James MacDonald Took Millions from Harvest & Now Demands Broadcast Ministry

By Julie Roys

Harvest Bible Chapel founder, James MacDonald, told three elders in 2013 that he’d “lose 1,000 sheep” before he’d reveal his salary. That’s according to former elders—Scott Phelps, Barry Slabaugh, and Dan Marquardt—who resigned soon after hearing that comment, and months later, were publicly excommunicated. (The church has since apologized for its “harsh” discipline of the men.)

However, now that Harvest has fired MacDonald, this long-held secret is being revealed. And given the amount of MacDonald’s salary, it’s understandable why MacDonald would want to keep it hidden.

In 2018, Harvest reportedly paid MacDonald $80,000 per month ($50,000/month in regular salary and $30,000/month in deferred compensation) for a total of $960,000 per year. (This number does not include additional money MacDonald may have received from his broadcast ministry, Walk in the Word, Harvest’s church planting network, Vertical Church, its songwriting and worship ministry, Vertical Worship, and books.)

That’s according to Emmanuel “Manny” Bucur, a deacon and one-time volunteer bodyguard of MacDonald’s, and Mark Banaszak, a Harvest member and captain of the church’s Saturday night security team. Both men said they received the information during a recent conversation with two senior leaders of Harvest. (Bucur and Banaszak told me the identities of the Harvest leaders but requested that I not report them. I have since confirmed the information they told me directly with a senior leader at the church.  I also emailed Harvest’s Central Leadership Team for official comment, but no one responded.)

“In 2018, Harvest reportedly paid MacDonald $80,000 per month ($50,000/month in regular salary and $30,000/month in deferred compensation) for a total of $960,000 per year.”

Bucur and Banaszak said one of the leaders told them that MacDonald’s deferred compensation plan totals $2.6 million and was initially set up in 2010. They added that this leader said that the deferred compensation plan has no provisions enabling the church to “claw back” the money. However, given that the church is nearly $40 million in debt, its creditors likely would not release the money until the debt is paid back—or when one of several “trigger events” occur, like death, disability, or reaching a certain age.

Bucur and Banaszak said their source also told them that in addition to compensation, Harvest gave MacDonald between $800,000 – $1.2 million annually in discretionary funds. Half of that money reportedly came from a senior pastor discretionary fund, and a similar amount came from a discretionary fund in Walk in the Word.

The church leader with whom I consulted confirmed that these discretionary funds were part of the hidden or “black budget” I reported in my December WORLD Magazine article on Harvest. This budget reportedly comprised about 20-percent of Harvest’s total budget and was kept secret from all but top church staff and the former elder executive committee. The executive committee was a group of four to five top elders who had sole responsibility for approving Harvest’s annual budget and executive salaries.

Bucur and Banaszak said one of Harvest’s leaders told them that MacDonald was supposed to note any expenses from his discretionary funds that were personal and then reimburse the church for those expenses. However, Bucur and Banaszak said their source told them that MacDonald counted as a ministry expense having a bear stuffed and shipped from Alaska.

The men said their source also confirmed that MacDonald had used church funds to give six to eight Harley Davidson motorcycles to people inside and outside of the church. Last week, I reported that both Niles Campus Pastor Mo Zachariah and former Assistant Senior Pastor Rick Donald received motorcycles from the church. (Zachariah says he has since reimbursed the church for his.)

Bucur and Banaszak said the Harvest leaders said the church is examining all the expenses from MacDonald’s discretionary funds and intends to seek reimbursement from MacDonald, or give him a W-2 tax form, for any expenses that the church determines were personal.

Executive Elders Offer Walk in the Word to MacDonald

Though Harvest is seeking to recoup some money from MacDonald, Bucur and Banaszak said one of the leaders told them that elders made an initial offer to MacDonald last weekend, giving him all the rights to Walk in the Word sermons, as well as the ministry’s donor list, and $100,000. Banaszak added that an elder had independently told him the same thing.

Since then, The Elephant’s Debt and others on social media have reported that the elders increased their offer to $500,000, but I have not been able to confirm those reports. I have, however, discovered a possible reason why Harvest’s leaders are offering to give MacDonald Walk in the Word, a multi-million-dollar ministry that used to air on 2,000 radio and TV stations.

According to minutes from a January 9, 2008, elder board meeting, the elders “unanimously” agreed to give MacDonald exclusive ownership of his sermons “both in note, audio, video and any other form.” However, Dave Corning, who was chairman of the board at that time, said he doesn’t remember discussing, voting, or signing any such agreement. He said the board did not approve minutes back then and questions the accuracy of the minutes. I reached out to MacDonald for comment, but he did not respond.

MacDonald last month in Naples, Florida.

However, according to former elders Dan George and Mike Dunwoody, Harvest’s executive committee signed an agreement with MacDonald in 2015, granting MacDonald not just rights to Walk in the Word sermons, but to all the ministry’s multi-million-dollar assets, as well. George and Dunwoody said the committee at that time consisted of Jeff Smith, Randy Williams, Steve Huston, and Robert Jones. Smith remains on Harvest’s elder board, but the others have since resigned or rolled off the board.

