I don’t understand the approach of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability to the controversies surrounding Mars Hill Church.
Two petitions signed by hundreds have called on the ECFA to address financial accountability at Mars Hill Church. Numerous people, including many former and current Mars Hill members and donors, have written the ECFA asking for answers regarding Mars Hill’s Global Fund. I have written several emails requesting on the record comments about Mars Hill. Recently, silence is the answer.
Then on Monday, October 13, I wrote this email to Dan Busby, President of the ECFA:
According to this information:
- ECFA’s only public relations contacts are its President (or his designee) and Board Chair. While they will protect confidential and proprietary information, they will communicate publicly that a Compliance Review is in process or has been completed, what the Standards of concern are or were, and the final decision once the Compliance Review has been completed.
According to Justin Dean, the ECFA examined the dealings of Mars Hill Church regarding the Global Fund.
“I’m sure you’ll appreciate that we submit to outside CPA firms to review our financials, as well as submit to the ECFA who has reviewed our financials and in particular has reviewed in detail our donations from our Global audience and all communications and efforts around Global.”
Is this true? And did you communicate the results publicly? If so, where?
Thank you, Warren Throckmorton
Mars Hill spokesman Justin Dean had made this statement about the ECFA and the Global Fund as a part of a conversation with Alex Terry which is reported in a post on Monday.
Then, yesterday, a commenter let me know that the Complaints page is no longer available.
The Google cache of the page is still available and I have the page saved.
I wrote to ask Dan Busby why the page was removed. No answer as yet.
If enforced, this principles on the missing page would address some of my concerns about the ECFA. For instance:
Standards that are not respected by members or that are violated – whether through ignorance or intentionally – and go unenforced lose their effectiveness in demonstrating God-honoring ethical practice.
Just as ECFA’s Standards stress members’ integrity and honesty in action and in communication with the public with certain obligations of disclosure, ECFA will conduct itself with the same requirements when communicating to the public regarding compliance matters.
ECFA’s only public relations contacts are its President (or his designee) and Board Chair. While they will protect confidential and proprietary information, they will communicate publicly that a Compliance Review is in process or has been completed, what the Standards of concern are or were, and the final decision once the Compliance Review has been completed.
Unfortunately, the ECFA has not communicated on this matter.
If the ECFA has no intention of commenting regarding Mars Hill, then we can only assume the Board found no reason to investigate. In light of the evidence surround Mars Hill Global, that finding would be troublesome. On the other hand, if the organization has investigated as Dean implied, then it would be good for the organization to address the many emails, call, petitions and other clear concerns raised by members and former members of Mars Hill as well as other members of the public and the media.
The Mars Hill/ECFA petitions are here and here.