James MacDonald & Target of His Alleged Murder Plot Make Video Espousing Love; More Disturbing Stories

By Julie Roys
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The alleged murder plot by disgraced celebrity pastor, James MacDonald, just got stranger.

Earlier this week, I reported allegations that MacDonald plotted to kill his former son-in-law, Tony Groves, in 2015. I also reported allegations that MacDonald directed two former employees to spy on Groves.

Now MacDonald, who hasn’t spoken publicly since Harvest Bible Chapel fired him in February, has released a video of him and Groves espousing their love for each other.

In the video, MacDonald concedes that he and Groves have “been through some things,” but adds that the two have “always stayed friends” and that Groves has given him “one of the best grandsons we have.”

Groves replies, “That’s true. Like you said, we’ve always been friends, but overall, we’re family.”

 

Yet, in a report released yesterday by police in Wilmette, Illinois, a target of one of MacDonald’s alleged murder plots told police that he had “heard MacDonald talk about harming people he didn’t like in the past,” so “he was not surprised” by reports that MacDonald sought to kill him.

“(A) target of one of MacDonald’s alleged murder plots told police that he had ‘heard MacDonald talk about harming people he didn’t like in the past,’ so ‘he was not surprised’ by reports that MacDonald sought to kill him.”

The report redacted the name of the alleged target. However, Groves is the only person who’s been named as a potential target in the alleged murder plots involving MacDonald. Chicago radio personality Mancow Muller, who alleged that MacDonald asked him for the name of a hitman at least twice in 2018, said he didn’t know the person MacDonald sought to kill.

However, Emmanuel “Manny” Bucur, a former bodyguard of MacDonald’s, said MacDonald specifically asked him to kill Groves during a three-day motorcycle trip in 2015. Bucur said MacDonald wanted Groves dead because Groves had cheated on his daughter, Abby MacDonald, multiple times. Bucur also said MacDonald believed that Groves had made an explicit video of his daughter and Groves, which MacDonald feared Groves might post online. (Bucur said he never saw any evidence that this video existed.)

The alleged target in the report also states that MacDonald had called him “before the police made contact.” He added that MacDonald told him that “the rumors that he wanted (name redacted) killed were untrue.”

I repeatedly called and texted MacDonald for comment, but he did not respond.

Police Report Reveals Other Troubling Details

In addition to testimony by Groves, and also by Muller and Bucur, the Wilmette police report also included the testimony of a former unnamed employee at Harvest. This former employee alleged that MacDonald once “pointed a rifle” at a contractor who demanded payment for work he had done on MacDonald’s house and “pushed him down some steps.”

The former employee also stated that on his last day at Harvest, MacDonald—who he said was six-foot, four-inches tall and over 300 pounds— “was very upset and physically intimidating. He yelled and slammed doors.”

“This former employee alleged that MacDonald once ‘pointed a rifle’ at a contractor who demanded payment for work he had done on MacDonald’s house and ‘pushed him down some steps.’”

In addition, the former employee stated that MacDonald had visited his new home unannounced. The former employee said he was not home when MacDonald visited, but MacDonald had called and told the former employee that he had stopped by his house. The former employee said he then went to police, who issued MacDonald a formal no trespassing order.

The former employee said in the report that MacDonald is “always armed” and added that he “is afraid of MacDonald.”

Wilmette police stated in the report that their investigation found “no chargeable criminal offenses within Wilmette’s jurisdiction.” However, the report added that the case has been referred to an unnamed jurisdiction for “potential further criminal investigation,” and that the investigation is ongoing.

“Paranoid and in need of serious help”

James MacDonald is “paranoid and in need of serious help.” That’s according to Paul Gracey, a former elder at Harvest who also served as Harvest special counsel to the senior pastor and chief administrative officer from January 2018 to August 2018. Gracey said he couldn’t comment on his time working at Harvest but described two incidents that occurred prior to his employment. Gracey said both incidents occurred on Sunday, May 1, 2016.

