Church is the lack of stewardship in the Church staff. Churches with excellent stewardship see greater giving because people know that every dollar they give will go towards the mission of the Church. It is very clear this has not been the case at Mars Hill Church.
Unfortunately, Turner’s 2012 assessment appears to be true in 2014.
UPDATE: In the church’s weekly communication on the Mars Hill website, Michael Van Skaik, chairman of the Board of Advisors and Accountability announced Turner’s resignation:
UPDATE FROM THE BOAA
Dear Mars Hill,
Earlier this month Pastor Sutton Turner informed our board of his intention to resign from his current staff and elder position. His personal decision is a sober acknowledgement that it would not be financially feasible for him to stay on staff as the church rightsizes itself, and secondly, not emotionally prudent to subject his family to what has been an ongoing season of personal attacks. We want to be clear: there are no disqualifying factors related to his decision.
Sutton put it this way: “Since 2007, Pastor Mark has impacted my life in a significant way. I am thankful to call him my brother, my pastor, and my friend. When I came to Mars Hill in 2011, my plan was to be here for a year, get theologically trained, and focus on the adoption of my son before entering back into the business world. Three and a half years later, I have been able to serve a church that I love as a staff member, but it is now time that I transition off of staff and return to the business world.”
We believe one of the greatest legacies Sutton has established at Mars Hill is a passion for international church planting. He has lit a powerful fire for this at Mars Hill that will last, for what I hope, will be generations. Sutton’s tireless work in this area will have an eternal impact on hundreds of people who he may never meet, but one day in heaven will get to share the part he played in their story.
We, as a board, are very thankful and grateful for Sutton’s gifting, expertise, and commitment in leading and guiding our church operations in the role of executive pastor and executive elder. We fully support his decision and will as a board be assisting the staff leadership teams in the transition of day-to-day responsibilities with Sutton through September 30th. Please join me in praying for the Turners as they seek direction and the next assignment that God has for them.
Michael Van Skaik
Chairman, Board of Advisors and Accountability