George and Dunwoody said they first heard about the Walk in the Word agreement at an elder meeting the week before MacDonald was fired. They said Steve Stewart, longtime CFO of Walk in the Word, read the document and said that MacDonald had been contacting him regularly, reminding Stewart of his alleged rights to the ministry’s assets.

George and Dunwoody said the document stated that the agreement was subject to approval by the elder board. But both men were on the board in 2015 and said they had never seen the document, much less voted on it. Yet George said when he argued that the agreement wasn’t valid because it had never been approved by the board, Huston argued that it was valid because Harvest’s bylaws give the executive committee the power to approve contracts.

I reached out to Huston for comment, but he did not respond.

George and Dunwoody said the issue was not resolved during the meeting. A couple weeks later, Dunwoody was cut from the elder board when it reduced from more than 30 members to nine. George remained for another couple weeks and said during that time, he asked for a copy of the 2015 agreement repeatedly but was not given it.

George said eventually Harvest CFO Jeff Sharda allowed him to read the entire agreement off his laptop, but that was it.  George said this reluctance to allow him access to this important document was one reason he decided to resign from the board last month, complaining that the elders were continuing the “secretive” and “controlling culture.”

Harvest Gave Millions to MacDonald’s Broadcast Ministry

Over the years, Harvest Bible Chapel has given millions of dollars to MacDonald’s broadcast ministry, Walk in the Word.

From 2014-2018, Harvest gave Walk in the Word more than $6 million worth of free television broadcast time According to Harvest’s 2016 Financial Statement, Harvest sold its property in Aurora, Illinois, to TBN for $15,600,000 in 2014. But TBN paid only $4 million of that amount in cash. The rest was given to the church in free broadcast time, which was then granted to Walk in the Word to use over eight years.

Because Walk in the Word went off the air in January, it wasn’t able to use the remaining 3.5 years of airtime. So Harvest recently sold the unused airtime to TBN for $4.1 million. Interestingly, though, former Walk in the Word Executive Producer Trey Morris said the sale to TBN almost didn’t go through because MacDonald was blocking the sale due to Harvest’s refusal to give MacDonald $1 million.

According to Morris, MacDonald had been acting as a middleman between Harvest and TBN and was demanding a cut of the sale. But Morris said he connected Harvest with TBN executives so the two parties could finish the deal without MacDonald’s intervention.

“(F)ormer Walk in the Word Executive Producer Trey Morris said the sale to TBN almost didn’t go through because MacDonald was blocking the sale due to Harvest’s refusal to give MacDonald $1 million.”

Walk in the Word also received a portion of Harvest Bible Chapel’s annual revenues. The amount of the annual donation is not noted in the church’s financial statements. However, both Trey Morris and a senior church leader told me that Harvest gave five-percent of its revenues each year—$1.2 – $1.65 million—to Walk in the Word.

The church also directed a portion of funds from its former church planting network, Harvest Bible Fellowship (HBF), to Walk in the Word. That’s according to Bob Langdon, former HBF financial director, who said HBF regularly “tithed” 10-percent of its revenues to Walk in the Word.

These “tithes” are noted in a summary document that was used in a 2017 financial review of HBF. Though the document says the donations went to HBC, Langdon said the money actually went to Walk in the Word, a sub-ministry of HBC.

From 2012-2014, HBF gave $137,000 a year to HBC, i.e. Walk in the Word, for a total of $411,000. In 2015, HBF’s contribution jumped to $310,000. And in 2016, the contribution more than tripled to more than $1 million.

David Wisen, a pastor of a former HBF church who participated in a financial review of HBF, told me he believes some of HBF’s contribution that year came from 40 Mighty Men funds. This fund was the result of wealthy donors who gave at least $100,000 per year to Harvest for “church plant acceleration efforts.” According to a 40 Mighty Men report from 2017, Harvest allocated a “10% tithe” of all 40 Mighty Men funds from 2015-2017 to Walk in the Word, totaling $452,477.

So from 2012-2017, HBC and its sub-ministries gave more than $20 million in cash and air time to Walk in the Word. During that same time, Harvest was $40 million to $59 million in debt.

ECFA Failed to Police Harvest

These recent revelations raise additional concerns about the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA), which until last month, accredited Harvest. In November, I contacted the ECFA, specifically inquiring about MacDonald’s salary and the church’s “black budget.” The ECFA responded that Harvest was “an ECFA member in good standing,” but said the organization would soon be conducting an on-site review of Harvest.

The ECFA conducted that review in December. After the review, ECFA released a statement saying that it had specifically examined Harvest’s compliance with ECFA’s Standard 6 on compensation-setting and related-party transactions. This standard states: “Every organization shall set compensation of its top leader and address related-party transactions in a manner that demonstrates integrity and propriety in conformity with ECFA’s Policy for Excellence in Compensation-Setting and Related-Party Transactions.”

Apparently, MacDonald’s compensation package worth nearly $1 million, and his $800,000 – $1.2 million in discretionary funds, satisfied the ECFA’s requirement because the ECFA stated after the review: “Harvest Bible Chapel is in full compliance with each of ECFA’s Seven Standards of Responsible Stewardship and remains a member in good standing with ECFA.”

As I have for the past several months, I reached out to ECFA President Dan Busby and requested an interview, but did not hear back. I also sent questions to Busby, asking what the acceptable salary range is for pastors of churches with over 10,000 attending. Again, Busby did not respond.