Paul Gracey

At the time, Gracey was working as chief administrative officer at Calvary Chapel Las Vegas, and MacDonald had flown out to speak at the Sunday services at the church. Gracey said that after the services, he said he drove MacDonald to Shadow Creek Golf Course about 10 miles north of Las Vegas. Gracey said that while on deserted roads within three to four miles of the course, MacDonald turned to him and accused Gracey of taking driving him out there to kill him.

Gracey said he was shocked and pointed to the GPS, which showed the route to the golf course and said, “James, we’re going to the golf course. What are you talking about?”

At the time, Gracey said he wasn’t sure if MacDonald was serious or not, but added, “Why would you joke about that?”

“Gracey said that while on deserted roads within three to four miles of the course, MacDonald turned to him and accused Gracey of taking driving him out there to kill him.”

That same evening, Gracey said he and his wife, Colleen, took James to an upscale steak house in Vegas. Gracey said the three of them were seated at the back of the restaurant and MacDonald was sitting with his back to the wall.

Gracey said early in the meal, the waiter went behind MacDonald unobtrusively to serve him bread or water. Gracey said this caused MacDonald to reprimand the waiter, telling him to never go behind him and sneak up on him again. However, Gracey said later in the meal, a different waiter went behind MacDonald, startling him, and causing MacDonald to loudly reprimand the waiter, causing a scene.

Gracey said at the time, that was the only paranoid behavior he had witnessed in MacDonald, so he shrugged it off. However, he said now he feels quite differently.

MacDonald allegedly takes bat & ski mask to find daughter

Another former Harvest employee told me an additional disturbing story that occurred about 15 years ago, when MacDonald’s daughter, Abby, was in high school.

According to Dan Plantz, former youth pastor and director of Camp Harvest, MacDonald was distressed that Abby was hanging out with people MacDonald didn’t like. One day, MacDonald called and asked Plantz to meet MacDonald in a parking lot in Rolling Meadows to go “find Abby.”

Dan Plantz

Plantz did as requested. And Plantz reported that MacDonald arrived wearing all black, holding a ski mask and baseball bat. Plantz said he was stunned and asked MacDonald what kind of mission he had in mind, but MacDonald didn’t reply.

Plantz said MacDonald got in his car and Plantz told MacDonald to put the mask in the back seat. He said the two then drove to a few places MacDonald suspected Abby might be, but they never found her and went home.

Plantz said he also once witnessed MacDonald repeatedly stab a picture of a former Harvest pastor with a butter knife. I described this incident in my December WORLD Magazine article. At the time of the article, Plantz was willing to confirm the story as an anonymous source but didn’t want to speak on the record.

However, this week, Plantz told me more about the story, which allegedly took place in the Camp Harvest dining hall after a meal. Plantz said MacDonald called him over and requested that Plantz remove a picture of a former Harvest pastor, Josh Weidmann, which was hanging on the wall. Plantz said he’d take care of it and then left the building to take care of something else.

“Plantz said MacDonald then repeatedly stabbed the face of the picture and it fell to the floor. Plantz said that none of the men seated at the table said anything, and several had grins on their faces, looking ‘like they enjoyed it.’”

Plantz said when he returned, MacDonald called him over and told him in front of a table of several Harvest executive leadership team members that when he asks Plantz to do something, he wants Plantz to do it immediately. Plantz said MacDonald then repeatedly stabbed the face of the picture and it fell to the floor.

Plantz said that none of the men seated at the table said anything, and several had grins on their faces, looking “like they enjoyed it.” Plantz said the incident “wrecked” him. He said that day MacDonald ceased to be his pastor and he was infuriated with other men in the room.

Plantz said MacDonald was upset with the pastor, Josh Weidmann, because Weidmann had learned personal information about Abby as her youth pastor, which Weidmann refused to tell MacDonald.

I called Weidmann and he said it’s never been his policy to withhold information from a parent. He said MacDonald was simply upset that Abby had shared confidential, and potentially embarrassing, information with Weidmann. Weidmann said the incident that made MacDonald especially upset was when he gave Abby a table of his that she had requested. Weidmann said Abby was moving out of her house and the table was for her new apartment.

