Member - Ballard, Downtown Seattle 2006-10



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

How did you first hear about Mars Hill?

I was dating someone who claimed to be christian. I at the time was not and challenged them to actually go to church if they were claiming to be a christian. A quick internet search found mars hill Ballard and I agreed to go check it out with them.

What were your first impressions?

I was relieved it was full of people not dressed in their Sunday best and I saw lots of tattoos. For the first time I didn't stick out like a sore thumb or get lots of nasty or pitying looks.

Why was Mars Hill your church home?

I fit in, felt loved, challenged and sought after. I was able to grow in my faith without judgment.

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

I was saved there!

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

A few years before everything happened we were forced to move out of state. Watching everything happen over the internet was hard. Especially since i knew my church home was no longer there for me to come back to. Once all the allegations came out I started questioning everything I believed and what doctrine I had put into my life. Was what I believed bible based or Mark based? I had a hard time trusting churches.

What would you like to have changed about Mars Hill?

More transparency. Sure change is good sometimes, but why so much? People were leaving and being shuffled around all the time. No one ever talked about what was really happening. Also, I love mark. I love his ability to speak into my life and move me towards Christ. I had never heard a preacher like him before going to mars hill. I did feel that he had been elevated to a God like status in the church. Whether it was by his doing or not, more approachability would have helped him not be so 'untouchable'.

Which describes you?

I left Mars Hill prior to closure.

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

We left because financial hardship had forced my husband to join the military so we could afford to support children we wanted to have. It was very hard. Mars hill was our family and they were there for us through the good times and walked us through the bad.

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

Lack of checks and balances on the part of the higher ups. Marks' anger and deceit.

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

I've dug into the bible more and stood more firmly in my beliefs. I'm more fearful of joining churches and have a hard time committing to membership.

Please write anything else you'd like to add.

I learned so much from the community at Mars Hill. I grew as a Christian. I went through redemption groups twice and learned something new each time and dug up past hurts and was able to work on healing. My marriage was redeemed. We were newly married and heading towards divorce, we went through some (what felt like) radical counseling that, through God, saved our marriage and allowed us to renew our vows and grow together.  We are now married 6 years and would not be here today with the support of our community group and some pastors at Mars Hill.