Paul Tripp counseled these men, saying, "This is what God ordained elders to do. You are going to risk your future - and I’m serious about this - by standing together and saying ‘It’s done. It’s over. We go no further. We’re done with skirting issues. We’re done mourning the loss of yet another leader. We are done with all the public humiliations and accusations. We are going to deal with our stuff and Mark, that begins with you. We will not continue. We will not plan further ministries. We will not cooperate with further ministries. We’re done. We’re gonna deal with these issues. And based on our authority as elders of Christ’s church, we are directing you to step down. We will fully support you and will do everything we can to restore you. We’re not divorcing you. We’re not kicking you out of the ministry. Our whole purpose is restoration. It’s the only way that change is going to happen, and no one is going to make that happen but the elders of Mars Hill Church.” This letter came to light on August 28th. You can read the letter in its entirety here.
To date one of the volunteer elders was dismissed from his role at the church. The remaining elders have been given a choice on how to proceed according to the these guidelines: When asked if the letter would be discussed the answer was ‘no’. If the elders wanted to stay they would have to champion change within current leadership structure by voicing concerns/issues through proper chain of command, which also means they are not able to talk with elders from other churches or skip levels of command. This is essentially a siloed format in order to keep control. If the elders would not abide by the current chain of command then they were asked to resign. The elders holding to the convictions in which they put in the August 22nd letter that the leadership structure was dysfunctional and not walking in the light could not in good conscience remain in Mars Hill Church. Three men, so far, have determined that they cannot abide by this request and have elected to resign their jobs, elderships, and memberships at Mars Hill. These men are Adam Ramsey (former student ministries pastor), Dustin Kensrue (former Bellevue Worship Pastor) and Gary Shavey (former Bellevue Biblical Living pastor). We believe that these are only the first and that more will follow—likely more than even the remaining elders from the original nine who signed the letter.
None of the three have been offered any form of severance. Their last paychecks will be September 15th and they will continue to have insurance coverage until the end of September. Adam Ramsey, due to restrictions imposed by his work visa, is required to leave the country and head back to Australia within ten days of finishing employment at Mars Hill. Mars Hill has decided to not honor the four week's notice that he gave them and currently has no plans to provide any financial assistance.
These men love Jesus and love His Church. By acting in faith according to conscience they and their families face varying degrees of hardship as they must now figure out what is next for church and work. We’d like to show love and support for them by providing for them financially during this time. We collectively want to say "thank you" for loving Jesus, truth, and the gospel more than stability and comfort and we want to love and serve them now since they have previously loved and served so many of us.
Updates will be posted as additional information becomes available.
Thank you for supporting these men,
Jon Krombein, Mike Wilkerson, Adam Wygle, Zack Hubert, Dwayne Forehand, and Zach Malm
DonationsSee top donations
- Russ Shaw
- Everett Chun