UPDATE: The ECFA terminated Harvest’s membership on April 17 due to “significant violations” of four of seven of ECFA’s Seven Standards of Responsible Stewardship. The ECFA said Harvest did not share “crucial information” with the organization during its on-site visit in December. Had Harvest done so, the ECFA said it would not have reported that Harvest was a member “in good standing.” The ECFA said it obtained new information on April 15 that “validated significant violations of Standards 2, 3, 4, and 6.” The ECFA added that “restoration to full membership was not a viable option under the circumstances.”

Though I am glad ECFA finally stripped Harvest of membership, its excuse for failing to find violations in December is extremely weak. I told ECFA in a November email about the “black budget,” yet it seems the group did very little digging to get to the truth. Here’s what I wrote: “Two former staff members told me that Harvest has a ‘black budget’ — about 20% of the budget that only very select people within the organization see. For example, the person who used to do payroll for the church said he paid 380 of the church’s 400 employees, but the top 20 executives were paid by Fred Adams, presumably under the authority of the executive committee, but he wasn’t sure. Similarly, the former comptroller said 20% of the budget was kept secret from him. This included money for top executive salaries and other unspecified projects.” 

ECFA never even asked me for the names of the two former staff members so it could conduct its independent investigation. It seems the group simply came in, reviewed some documents Harvest gave it, and once again gave the church its seal of approval.

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163 thoughts on “James MacDonald Took Millions from Harvest & Now Demands Broadcast Ministry”

  1. Does anyone remember when jim- ac told the story from the pulpit on how the benefactor of the land for the harvest camp was insisting that the land and the house on the land, all be titled in jim-ac & k-ac’s name or he would not make the donation? jim-ac & k-ac said NO we cant’t do that.

    The benefactor then said ‘well I’ll make the donation of the land only if U and k take title to the house that’s on the land personally for yourselves.’

    jim-ac & k-ac didn’t like that but said ‘OK! we’ll take the house personally to get the land.’

    even then (before knowing they were thieves) it didn’t pass the smell test.

    they then proceeded to remodel the house with church funds ‘so it would be just the best house for them to lend it to missionaries for sabbaticals.’

    We need to know all the dirty financial details of this house that he and k stole!

    If you are wondering what house I’m talking about it’s the one where mac’s used church money to
    populate the grounds with prize deer and fencing so that one can hunt for 10’s of 1000’s of dollars.

    Oh these people have been cunning for a very long time!

  2. Former Staff Member

    Wow. Keep going Julie.
    I honestly can’t believe the elders would give Walk In the Word assets to James after millions of HBC tithe money paid for those assets. Unbelievable. It is theft and the elders should be ashamed of themselves.

  3. While I do not condone the excessive pay one has to remember that even if JM lobbied for the salary it was the Elders who approved it via their touted “compensation committee”. We can also remember the church publishing the paid “review” by CapnCrouse that allegedly agreed that their payment process was acceptable and in line. My thoughts back then were always “in line with what?” definitely not a church (not that pastors have to work at poverty level) but his pay is more like a CEO of a $25MM business so once again we see the secular side of HBC and treating the church like an enterprise. Those on the inside know most if not all the ministries had to run their events at a profit. That is what was expected. So, any conference, outing or event had to be self sufficient. The church can easily clear up the taxable income issue by being transparent about their W-2 and 1099 filings. if they indeed did include the gifts as income to the recipients they would have to have filed the appropriate tax forms. S0, a simple statement from the current CFO would be simple. Its either “Yes we did file the tax forms as appropriate” or “No, we did not file the tax forms”. The transparency would be that simple and easy to do. how many of you think even a simple statement like that will be made? Trust me, I believe the lawyers are the ones preventing any transparency right now because of the fear of litigation and accountability and that is why you hear crickets whenever news gets released. Let JM have his worthless messages they do not benefit HBC and only taint the church by trying to maintain them.

    1. My suspicion is that his firing was just PR for all the fires he caused. He still has ownership and rights to many things. As we know everything is a game to him and his goal is to win. Those elders who still remain are his buddies, let’s not forget that. They are there because I am sure they are benefitting from staying. He is not an ordinary ex employee, he just quit his day job and people keep the cash still coming in. Who really has control over all that money? He is carefully playing his hand until this implodes. So sad to realize after all these years he is really a false preacher. His god is money. Too bad he abused the gifts God gave him for evil. May God bless and protect all who seek the truth!

      1. Hi Lostsheep , me again, what happens when you and I and others wake up and realize for a truth that it actually was not God the Father that gave those particular “gifts” to jimmy canuck. What fellowship does light have with darkness? None. There is testimony here in these blogs that show that jimmy was an ass_ _ _ _ all the way back to his youth (perhaps further) and has never come out of it if you follow the trail unto even today. Would you even dream of doing things to me that jimmy has done?
        So I will strongly suggest that the enemy of our souls saw this little piece of unrepentant, arrogant, proud, nasty, angry,deceitful thief of a human a long time ago and said “Hey I can really use this”
        In fact turning jimmy into a preacher of righteousness in order to deceive and defile and hurt multitudes.
        Even Judas knew he did wrong and threw the money back……… and then he knew he was screwed and killed himself. Not jimmy. HE DOES NOT KNOW THE SAME HEAVENLY FATHER YOU AND I DO. Remember it is not just jimmy but many many others in harvest and around the world , ALL THE HIRELINGS EVERYWHERE yes EVERYWHERE, because if you truly knew HIM you would not be doing most ALL of the things that are going on in the “church world” of today.

