Kat - Ballard, Downtown Seattle 2006-12

Your Name




Which describes your role at Mars Hill?


What Mars Hill location(s) did you attend?

Ballard, Downtown Seattle

What years were you involved / attending?

2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

How did you first hear about Mars Hill?

My roommate attended.

What was the circumstance of your first time attending Mars HIll?

I came to a community group with a roommate, and then the next week visited the Ballard campus.

What were your first impressions?

It was very unique to me. I was used to churches with older traditions and the people in the pulpit didn't have tattoos or use language like me. It was really refreshing to me to see a well put together service when I had been mostly involved with unorganized small churches.

Why was Mars Hill your church home?

When I started attending, I wasn't aware of the controversy surrounding the church and met some great people. By the time I started hearing complaints about the church, I had already been involved with a great group of people so it was hard for me to see other perspectives as valid.

What about your time at Mars Hill has had a positive impact on you?

For my family, it is mostly community. I met my partner at Mars hill, married him and had kids there. All of our friends were from the church and it was most of our social life.

What about your time at Mars Hill has had a negative impact on you?

I am no longer a believer, so looking back on my years as a fundamentalist is painful. I can see now that the concerns that those outside of the church brought to me were real. Mars Hill taught me everything could be answered and explained, and when I realized that isn't how the gospel works in the real world, I had to throw the whole thing out and start building truth of my own.

What would you like to have changed about Mars Hill?

Attitude toward challengers, healthier leadership,  focus more on outreach than growing the army of Mars hill.

Which describes you?

I left Mars Hill prior to closure.

Please describe why you left Mars Hill and what that experience was like.

We had been aware of some things at the church that weren't resting well with us, but thought we could be part of the change in the broken machine. While out of town on vacation I became overwhelmed suddenly with a desire to distance myself from the church, out of nowhere, my husband also had the same conviction. We decided to leave and then a few weeks later our campus pastor was asked to step  down and then in the months following, we saw lots of friends leave as well. A lot of our friends were personally hurt by the church, although this wasn't our experience, our hearts ached for them.

How would you describe the reason for Mars Hill's closure to an outsider.

Unhealthy leadership, no accountability, and the lying and spinning of everything.

What's changed for you since your time at Mars Hill came to an end?

I am not bitter about Mars hill. My years there were great, but the black and white nature of fundamentalism has messed me up. I am no longer a believer but I happily attend church with my family in an open and progressive community. I feel pretty embarrassed  to have closed my eyes and ears to the years of people pointing out problems, and I am amazed I could have been q part of an organization that treated women as less than men and didn't allow people in positions of leadership based on their gender or orientation.