Nov 24, 2014

A megachurch's mega finances

According to the Seattle P-I, controversial megachurch pastor Mark Driscoll was earning about $600,000 per year at Mars Hill, before he resigned, plus various benefits worth about $56,000 annually.

The details:
As of Oct. 1, 2011, Driscoll received a salary of $564,615, including a $200,000 a year housing allowance. The pastor’s previous compensation package had been $267,500.

The church also contributed $33,000 a year to Driscoll’s retirement, paid a $13,314 annual medical premium, put up $4,000 for the pastor’s cell phone and provided an “additional wellness stipend” of $6,000. Driscoll was also provided a team of assistants, including a research assistant.

Driscoll did have time for moonlighting. He was paid an average $17,000 for speeches to 'leadership conferences at other mega-churches,' Mars Hill reported. The leadership conferences were also an opportunity to sell books. (Blogger Warren) Throckmorton estimates that Driscoll received $400,000 book advances from Thomas Nelson, publisher of his book 'Real Marriage.'
About $200,000 of church money was also used in a marketing scheme to put Real Marriage on the New York Times bestseller list, which is the scandal that started Driscoll's recent troubles, which led to his resignation.

According to the Seattle P-I, Mars Hill had about 12,000 people regularly attending services at its peak and an annual revenue of $30 million.

The megachurch will dissolve at the end of this year.