The founding pastor of one of the Pacific Northwest's biggest mega-churches has resigned.
Mars Hill Pastor Mark Driscoll submitted a letter of resignation to the church's board of overseers Tuesday according to a statement on the church's website.
The statement says Driscoll is stepping down as lead pastor in the interests of his family and the church he helped launch in 1996.
Driscoll's resignation comes in the wake of controversy over his leadership style and a steady defection of members.
He took a six-week leave of absence from the pulpit while the church conducted an internal review and investigation.
The church board of overseers stated they did not ask for Driscoll's resignation.
Earlier this year Mars Hill reported church attendance and giving had dropped significantly, and it cut over 30 percent of its staff.
At its height, Mars Hill had 15 churches in five states.