James MacDonald’s Sons Resign As Shakeup at Harvest Continues

The shakeup at Harvest Bible Chapel continued tonight as the sons of founder James MacDonald, who was fired last week, offered their resignations.

In his resignation letter, Lead Pastor Luke MacDonald said his “professional dream” had been “to one day grow to be the Senior Pastor of the church.” But he added that “conversations with elders and staff” had made it clear that he “should move forward to whatever God has next.”

Noting that his birth year and Harvest’s were the same, Landon MacDonald, executive pastor of student ministries, said he “always thought that something like that would be said at my funeral having served at Harvest my whole life.” Landon said his years at Harvest have been wonderful and that teaching the students at Harvest has been “a dream come true.” But he expressed that the the past few months have been “painful and heavy in ways I didn’t think possible.”  

The resignations come after Harvest member Mark Banaszak wrote a letter on behalf of about 30 members, which was emailed to the elders. The letter specifically called for the resignations of Luke and Landon MacDonald. The letter also called for Rick Donald, assistant senior pastor, to resign. 

The letter also asked for every elder who participated in the creation of the executive committee to resign immediately, as well as every elder who participated in the 2013 excommunication of three former elders. It then asked for the removal of the remaining elders over the next six months.

The letter also called for the elimination of the executive committee, a group of four to five elders who make all the financial and legal decisions for the church. Additionally, it asked for a forensic accounting review of all the church’s financial transactions for the past 20 years.

The resignation letters and letter to the elders are below:

Luke MacDonald’s resignation letter:

Harvest,

I am resigning from my pastoral position at Harvest as of Tuesday, February 19th, effective immediately.

Pastoring at Harvest has been a delight. From my years in Niles as the youth pastor, through pastoring students in Rolling Meadows, and then to Vertical Worship and preaching on the weekends, there have been many great years. The conferences and Good Fridays and altar calls have been great, but the true joy has been the blessing of walking alongside so many wonderful individual people. We have been blessed to work alongside many talented and tireless servants. My professional dream has always been to one day grow to be the Senior Pastor of the church. Even after my parent’s ministry at Harvest ended, I was hopeful that with enough humility and time that could still happen. However, conversations with elders and staff over the past week have made it clear that we should move forward to whatever God has next for us.

I sincerely love the people of Harvest and will continue to pray that the church will find unity and fruit in a new season ahead. While we have no current future employment plans, we hope to serve the Lord again and would never choose an assignment that would hurt the church we have loved these many years. Thank you.

Pastor Luke + Kristen MacDonald

Landon MacDonald’s Resignation Letter:

To the Elders and people of Harvest Bible Chapel,

I have been at Harvest since I can remember. When I was a kid I treasured that my  birth year and Harvest’s were the same. I always thought that something like that would be said at my funeral having served at Harvest my whole life. I started on the maintenance and security staff and served in plays and acting for Harvest Kids, the Worship team and then my favorite places – Harvest Students and Camp Harvest.

My time here has been wonderful and I have seen God work and move from small Senior trips with just a handful of students to arenas and the conference we just did for our students last weekend, which might be my favorite of any of them.

These past few months have been painful and heavy in ways I didn’t think possible, but through it all, my loving wife and the AWESOME people of Harvest have supported me. If it wasn’t for the Colossians 1:11 strength of God – I wouldn’t have made it this far. That said, my time at Harvest has come to a close. Its painful to say it and I never thought I would, but Bri and I have been in prayer for what seems like forever and God is leading us elsewhere. We don’t know where yet, but that is half the adventure.

This isn’t a spontaneous or emotional decision – it has become clear to us that we are not the best people to lead in this church moving forward. If desired, I am available by phone to answer any questions related to transition of responsibilities.

To the people of Harvest – your support and prayers kept us through until today -the sincerest thank you from my heart. Both to those who told me they were praying and those who just did it.

To the students of Harvest – leading and teaching you has been a dream come true. It never once felt like work, I always was stunned that I got paid to teach and lead you guys. To all students past and present, you and this ministry is the thing that I will miss the most.

