In conversations about Mars Hill Church, many people peg the beginning of the Year of Mars Hill’s Discontent as being Janet Mefferd’s radio interview with Mark Driscoll. In that interview, Mefferd accused Driscoll of plagiarism and he accused her of having “sort of a grumpy day.”
In hindsight, perhaps one could view the Strange Fire conference deception as the beginning of the end and indeed Mefferd began her interview by asking Driscoll about the conference. In fact, he never really answered her question about whether or not the books were confiscated. He said they were going to confiscate them but didn’t say they did. Please see Darren Wiebe’s eye witness account for more on the Strange Fire confiscation controversy.
In any case, the Fall of 2013 was the start of a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Year for Rev. Driscoll and his fellow executives at Mars Hill. Mefferd later apologized for her approach but did not retract her claims of plagiarism.
Mefferd’s interview seemed to break open the flood gates and eventually brought me and others into the situation. I wasn’t sure at first that Mefferd was correct in her claims, but I quickly came to believe she was right. Eventually I discovered problems in more of his books and created a chart to map it all. From there, problems with church finances, leadership, scamming the New York Times best-seller list, bullying personnel, and more snowballed. Time will tell what the enduring significance will be.
If you want to listen again, here it is: