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Mark Driscoll's Start-Up Congregation Purchases Historic Church Building in Arizona

Mark Driscoll's Start-Up Congregation Purchases Historic Church Building in Arizona

Pastor Mark Driscollt speaks to local media outside his new Scottsdale, Arizona-based Trinity Church prior to Easter Sunday services on March 27, 2016. | (Photo: Screencap/KCTV5)

Ex-Mars Hill Pastor Mark Driscoll's new church, The Trinity Church, has purchased a permanent home just weeks before its public launch, acquiring a historic church building in the Phoenix suburbs.

Driscoll, who left the Seattle megachurch Mars Hill in October 2014 and is in the midst of a racketeering lawsuit, announced in February that he would be leading The New Trinity Church in Arizona.

As the church plans to launch on Aug. 7, it recently secured a permanent home in Scottsdale by purchasing the historic 1,400-seat Glass and Garden Church located at 8620 McDonald Drive, the same building that the church rented when it held its Easter gathering earlier this year.

In a post on the church's website last week, Driscoll announced the purchase of the building.

"We have officially purchased our historic church home in Scottsdale, Arizona!" Driscoll wrote. "Every family needs a home, and this one is a wonderful fit for our church family."

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Although the church was just recently purchased, Driscoll stated that volunteers from the church community have already been hard at work to get the half-century-old building ready for the church's grand opening.

"I am so thankful for all the hard work from the many volunteers that has already gone into getting this 50-year-old mid-century modern church home ready for our public launch on August 7th at 9am and 10:45am," Driscoll added. "We still have a lot of work to do. Just this week, we had the exterior painted back to the period correct colors that originally adorned the building."

As The Trinity Church congregation considers itself to be a church plant, it is unclear as to where the money to purchase the building came from. However, Driscoll said in his statement that the church was helped out by some "generous donations" from the church family and friends "that just want to help support this new church plant."

"It's your generosity that has helped to make this happen, and to each one of you, I'm very humbled and grateful," Driscoll wrote.

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According to public records found on the Maricopa County Assessor's Office website, the church's property measures at about 1,327,522 square feet. According to the website's valuation information, the church's evaluated cash value for fiscal year 2017 is $21,265,300, while the limited property value was evaluated at $14,508,167. The $21 million cash value evaluation for fiscal year 2017 is nearly $5 million more than the church was evaluated for in fiscal year 2016 — $16,633,700.

In a statement to The Christian Post, The Trinity Church said the county's evaluation is outdated but failed to provide the actual purchase price of the church.

"We've been told that the Maricopa County website will take some time to have the updated information posted," the church statement reads. "The Maricopa website does currently contain some errors both in the value of the property and the size of the property. We are hoping that the county will make the appropriate corrections once the information is available online."

According to the church's website, the building sits on about 4.55 acres, or about 241,758 square feet, now that the drive-in portion of the historic church is gone. Such a decrease in size of the property would drastically decrease the appraised value of the church.

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Follow Samuel Smith on Twitter: @IamSamSmith

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