Pastor Tim Gaydos says he's leaving the notoriously cultish Mars Hill Church less than two months after he opened the megachurch's grand new parish in the heart of Seattle.
The timing is seriously odd: Gaydos was tripping over himself with delight in January when he took over a historic building at Fifth Avenue and Marion Street, in particular celebrating how close his flock would be to a neighborhood stuffed from end to end with AIDS. "Being closer to Capitol Hill is a blessing as we are serving and ministering to those who are infected with AIDS on the hill,” said an announcement from Gaydos, turning what was apparently supposed to be damage-control for the church's homophobia into Exhibit A to show their contempt for disease-ridden gays. (The youthful congregation bans gay members and believes women must be subservient to men.) Making it all worse, it turns out Mars Hill wasn't actually working with the AIDS relief nonprofit they claimed to be working with. Oops!
But with that devastating roll-out behind him, it sounds like Gaydos—his actual name, not making it up—was ready to leave. Below I've posted his full Tuesday post on Facebook (which I could access even though I'm not his friend). And it must be stated, it sounds like he chose to quit:
Some big news from the Gaydos family. Through much prayer, God has made it clear that he is moving us into a new season of life and ministry, and therefore, moving us along from Mars Hill Church. We are unbelievably grateful for the seven years we had at MHC, and the opportunity that we were given to love, serve and shepherd God's people. These have been some of the best years of our life as we have been beyond measure blessed by some of the most amazing people in the world. We developed relationships and friendships that will endure for eternity and are encouraged by that fact plus we got to witness hundreds of people enter into the family of God! We are praying through what is next for us, but we're as excited as ever for the gospel of Jesus Christ! This was a hard decision for us but God is calling Brittany and I to walk by faith and not by sight. We would greatly appreciate your prayers as we discern our new season of life.
We love so many of you so dearly and hope we get the opportunity to let you know that. Philippians 1:3-11
Tim and Brittany Gaydos
Leaving Mars Hill is no small matter—leaders have retaliated in the past against members who quit. Why did Gaydos take the leap? I've messaged him but have yet to hear back. I've also e-mailed a church official to ask what happened. But here's one theory: Gaydos isn't as much a fan of lead pastor Mark Driscoll or the bigoted assholes who attended his masses.