  4. Additionally, I am surprised by the deferred compensation in that it was not in the notes to the audit that has been prepared every year by CapnCrouse. Executive compensation plans should be noted in them as they are an integral part of the financial framework. Once again, we see the secular process. how many churches do you know of that have a senior pastor deferred compensation plan? I would like to know who lese participated in that option. I would bet Rick Donald has a similar arrangement for deferred compensation but again, until the lawyers allow the truth to be told or the auditors do their job in terms of the financial statement notes the congregation will never know.

    1. There is no mention of a deferred comp plan in the HBC 2010 audit notes. If the plan was established in 2010, then they either didn’t tell Capin Crouse, or perhaps it’s included in salaries.

      2015 is the first time a Rabbi Trust is mentioned. That could be the deferred comp plan (i.e., the RT is the “coat” around the deferred comp plan). In 2017, Capin Crouse used the word “revocable” to characterize the Rabbit Trust.

      HBC Congregants deserve a clear, unambiguous explanation of James MacDonald’s compensation, including any deferred comp plan and/or Rabbi Trust. That explanation needs to align with the CC EOY statements. If it doesn’t, either HBC and/or CC need to say why.

  5. Yes, keep uncovering the corruption of James and Kathy, but let’s start looking at Rick and his wife. You know that similar if on a smaller scale has been going on, let’s not let this crook slip by either.

  6. And while I don’t want to accuse, maybe Naperville,”Highpoint” should take a hard look at Ron Z. He exhibits many of James qualities, you dont want to find out years from now, and be in this place.

  7. James, more and more, looks like a wolf in sheeps clothing. This grieves my heart. When the Roman emperor Theodosis committed unspeakable crimes John Chrysostom would not let him in the church until he repented. When will the modern church have the gumption and faithfulness to stand up to the wolves that are decimating and destroying the body of Christ. These men are worse than the persecutors of the church. Shame on the elders who allowed this to happen.

  8. Doug Bartholomew

    In other news, Julie Roys uses World Magazine, whose CEO is connected to a $200 million fraud and who (same guy) has listed himself as ‘interim treasurer for many years, to criticize Harvest.

    1. P.S. Doug, reportedly HBC Chicago has said that they put $350,000 of Closer Campaign money into HBC Naples. Not sure how much of that was improvements to your building & grounds, but even $100,000 is pretty nice for you, no? I’m not saying there was anything illegal or unethical about that on your end, but I think readers should take that into consideration when reading your comments on Julie’s blog.

      It’s fair to say that deal didn’t work out quite as planned, with John Secrest’s rebellion & firing, etc. (and Julie Roys’ coverage of that). Not sure if James MacDonald or other recently-departed HBC1 Leaders are coming to or will be involved with HBC Naples, but it’s reasonable to wonder if that’s in the cards. Your responses on this blog certainly lend credence to that theory.

      1. Dougy Dougy Dougy it is astounding how you just can not contain yourself and seem to just squirt out here and there every once in a while, can not someone of your wealth and stature see how terribly insecure and emotionally immature you and jimmy canuck are looking , it is so sad that at this stage in life you have not made it further. Repentance can not be found, It actually is too late……..
        Heb 6:4-6 and Heb 10: 26- 31 tells us all clearly about sinning willfully and putting the Son of God to an open shame over and over again……. there remains NO MORE sacrifice for sins.
        But hey, was not that the plan from the beginning……… to defy and defile everything God the Father said TO DO and NOT TO DO. Yes it was and you do the deeds of your father ( small f )
        Till next time, bye for now

      2. Well… sounds like Doug Bartholomew may touched on a sensitive subject? I appreciate being informed. Transparency applies to all and no need for sharp responses. It’s time to move on. None of us are perfect. Our Lord will judge all humans and we all need his forgiveness. Likewise, JM haters need to forgive and move on. There must be more meaningful things to forcus on. The man and his family were destroyed. What else do you want? Anything more is not coming from a good place. Glad to hear there was an investment in Harvest Naples and hope that it expands our Lord’s kingdom.


          “Likewise,JM haters need to forgive and move on.There must be more meaningful things to
          forcus on ”

          Mat 16:23 Angela get thee behind me satan , thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not
          the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

          “The man and his family were destroyed. What else do you want?”

          Mat 16:23 Angela get thee behind me satan , thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not
          the things that be of God, but those that be of men

          “hope that it expands our Lord’s kingdom.”

          Our Lord? Which Lord and which kingdom would that exactly be? You seem to be in a worldly delusion and not coming from a good place and of course you are glad there was an investment
          made, so that more of the same wickedness can carry on and your father can laugh some more at all the fools that do not the truth and know not the truth that they MIGHT have a chance.

        2. John Byrne (@WrestledWithGod)

          Angela, you have an extremely immature and unwise view of what James has or has not done. You should take some time to read through the crimes that have occurred and are STILL occurring as I write this.

          James has been disqualified by the WORD OF GOD. Not because people here are being too hard on him or because “everyone sins” or anything else. He has been disqualified and he is no longer able to be an elder. 1Tim 5 tells us that “just moving on” isn’t an option. Here is what GOD’s WORD says:

          “Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear.”

          ‭‭1 Timothy‬ ‭5:19-20‬ ‭ESV‬‬

          It’s not my opinion or your opinion that matters. It’s God’s Word that matters and it says he MUST be rebuked before all. James persists in his sin as I write this. He hasn’t been charged by two or three witnesses but rather by HUNDREDS of them—if not thousands of them.

          You have bought into Harvest’s faulty ant unbiblical stance on how James should be handled. I prefer to stick with the Bible.

          Harvest says: “we are all sinners and James is one too. His enemies are trying to destroy him”.

          The Bible says: “Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear.” ‭‭1 Timothy‬ ‭5:19-20‬ ‭ESV‬‬

          Again, these are not my words but God’s.

          We all need to stand in fear with what James has done. Not step in with false (unbiblical) mercy and forgiveness for a man who is highjacking the church (as we speak) of $500k MORE than the millions upon millions he’s already taken…and the rights to Walk in the Word—which will allow him to continue as an elder in God’s Church—but God says “no” to this. An elder MUST MUST MUST meet the qualifications outlined in 1 Tim 3 and Titus 1 (among other places) and James persists in ignoring Scriptures warnings about all of this.

          He must be stopped. It must be public and yes, it is biblical to protect the flock of God from more wolves—which is what James MacDonald is and what many of the Harvest Elders are, and many of the leaders who recently resigned are. Wolves. Their lives were ruined by Julie or Elepuants Debt or social media. Their lives were RUINED by their continual pattern of disobedience against God and against His people.

          They ruined themselves in their greed and their acceptance of the fall their pastor into pride, greed, anger, bullying, destroying others (the list is long here) and on and on.

          Jeff Donaldson knew. Rick Donald knew. Luke and Landon knew. All of them, extensively. Steve Huston and Jeff Smith and and and and and ALL OF THEM KNEW the pastor of Harvest had become a narcissist and a wrecking ball.

          And he still is. You should do your homework on what your leaders allowed to happen. Thousands and thousands left. Because James is a disqualified elder who must be resisted. Not because of Julie, Jessica, Ryan Mahoney, Scott Bryant, Twitter or anything else.

          They ALL fell in their sin! And still have not humbled themselves and repented—with the first step in that process being to step down from ministry—for an indefinite period of time (but probably forever). Instead they keep inciting their followers to come attack the folks who are pointing to the great danger that is still very much a threat. To you and to all who think he should just be left alone. No. He needs to resign and get down on his knees and spend the next several months and years TRULY repenting before his victims and showing a truly broken heart. Not one that demands someone meets with him in 20 minutes and if they don’t he tells the congregation he has repeatedly tried to meet with them…

          I could go on and on but I won’t. Stop protecting the unrepentant liar and the arrogant pride of your former leader….Join the church in stopping him from shooing away thousands more and require him to step down.

          1. Hi John ,Thanks for your insightful post , just would like to add that there is not only humbling , asking forgiveness and repentance but also RESTITUTION (paying back even up to 4 or 5 times) Now even if it were possible for these reprobate delinquents to do even ONE of these things , they without a doubt absolutely could not do all that is required…….. never mind the fact that God’s Word is even higher than any action and says clearly in Heb 6:4-6 and Heb 10: 26- 31 about sinning willfully and putting the Son of God to an open shame over and over again……. there remains NO MORE SACRIFICE for sins.
            Which means that repentance cannot be found. Period.These individuals were not “saved” and now they are lost forever.Period
            Now do you understand Angela? Because if you don’t understand, I’m going to be very afraid for you.

    2. And here is Doug who gladly let a 350,000 upgrade to his building from the backs of harvester closer campaign fund contributions

      1. Doug Bartholomew

        Ann – we shipped back the most expensive equipment and I don’t know the numbers, but agree 100% Harvest Naples benefitted at the expense of Harvest Chicago. Just think its funny to read this when Julie Roys / John Secrest narrative is Harvest Chicago exploited Naples and elsewhere I am called James MacDonald’s Sugar Daddy when actually I never gave him a dime. Proof that neither logic nor reason matter at julieroys.com, any accusation will do!

        1. Dougy,Dougy,Dougy of course you did not give jimmy canuck a dime , he has his own (our) money and that would be a foolish thing to do now wouldn’t it?
          And we all know that you are no fool right Dougy? I’m quite thankful that you are feeling justified in this matter and have no problem sleeping at night. Thanks for the update!

        2. How do you not know the numbers? It’s your building/investment. Not saying you need to disclose the figures publicly, but I can’t imagine that you don’t keep tabs on that.

          Logic and reason do matter. James MacDonald devised a plan and exploited you, your elders, and John Secrest, no question. His plans were foiled, at least to some extent. I can understand why that is difficult to admit.

          In other news, I’m hearing that Jeff Donaldson is interviewing for the Lead Pastor position at HBC Naples. Can you confirm that, Doug?

        3. Doug,

          Is it true that Jeff Donaldson is interviewing to become the pastor of Naples?

          Please don’t let that happen.

