In late September or early October, Mars Hill—the hipster yet ultraconservative church—fired one pastor and put another on probation.

In a letter to church members, Pastor Mark Driscoll—one of the cofounders of the church—referenced the church’s recent rewriting of its bylaws, and stated that the two men, “curiously were among the least administratively gifted for that task, and chose to fight in a sinful manner in an effort to defend their power and retain legal control of the entire church.”

Pastor Paul Petry, who preached at Ballard, was fired, while Bent Meyer, who preaches at the Shoreline location, was put on probation. The dramatic move caused quite a stir at Mars Hill, and members of the church aired their grievances in a long and lively thread on the church’s private online message board.

Things got even uglier in a September 30 sermon, when Driscoll—who’s been the face of the church since it was first established in 1996—stated, sternly referencing the two dissidents, that “There are a few guys right now, if I wasn’t going to end up on CNN, I would go Old Testament on ’em. There’s no, like, attorneys and blogging, just like I punched you in the mouth, now shut up. That’s clean; it’s simple.”

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According to one former Mars Hill member, there are people rescinding their memberships because of the decision. Mars Hill currently has five locations—in Ballard, Shoreline, West Seattle, Redmond, and Wedgwood, with a new site replacing the Tabella Nightclub in Belltown on the way—and around 24 pastors.

Neither Petry nor Meyer would comment.