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84 thoughts on “James MacDonald & Target of His Alleged Murder Plot Make Video Espousing Love; More Disturbing Stories”

  1. paranoia
    noun
    Psychiatry. a mental disorder characterized by systematized delusions and the projection of personal conflicts, which are ascribed to the supposed hostility of others, sometimes progressing to disturbances of consciousness and aggressive acts believed to be performed in self-defense or as a mission.

    1. ConfessYourSinsBeforeAlmightyGod

      Exharvestertoo….That’s perfect! I sure hope that the paranoid schizophrenic is reading these blogs and comments. If he doesn’t see what he has done and is doing, then he’s obviously had a lobotomy. There have to be people in the listening and viewing audience that are NOT afraid of him. Just because he carries a weapon with him at all times (probably in his bed too, I surmise), doesn’t make him invincible. He is a mere man…and not a God. To quote Mancow, “Man up!!!!” I don’t honestly think he can.

      1 John 1:9-10 English Standard Version (ESV)

      9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

      God help you, JMaC, because no one else can. Was your intent when you went into “ministry” to destroy the lives of thousands of people? If so, you’ve accomplished this goal. In the end, you will be standing all by yourself with no one backing you…except into a corner.

      1. Actually in the end of time as we know it, there will only be a direct toss into the lake of fire for jimmy canuck and all those like him (which are very many) One only needs to ask … did jimmy canuck and those with him put Jesus to an open shame……. then it is IMPOSSIBLE to renew them again unto repentance Heb 6:4-6 tells us so.
        But you see, jimmy canuck is not worried because really he is just a Luciferian and always was, they actually think that they are going to win so they have NO FEAR OF GOD our HEAVENLY FATHER at all but have actually deceived many and do the deeds of their father satan who Jesus said was a liar AND a murderer.
        RUN RUN RUN AWAY !!! From anything that looks, talks, sounds, walks or smells like organized religion and repent for ever being apart of the mammon and not being separate and led by the Spirit unto the Heavenly Father……..

  2. In hindsight, it’s probably just as well MacDonald was a pastor all those years, otherwise he’d probably be the boss of a crime syndicate. He certainly has all the requisite skills — controlling, abusive, arrogant, manipulative, and very clever.

  3. Boss McDonald. This mafioso realized that Gods money is tax free and easy to steal. I don’t believe MacDonald believes in our Bible or he wouldn’t act as he does. This mafioso had a bunch of goons around him called “elders.” They knew. They covered for him. Why are they only investigating the past few years? Why not the past 20 years? That church made half $1 billion in a decade- I understand. And here they are $45 million in debt? Hello!!! So much of what they have was donated also. How about the TV studio that was donated and they then sold for close to $20 million? Where is all of the money ?!?! Why no forensic audit open to the flock? They are still hiding!!!!

    In this article (above) the brave Julie Roys even quotes Boss James McDonald’s son-in-law as basically saying he “wasn’t surprised that James wanted to kill him!” Think about THAT!!!!

    I should have never ended up in that church with my unsuspecting sweet family. My little daughters. It’s heartbreaking. People knew he was a jerky evil dictator and not a man of God for 20 years. But he was an earner.

    Christianity Today magazine knew all about him and they kept covering for him because of MONEY. And that cool Volkswagen he gifted!

    Gateway considered backing him (I’ve heard) why? Because he’s a great man of God? No way ! Its because he’s a money earner. A great thief. A con.

    I did what I could to prevent him from hurting anyone else. Not enough. I wish others would’ve boldly stood with me. A few did. Pastor Mo. Costa. Manny. Paul. Some others. Too late though. He hurt too many. Shame on all his enablers.

    Jeff Donaldson didn’t make a stand and his reward was a Harvest church in Naples Florida. Maybe he was the smartest of all of us. I mean I’m still slugging it out here in Chicago. Smile and pass the collection plate Jeff!

    Meanwhile that excrement Macdonald will float down stream and hurt others I fear.

    “He makes agnostics.” Someone once said of him. I still am a believer in Jesus Christ but I won’t ever go to another church without open bookkeeping and REAL elders.