          He allowed James MacDonald to become what he became…he needs a long period of reflection and he needs to take a step down…not up.

          Hip has not replaced holy in the House of God. Jokes and smart quips have not replaced true and full repentance and I’m afraid that Jeff Donaldson is still in “quips and jokes mode”. He was the one who called the excommunication of three elders “the al Queda video”….well, at the time he was saying that, no public apology had been made…

          AND that video, if you’ve ever seen it, is/was the most spiritually abusive and sick—i mean really really sick—act I’ve ever witnessed in a “church”.

          The al Queda video that Jeff laughed away? It had James MacDonald starting it by saying that anytime he and the elders agreed on anything, it is the same as coming “from God”. I’m not kidding—you can’t put lipstick on what comments. Smacks of Popery…

          Then you have Steve Huston telling thousands of congregants that the three men were satanic, should be shunned etc. Watch the video…find it.

          Jeff Donaldson…Rick Donald, James MacDonald, Steve Huston…didn’t apologize for a year. But good old Jeff was joking about it well before an actual apology occurred for the three men who had their reputations destroyed by Harvest for what? For asking James and the Exec Comm for information about the black budget….

          And if there is one thing that may send James, Rick, Steve and others to jail for tax evasion? It’s that black budget…

          It should not have been joked about. Jokes can’t lighten something so serious…and although all sin that has been repented of is always forgiven, it doesn’t mean that ANY of them should EVER be allowed to be elders in the church. They have been disqualified. Read 1Tim3. Hundreds, if not Thousands of Christians say these men are disqualified. Not 1. Not 6. Hundreds. Dozens of former
          Elders…dozens of godly Christians.


          They cannot be allowed to call this most recent set of disasters anything other than a reproach upon God’s church.

          Don’t let Jeff interview there. And if he has, he should be lovingly and wisely instructed to step down from ministry until such time as true, loving, wise and mature Christians—who don’t have a dog in the hunt—say, “yes, he’s done everything he can to repent—publicly, with godly sorrow, with humility…specifically.

    3. Dougie why are you cryin? Out of $1million spent from the Closer Campaign your church in Naples that you own got $352K for free improvements to your church. Not bad at all!! Still JimmyMac’s sugar daddy???

      1. Doug Bartholomew

        Davy – wait I both take money from Harvest and am a Sugar Daddy. Do you even realize those are opposite concepts ? Maybe Freddie can give you a field sobriety test.

    4. Watching and Praying

      Doug, Julie does not “use” World Magazine for ongoing purposes. She wrote one article last fall and was paid… a lot less than you received from HBC Chicago for your Naples building upgrade. Note: her article didn’t criticize Harvest. It truthfully exposed verifiable wrong doing. Big difference.

      1. Doug Bartholomew

        Thanks for the info John – she uses her World affiliation when convenient and runs when not. She has your back, biased moderator as expected from her one-sided journalism

        1. But I thought it was you that is affiliated with the world. Baaaaaah , I’m confused , looks like the world, smells like the world, sounds like the world HEY EVERYBODY IT’S THE WORLD!! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!

    5. I get it, Doug, you’re listening to James. But can you make any defense of James AT ALL? All you do is attack Julie Roys. Do you know that it just makes James Mac look more and more guilty with every post you make? Are you clever enough to realize this? Is James? No, probably not. So thanks for confirming that you have no defense for James at all. All you can do is keep taking shots at World Magazine, for which JULIE IS NOT ON STAFF, and all you do is keep making a bigger fool of yourself and James with every post. Thanks, Doug, for confirming all our suspicions. And frankly, as a lawyer who gives seminars to tax practitioners, I’d say don’t get too cozy to James, you may not want to get caught up in what may be coming from the IRS or the justice dept. Just saying, Doug. Fair warning.

      1. Doug Bartholomew

        Tax Guy – I was #1 on Ohio CPA exam when I took it and one of the top scores in the country. I left accounting because it is not a field where smart people get ahead. But you’re the smart guy because you give seminars to clerks and paper pushers. Got it.

        1. OH OH, are not you to be of no reputation? OH OH IT’s the WORLD AGAIN EVERYBODY!!! RUN FOR YOUR ETERNAL LIVES !!! before you get some on you , you know like a SPOT

          1. Doug Bartholomew

            Davy – after reading your comments, the Baker act seems like a good idea after all

          2. But Dougy you are the only one in Florida so yes it is a good idea especially for you and jimmy canuck , I’m pretty sure a few people here can figure out how to do it.
            Thanks for the great idea! It seems that you still can not contain yourself.

            “To Baker Act someone means that you initiate the process for an involuntary and emergency psychiatric examination of a person with a mental illness at a Florida hospital or crisis unit. This refers to a specific Florida law and it only applies to proceedings within the state of Florida.”

  9. to further identify the trail of the compensation if you go to the Financial Integrity portion of the HBC website they have posted the letter from 2017 audit by CapnCrouse affirming their process and the usage of the Mega Church compensation survey from Church Compensation Services, LLC as the basis for their level setting of remuneration.

    1. I understand they used some sort of pay scale. It’s still completely and sinfully wrong. Wasn’t it an American billionaire who was asked, “When will you have enough money?” And his response was, “There’s never enough.” I can’t believe JM’s stones to come to HBC to demand more. Mind. Blown.

