This week in Christian history: Mars Hill holds final service; hymnwriter dies in train accident

Mars Hill holds its final service – Dec. 28, 2014

Pastor Rick Warren delivers the final message to Mars Hill congregation, Dec. 28, 2014. | Screenshot: Mars Hill Church

This week marks the anniversary of when the multisite megachurch Mars Hill held its final service before officially disbanding into separate independent congregations.

Mars Hill had been founded and led by Mark Driscoll, a preacher who, earlier that year, had resigned from his position as lead pastor amid accusations of unethical leadership.

Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren preached the final sermon via video address, telling the Mars Hill campuses that they should “refuse to be bitter about what's happened.”

“If you hold onto bitterness you'll only be hurting yourself. Bitterness prolongs the pain,” Warren continued. “You need to be grateful for all of the ways that God used Mars Hill Church. Be grateful for all the ways God used Mark Driscoll.”

“I'm proud of you for hanging in there. You're still here. … You know anybody can follow Jesus when it's [a] party, but the real test of spiritual maturity is how you handle the storms of life, the difficulties and even the changes that you didn't ask for.”

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