Whether or not you agree with the often controversial messages of Seattle's Mars Hill Church and its founding pastor Mark Driscoll*, lots of folks obviously do. Often described as one of our area's (and country's) fastest growing churches, the Seattle Times reports that Mars Hill Church plans to relocate from Belltown to the former First United Methodist Church at Fifth Avenue and Marion Street - a move designed to let the Mars Hill congregation to continue to grow.
Tim Gaydos, lead pastor of Mars Hill, tells the Times the church has outgrown its current location in the former Tabella nightclub. The move is scheduled to take place this fall.
From the Times:
Gaydos said the church holds five weekend services for about 1,500 people and was looking for a larger venue downtown that would allow it to continue its ministries to the homeless and to young women caught in the sex-trafficking trade.
"Our heart has always been not just for a great church but for a great city. Being in this location allows us to serve and love Seattle better," Gaydos said.
Not only will the new locale allow Mars Hill to "serve and love Seattle better," it will allow the church to serve and love Seattle from a historically important building. Having served as the Daniels Recital Hall for the past five years, as the Times story notes, "First United Methodist was the church of Seattle's founding families -- the Dennys, Bells, Borens and Terrys."
Speaking of serving and loving:
*As far as I know I'm of no relation to Mars Hill founding Pastor Mark Driscoll. Or, while we're at it, Republican congressional candidate Bill Driscoll. Sadly, I'm also of no relation to the Driscoll's Berries folks.