  10. Oh hello, Doug. You’re back. How’s HBC Naples? Glad to see that John Secrest was able to start another church. Thank the Lord!

    Julie has written 2 articles on HBC via WORLD Mag. (BTW, you subscribe to WORLD, yes? You did anyway…because only subscribers can comment on their articles, which you did a couple months ago. Hope you canceled if you’re concerned about fraud.)

    Most of Julie’s work on HBC is via her own blog. Maybe when she’s done exposing these wolves, she can look into the issue you’re talking about. Or maybe you can generously fund another independent investigative journalist to look into that? Goodness knows we need more hard-hitting investigations in the Evangelical world. Lots of corruption and Julie can’t bear the burden of look into all of it.

  11. Thievery was not and is not limited to MacDonald and his family only. What is a guy like Jeff “double books” Smith or Mohan “I didn’t know” Zachariah still doing there? This den of thieves needs to be persecuted by state attorney, FBI and IRS and I pray they are already in their sights. I know they have been reported.

    1. Charles, He should change his name to “Mac’son Zachariah”,”Moron Zachariah” or “Moremoola Zachariah”. The Closer Campaign should also be change to The Close Campaign. Pull the plug on this worldly church that is an embarrassment to the cause of Christ and His Kingdom. HBC is a laughing stock within the evangelical circle and is doing more harm when it tries to continue while spinning the truth and gospel.

  12. I wonder how much money was wasted on the “Gavin Stone” movie? Might be time to make a new movie, name it “The Fleecing”.

  13. I used to attend Harvest, but have not for several years now due to moving. I have a question that I think Harvest should consider:

    What are you doing to protect the church from JM taking more of the money that should go to the survival of the church and it’s ministries and how can you recoup some of the money he has already taken from you?

    Based on my calculations using the $’s Julie provided in the blog, approximately 24% of donations/ tithes to the church were either being paid directly to JM or being used at his discretion (I backed into conservative $24m in revenue based on Julie saying that $1.2-$1.6M was 5% of revenue). The black budget would have been around $4.8M plus James’ compensation of $1M for a total of $5.8M being controlled by James (either directly or indirectly). That means that 24 cents of every dollar you donated was controlled by James, and I’m sure much of the money that wasn’t going directly to his pocket was still helping support his extravagant lifestyle.

    Side Note: I currently work for a non-religious not for profit organization, and the rule of thumb that we follow is that no more than 17% of donations should go toward the indirect expenses or non-operational staff (like accounting, marketing and the exec team). Compare that with Harvest that had 24% being controlled by 1 individual.

    If I were you, I would consider the following:
    1. Hiring very good lawyers with whatever money you do still have to block JM from trying to get his hands on more of your hard earned donations
    2. Individual members or class action to sue JM for fraud. I understand that as Christians this might be hard to stomach, but I’m sure most of you would not have donated to the church if JM and his minions had not be hiding financial information from you. This could be an excellent way to recoup some of the money he has defrauded you of and give it back to the ministries that need it and that you intended it to go to.

    I am praying for you and so, so sorry that James was successful in deceiving so many for so long.

  14. I was a listener of Walk in the Word and benefited from some of his sermons. I do not belong to this church or live in Chicago. I am in shock of what’s going on and cannot understand how a pastor can minister people through his preaching and yet at the same time be so wicked. He doesn’t care about the flock or God. But what concerns me more is that after all this information coming out to the public knowledge, there are members of that church being deceived or still assisting to HBC. I do feel for all of them!

    1. Dearest Romelia,
      I will now attempt to bring some understanding……………. IT IS ALL THERE IN THE WORD OF GOD , YOU WILL FIND IT MOSTLY IN THE RED LETTERS THAT JESUS HIMSELF SPOKE also why would you not of benefited from the WORD OF GOD ALWAYS instead of and I quote some of his sermons. I ALSO DO NOT WANT YOU TO AND I QUOTE FEEL FOR ME.
      2 THES 2:7-12 , I will touch the high points : Receive NOT the love of the truth , God SENDS them strong delusion , that they all might be damned. That is a really big ouch of LOVING TRUTH.
      Remaining in something that is not suppose to exist is disobedience therefore sin , we ALL need to repent and RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN FAR FAR AWAY for the sake of YOUR ETERNITY.

      1. David, the reason why I benefited from “some of his sermons” only and not all, is because I did not listen to Walk in the Word every day. Duh!!!!
        You seemed angry!

    1. I doubt anything they did was technically illegal or even fraudulent. It was mostly about keeping the congregation in the dark about where the money was going and why.

      At best, congregants could sue (and I believe there is a website where you can sign up to a lawsuit) to recoup their donates if they believe they deliberately misled, but that’s about it.

      The ECFA has been exposed as a toothless organization, and their seal of approval completely worthless. That’s what happens when you have voluntary watchdogs without the power of legal enforcement to back them up.

      Transparency doesn’t have to be that difficult. For example, executive compensation is listed on the 990 Form submitted to the IRS, and would have revealed how much MacDonald and the rest of the executive staff was being paid. The ECFA could require their accredited organizations to make their 990 forms public every year, just as thousands of charities and non-profits already do.

