A flagship congregation in the about-to-disband Mars Hill Church has a new new name, will take on a new affiliation and announced Sunday it has a new lead pastor.
Jeff Vanderstelt, who was once targeted as a competitor by Mars Hill’s founding pastor Mark Driscoll, will be the lead teaching pastor of Bellevue Church, formerly known as Mars Hill Bellevue.
That’s where Driscoll announced on Aug. 25 that he was taking a six-week leave, from which he never returned. It was also site of an August demonstration by former megachurch members disaffected by Driscoll’s domineering and authoritarian leadership.
The renamed church will be led by Vanderstelt, a founding pastor at Soma Tacoma — yes, the name rhymes — and leader in a nationwide group of self-described “Gospel Saturation” congregations.
Bellevue Church is remaining in its downtown location at the former John Danz Theater. It is combining with the former Mars Hill Sammamish congregation.
“With a remarkable spirit of unity from both congregations, that we take as a sign of confirmation from the Holy Spirit, we now move forward with confidence to presenting this decision to you,” pastor Jeff Skelton wrote to members of the congregation.
On Sunday, Vanderstelt resigned as an elder at Soma Tacoma and formally accepted his new role at Bellevue Church. He will be welcomed and preach at Bellevue Church on Dec. 21.
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