    (Luke MacDonalds new church (or where he is guest pastoring) attacked me today. “The apple doesn’t fall far from the… “ I purposefully left the Macdonald kids out of it so that they could continue… but maybe I made a mistake. Luke should I start on you and some of your indiscretions and creepiness? Why attack me? Is ANYTHING I said untrue? It’s never about facts though is it? Your own brother-in-law confirmed he wasn’t surprised that your own father wanted him murdered !!!)

    The Boss MacDonald model:
    Steal. Attack! Retreat and call it “a soul-searching sabbatical” when you get caught doing evil. Next? Let the thievery begin again. Oh, and it helps to buy motorcycles and cars for leaders in the Christian community that could possibly question you and expose the evil you do to the innocent. What a circle of deceit .

    “Night of the Hunter” with Robert Mitchum Is a movie that will chill to the bone anyone that ever got close to Boss MacDonald. Frightful. Demonic. Deadly.

    Pray for his victims before sleeping tonight.

    “Dear, Lord -you warned us a false preachers in the end times in the book of Revelation. Give us discernment and wisdom.”

    1. Jessica Hockett

      Thank you, Mr. Muller, for speaking truth and for acting righteously. I appreciate what you’ve done to expose the darkness of James Macdonald and Harvest Bible Chapel. God has used you and Julie Roys and many others to accomplish His will. I pray that James repents before it’s too late.

      1. JIMMY CANUCK WILL NOT BE REPENTING AND HERE IS WHY :
        Actually at the end of time as we know it, there will only be a direct toss into the lake of fire for jimmy canuck and all those like him (which are very many) One only needs to ask … did jimmy canuck and those with him put Jesus to an open shame … Answer is YES , then it is IMPOSSIBLE to renew them again unto repentance Heb 6:4-6 tells us so.
        But you see, jimmy canuck is not worried because really he is just a Luciferian and always was, they actually think that they are going to win so they have NO FEAR OF GOD our HEAVENLY FATHER at all but have actually deceived many and do the deeds of their father satan who Jesus said was a liar AND a murderer.
        RUN RUN RUN AWAY !!! From anything that looks, talks, sounds, walks or smells like organized religion and humble thyself and REPENT for ever being apart of the mammon and not being separate and led by the Spirit unto the Heavenly Father……..
        PLEASE DO NOT BE DECEIVED ANY LONGER , THESE KIND OF PEOPLE IN PULPITS ALL OVER NORTH AMERICA ARE ABSOLUTELY NOT WHO YOU MIGHT THINK THEM TO BE , THIS WILL BE PROVEN TO BE TRUE AND IS BEING REVEALED EVEN EVERY DAY…… one does not need to dig very deep to see the corruption everywhere in the religious mammon system.

        1. Even if we have discernment, only God knows our hearts. And He is Sovereign over everyone, even men like MacDonald.

    2. Thank you Mancow for your courage and boldness to stand up for the truth. I appreciate you and all who have sacrificed to expose this evil and put God above all. God has given you an ability to speak for thousands and I personally could not thank you enough.
      It is not popular to do the right thing, but the true believers in Christ must trust God to be all for us that he has promised. John the Baptist wasn’t popular either, but he had courage and spoke for the Lord.
      Luke Macdonald is just like his father Darth Vader. Was Rick Donald like Count Dooku? I am beginning to think this is a Star Wars saga. Anyway, this Ralph Kramden look alike is only attacking you because he knows you speak the truth. Something he and his clan are not comfortable with. Was it your fault what his dad did and how he acted?
      No, but their DNA does not allow them to look at themselves. Too bad it affects them, you hit their wallets and scam.
      But maybe they will play the “I am redeeming” card soon like Jim Bakker and start a new ministry in Branson.
      I pray for you and all of us affected by this to cling to our Lord Jesus during this valley because he is with us. He never fails!