I love Harvest and its people and I always will. Prayers are appreciated as Bri, Ezra, Violet, Julian and I move towards what’s next.

Landon MacDonald

Letter to Elders written by Mark Banaszak:

As members of Harvest Bible Chapel, we firmly believe in the Mission Statement and the 5 pillars of our church. In keeping with 1 Timothy 1:5, the aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. We also acknowledge the great contribution of our founding pastor in establishing the foundation which we now stand upon. Unfortunately, James’s actions along with the long-term failure of the elder board, leadership and various pastors to fulfill their biblical duties are the reason for this storm of devastation that has been brought upon our congregation. This church was not founded on James MacDonald nor any man and we must do our part to restore the church to its rightful founder, God.

The issues that have currently been identified as well as those to be discovered, must be addressed swiftly and in an open manner before the members of this church. There must not be any secrets that are hidden from the church body. Proverbs 28:13, whoever conceals his transgression shall not prosper, but he who confessed and forsakes them will obtain mercy”.

This small group who failed to execute their biblical responsibilities have allowed selfish, sinful and weak patterns of behavior to be tolerated and covered up at the highest levels within our church. The solution proposed at the February 16th Saturday evening service, which was consequently edited with major parts deleted from broadcast on Sunday February 17th, is not a thorough solution as it fails to address one of the largest questions, what has happened to our tithes and offerings? This proposed plan also allows many of those who are responsible for this storm to remain in positions of leadership within the church. To leave the church under the same leadership that is responsible for the current storm and determine the corrections needed is an afront to those who call Harvest their home. A large portion of our congregation finds this solution as presented, unacceptable. It is written in 1 Peter 5:2-4 that the elders are to “Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly: nor as being lords over those entrusted to you but being examples to the flock.” Also, it is written in Proverbs 31:8 “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.”

Today we are standing up for all the men, women and children who have been wronged by the elders, pastors and leaders of Harvest Bible Chapel. We are here to affirm in unity that it is our intent to remain diligent during this process. To ensure the body of Christ at Harvest Bible Chapel is returned to biblical governance and those responsible are removed from church leadership and where necessary held accountable for their actions. For Ephesians 5:11 says, take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead rebuke and expose them.

In keeping with the biblical requirements for elders and pastors, and the obvious failures that have been discovered, we believe that the following actions must be taken immediately to begin the restoration of our church, to remove those directly involved in these failures as well as prevent their influence in the process of returning our church to biblical governance. We ask that:

Rick Donald resign from the elder board and be placed on an indefinite sabbatical during the ongoing Harvest 2020 process and until such time as it can be determined his level of involvement/knowledge of the abuses that have taken place. First the obvious conflict of interest in being the best friend of James MacDonald for over 40 years. Also adding James’s right hand man for 30 years would call into question his objectivity and decision making during this process. Rick has observed this unbiblical behavior and pressured others to cover up this behavior. He has been as much a part of the culture of intimidation and manipulation in our church body as James. His actions or lack thereof as well as his conflicts of interest should disqualify him from remaining in any position of
leadership at Harvest Bible Chapel. During the sabbatical he should not be permitted to attend any of the Harvest campuses or to communicate with the leadership or elders in any manner.

Luke MacDonald and Landon MacDonald should be removed from their leadership and ministry roles and they should be placed on indefinite sabbatical during the ongoing Harvest 2020 process and until such time as it can be determined their level of involvement/knowledge of the abuses that have taken place. Their obvious conflict of interest, being the sons of James, calls into question most if not all of their decisions. Having such a conflict of interest should prevent them from having any oversight or decision-making responsibilities at this time. During the sabbatical they should not be permitted to attend any of the Harvest campuses or communicate to with the leadership or elders in any manner.

With the acknowledgement of the restructuring and reduction of the elder board and leadership team we also call for the total elimination of the group known as the “Executive Committee,” and there be an amendment to the church bylaws to prevent any other similar group (s) from being formed that would allow for the circumventing of elder board responsibilities. The ongoing decision to only change the structure of this group is not a solution which is found to be acceptable.