      1. Actually a current elder told me about 2 weeks ago that there was fraud and illegal activity that took place and that there is fear of litigation because of what happened.

  15. 40 years ago I graduated from seminary and have been in ministry ever since. What I am seeing today among celebrity preachers is so disheartening. The big mega churches are destroying and causing people to be suspect of the gospel of Christ. Each of these men will have to stand before God and given an account of what they’ve done and are doing. So very very sad.

  16. IStein if anyone should be the laughing stock, it should be the old leadership of HBC (although there is nothing funny about this). I think the church should fight back .There are many innocent, Christ loving Christians in that church that should be allowed to continue meeting as a body if they decide to do so. I don’t think thousands of people should carry the weight of the sins of a few. I do agree that everyone in James’ inner circle should be asked to leave immediately.

  17. This thief MacDonald and his thieving family and his thieving elders and looks like some pastors make me lose my faith in the goodness and justice of God. These crooks were stealing from hard working people for decades and all in the name of God while talking about God… Revolting.

  18. Notice not one peep from Harvest Bible Chapel! Nothing. Nada. Just crickets. They keep expecting the naive sheep to keep coming for slaughter every Sunday and fill the offering plates.

      1. Rick Korte said that the congregation would be inundated with so many church updates. That the church would be super transparent. Guess that Vision 2020 promise went by the wayside.

  19. The house that Jimmy built.

    I think that in his hubris he is comfortable taking down the Corporation that he built for everything that he can take it for. As some wonder what his kids were pulling in, I have been wondering if there are offshore accounts which are nothing but money laundering schemes.

    I have read that it is estimated Harvest Inc. pulled in over $600,000,000. over the years, while the corporation has over $40,000,000 in debt. Where’s all of that money? Forget his egregious salary and other peripheral monies awarded to him by his sycophants. Where is OVER half a BILLION Dollars?

    Not in a couple of Harley’s or Rolex watches. Not in the castle that he built with a 10 car garage.

    What about ‘The Rabbi’s (for want of a better term) Trust? How much is in that? I guess Jimmy will fleece the flock and take all of that too.

    1/2 BILLION, where’s that? As an aside, Where was the ECFA for ALL of these years? Wide awake long after the crimes have been committed. Better yet, “Where’s Jimmy.”

    “There’s a big club, and you ain’t in it.” George Carlin

  20. Can anyone tell me was JMac always this much of a jerk, was he always this deceptive back when he started the church? Or did he start off okay but the money, power & paranoia get the best of him? In my opinion i don’t think he is truly saved. I don’t see how he could be

    1. No one is truly saved on this earth because in Mat 24:13 Jesus Himself says quite clearly : But he that shall endure unto the end, the same SHALL BE SAVED. Anything else that has been taught by the church HIRELINGS is DECEPTION. You are truly saved when you make it out of this world and past the lake of fire.
      As far as jimmy canuck goes Heb 6:4-6 and Heb 10: 26- 31 tells us all clearly about sinning willfully and putting the Son of God to an open shame over and over again……. there remains NO MORE sacrifice for sins. Fearful judgement, fiery indignation and a devouring awaits and it is IMPOSSIBLE to renew them again unto repentance.
      Just because someone might look good or sound good at the beginning means absolutely nothing it is actually all just part of the DECEPTION going on everywhere in this world called church.
      In the beginning all the believers met HOUSE TO HOUSE that is where you will find the TRUE BELIEVERS again this day. These are the ones that have OBEYED and have COME OUT of the world system (mammon) and SEPARATED themselves unto HIM who will be a Father to them and His true children are now able to hear correctly the TRUE SHEPHERDS voice leading them, ALL the other voices they WILL NOT HEAR. You know ALL ALL ALL the other HIRELINGs voices in churches, TV, radio, conferences , concerts, seminars , cruises, cemeteries, bible schools, bible colleges do not they ALL cost money ………. FLEECED AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN not even knowing it, that is called DECEPTION IN THE HIGHEST and the enemy of our souls has been laughing for a very long time.

      1. “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
        ‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:38-39‬ ‭ESV‬‬

        “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”
        ‭‭Romans‬ ‭10:9-10‬ ‭ESV‬‬

        I am truly saved and all that believe in the promises of Gods word are as well.
        Praise Jesus He is Risen!

        1. Good luck with that! He that endures to the end shall be saved , the same as your quote ” you WILL BE SAVED” so no you are BEING SAVED. And by the way your bible version has been subtly changed for the reason of deceiving you and thousands of others especially the ” and is saved” part
          But hey don’t study, don’t live an obedient life so that the Holy Spirit of God even the Spirit of Truth can move on ones behalf to rightly divide the Word of Truth and one can end up with the lukewarm deception of harvest inc that is the broad way to destruction and MANY there be that find it, but NARROW is the way that leads to eternal life and FEW there be that find it.

    2. Somewhere in blog history (Julie, ED, Mancow -not sure where) I read a fascinating post from someone who knew JMac as a youngster. Post stated he was a BIG bully. Did not like when he didn’t get his way. Not a nice person. Those who knew him thought he would grow up to be a used cars salesman or a pastor (too bad for us he picked the wrong one).

    3. He sure talks as though he’s not. Check out the “hot mic” recording. That’s talk I would expect of unregenerates, not a so-called “pastor”.

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