    3. Uve Könnigsstaddt

      How about calling the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives? The BATFE are NOT afraid of this guy or anyone. Is MacDonald armed? Have we seen what an active shooter can do?
      Let’s call the I.R.S, and as many of the Alphabet agencies to get involved and and get a handle on these people, and watch them start pointing fingers at each other. As far as I know, the MacD and his gang are not part of the Clinton Crime Syndicate……they won’t get away with it.
      BIG GOV is NOT …..”afraid”…of MacD and his people….like many people are.
      Post Tenebras Lux

    4. Grateful to you, Mancow and Julie, not only for using your public forum to bring this to the light, but for helping us tie all these pieces together. It’s a complicated story (in its sinful simplicity) with a lot of players, but your knowledge of it and ability to connect the dots has been invaluable.

      No one has done the deep digging with Bill Hybels, my former spiritual hero (shame on me for putting him on a pedestal) and now he’s gone and the story has died off. That’s very hard for some of us to be left with so many unanswered questions. So you’re doing a great service to many in the way of giving them answers and thus hopefully closure and peace. Thank you both.

    5. Agreed. Retired CPD. Past Member at Rolling M. Walked away almost 10 years ago during JMac’s gathering of The Mega Pastors. Pastor Meek visiting with his Choir. James previously delivering odd messages about befriending people of color. I don’t fear any man. He can carry a gun, talk loud in your face. Loom over people. In situations w/intelligent men like JMac’s: He controls the income. He controls every situation he’s involved in. He has a flock of sheep followers – Years ago I knew what he was about. He’d deliver messages with glimpses into his behavior, (one time grabbing Kathy and holding her arms) but James always said “Never Again.” I chose to walk away. At the time People asked me “Why?” I told a few why. That didn’t do a thing. Years later watching this “JMac Show” is like another day at work on Chicago’s West Side. Nothing ever surprised me.

  4. Julie, I pray the Lord will bless you and keep you as you uncover and reveal such disturbing things from the MacDonald cesspool. These things prompt within me a mix of disgust and broken-heartedness. He always was a hyper-competitive person, and these actions by him betray a goal of winning and having his way. The actions followed by trying to salvage his reputation and ministry without owning up to any of this suggest that the idea of one day answering to the Lord may be just a myth in his way of thinking. Even though I know who he is, I continue to be blindsided as new things come out. It’s emotionally disconcerting, but keep it up. I feel like you are doing God’s work.

  5. Ex HBC Member 2001-2013

    isn’t it a shame that James cannot stand and confess his sin to his former congregation but in order to protect himself from a potential legal entanglement find Tony for a quick video. I am sure the scruffy look was more about hiding himself in plain sight.

  6. I’m the average person in a worship service and a volunteer too. To this point, I have sat on the side taking all this in, hoping things would get better. Remember the junk the interim elders said? Give us 90 days to ….whatever. Nothing of substance has come.
    Now I feel like the spouse who is confronted with the betrayal of her partner. Confused, hurt, angry,, untrusting, foolish, exhausted, violated. God damn you, James.
    I’m really trying to keep it together, but I just can’t sit in any service without psychoanalysis of every word and asking myself is it true, or is it another scam with one hand on my shoulder and the other in my pocket. How to you move forward trying to untangle and separate the truth in a bible that has James-isms written in the margins? I just cannot get past the notion James is a scammer and everything he taught is a lie. Makes me wand to puke. THIS is the real damage that James’ saga left behind. I’m not the only one, there are certainly several others that are in the same position as I and my family now find ourselves. So pray for us to find comfort and peace and healing and discernment.

    1. G,
      There are thousands like you and me. What you need to do is remove yourself from there are follow the Lord. Take a break from there, pray and be with a real Godly Church. Once you are out of there, you will realize how toxic it was. I as a discerning believer knew there was signs and God revealed the truth. Many times I sat in service and God kept telling me very loudly these leaders are like the ones he spoke of in Matthew 23. Many times! We can quence God’s Holy Spirit if we keep ignoring the truth. Just know there are real Godly people in the world who care, you are not alone. Sadly Satan is having a heyday infiltrating Churches and this place is bad. Money is their God, not Jesus Christ. I know it is shocking and I feel the same. Praying for you and all those wounded by Harvest! God has warned people, they must make a choice.

    2. misterjesperson

      Let me humbly suggest something that might help you and others who have or are leaving HBC. I would suggest reading “The Valley” by Rick Joyner. The book deals directly with your situation and HBC is just a forerunner for many others just like it that will soon come to the same place for the same kinds of basic reasons. God is a God of redemption and there is hope for those wanting to really understand what a good church looks like and what it does.

  7. So maddening. I’m afraid that: the police will find nothing, no audit will ever be done, this band of thieves will get away with it all, and we will all be left without any justice.
    I’m sure it will come in the next life but to not have any justice in this one is a heavy toll.
    God give me some peace and Jesus come quickly. Maranatha!
    Thank you Julie for being dogged and relentless, bless you sister.

    1. Uve Könnigsstaddt

      ….let the I.R.S., or any of the Alphabet agencies get involved, and watch people start pointing fingers at each other. Also, since FIREARMS have been mentioned, and in light of the recent “active shooters” in our society, the BATFE should be involved, specially when people have experienced “fear” from this guy.
      Post Tenebras Lux

  8. I didn’t even bother to watch the staged video. I’m not wasting my time on a James MacDonald production. Why bother when my first thought was, “ I wonder how much Tony got paid to do this ?“. Everyone knows TV is make believe. I prefer Hulu.

  9. “Plantz said that none of the men seated at the table said anything, and several had grins on their faces, looking “like they enjoyed it.” ”

    –name names, Plantz. These men are enablers who have let their conscience erode to dust which they blew away themselves because it was in their way. They did this in the name of God for their own profit. It is wrong that they escape accountability.

    1. Yes. Names Of the men braking bread at the table with James. Plantz is just as bad for covering up for the bossman. Why would you stay on staff after that experience? If JMAC ceased being your pastor at that point, I can’t connect the dots as to why Plantz would stay.

      1. Why would he stay? Fear. Fear of James, fear of not being on the “A” team, fear of losing standing and popularity in the church, fear of losing respect in his friends and family’s eyes… Narcissists draw fearful, needy yes men and women to themselves. Looks like Plantz was the poster child for that.

  10. May I ask why folks felt comfortable with a pastor who looks like the head of a motorcycle gang? One look at Macdonald would have sent me in another direction.

    1. It makes people feel cool and different and relevant in a sea of uptight churches. Looks are deceiving anyway. The most buttoned up pastors can be monsters.

  11. only two horns short

    jwac made millions telling everybody he loves them. ‘you are loved’

    So he had a good day.. huh… countering an accusation that he tried to hire a hit man……Amen jwac

    Ephesians 5:3, NASB: “But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints;”

    advice to jwac followers……don’t stand next to him when outdoors especially on a rainy day.

  12. And tell me again…? Garrett Higbee was supposed to be the Health Officer for the leaders and he didn’t know anything about all this? James had the name recognition, money and power; the rest of the men with him were leeches!!! They are all sick with great sin!

  13. Uve Könnigsstaddt

    “Fear….”
    If anyone were to accumulate all articles/comments/interviews, and do a search, that cowardly word “fear” would appear quite often.
    We all should be afraid of Him ONLY, He alone can destroy both body AND soul….not MacDonald, or anyone else.

  14. Uve Könnigsstaddt

    If one of the Alphabet agencies, like the I.R.S., gets involved here, I can see several people here go to prison….unless the belong to the Clinton Crime Syndicate.
    We are in the last days alright.
    Post Tenebras Lux

  15. I understand your position, but please don’t paint other pastors, churches, and ministries with the MacDonald brush. There are a lot of pastors out there with their focus in the right place.

  16. Uve Könnigsstaddt

    Also, was trying to to correct a misspelling, but for some reason my iPad doesn’t conform to a “weird” format this website has. Anyways, if anyone feels threatened about someone with a firearm, due to the recent “fad” on active shooters, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives should get involved. “Fear” is word often used by people that have interacted with MacD. The BATFE is not AFRAID of anyone. If MacD were to “Go Postal” (and I hope he doesn’t), are we going to Monday morning quarterback and say “if we only would have contacted the authorities….”.
    Don’t be afraid of anyone. Be afraid of ONLY He that can destroy both body and soul.
    Post Tenebras Lux

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