It is written in 1 Timothy 5: 19-20 “Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses. But those elders who are sinning you are to reprove before everyone, so that the others may take warning.

We ask that elders currently serving, that participated in the 2013 excommunication of 3 former elders and the elders that participated in the 2015 establishment of the “Executive Committee” resign. Their actions ignored biblical standards and principles with the shunning and public slander of men who were being faithful to God’s word as well as facilitated the circumventing of the responsibility and oversight of the elder board. This lack of oversight facilitated the covered up of ungodly behaviors, financial mismanagement, potential embezzlement and illegal self-dealing by current and former church elders, pastors and leaders. We are also aware that there are pastors and leaders outside the elder board who have been complicit in these actions which contributed to this storm. It is expected that these individuals are held to account for their action or lack thereof and where necessary be removed from leadership if warranted.

It is expected after a determined period of time, not to exceed 6 months, that the remaining elders are to resign and have no further role in determining the policies of the church as well as be prohibited from obtaining any leadership roll until such time as the congregation determines these men have proven themselves faithful and qualified for leadership roles at Harvest Bible Chapel.

As Paul says in Philemon 1:8-9, Accordingly, though I am bold enough in Christ to command you do what is required, yet for loves sake I prefer to appeal to you. All financial transactions pertaining to Harvest Bible Chapel for the past 20 years be subject to a forensic accounting review by a group with no association or relationships to past or current leaders of Harvest. This audit is necessary as Harvest Bible Chapel is $42 million dollars in debt, even with two of our seven properties being gifted to us. This debt at a minimum indicates gross mismanagement and likely even theft and embezzlement. All current members of the churches financial team should be subject to a thorough vetting process and the current CFO should be called into account for these matters.

Harvest Bible Chapel pastors, elders and the Executive Committee members have conducted their activities in secret for over a decade. This lack of oversight and transparency must be addressed first and foremost during the Harvest 2020 process. All elder board and Harvest 2020 meetings must be made open to individuals appointed by the congregation with minutes of these meetings, (not “updates”), must be published on the HBC website. The establishment of the Harvest 2020 team which was done in secret and without input from the congregation must be opened to oversight by members appointed by the congregation. The belief that the proposed solutions for this crisis should be left to the current elders, pastors and leaders is tantamount to the “Fox guarding the hen house”.

In the strongest possible terms, we request that Rick Korte’s personal relationships with current and past elders, leaders and pastors be made public so that a determination can be made on his ability to serve as the leader of Harvest 2020 team without any conflicts of interest. We desire for to give Rick an opportunity to return biblical governance and accountability to our church. However, we have also learned many lessons and will no longer blindly have trust in our leaders until such a time as they have re-established that trust; which must begin with open communication, transparency, timely and thorough updated on the Harvest 2020 process. It is our expectation that the congregation will receive frequent updates as well as our questions being answered in a timely manner.

I exhort you leaders, as the church in Sardis was in Revelation 3:2-3, “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works to be perfect before God. Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore, if you will not watch, I will come upon you like a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you”.

It is with the greatest hope we that press on to restore our church to the glory of God and stand on his promise in 2 Chronicles 7:14; “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land.”

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126 thoughts on “James MacDonald’s Sons Resign As Shakeup at Harvest Continues

  1. Hits the Mark

    Finally, someone is willing to stand up to the machine that Harvest has become. I would concur, each pastor needs to be scrutinized as to their cover-up and sin as well. Give this church back to God, it cannot be led by those currently on staff.

    • MM

      Agreed.

    • And what about bankrupting them ALL and paying off the huge buildings and other misgivings. That’s important! People were deceived into believing they were “giving money for God’s Kingdom” not James and Company. What is going to be done?

    • David

      Please do not call them pastors if they receive even a $1 they are Hirelings according to the Word of God

  2. Susan Vonder Heide

    One would have to be inordinately busy or to have one’s head in the sand to not notice that something is happening today in churches across denominations. Sins of those purporting to be religious leaders that were entirely unknown to the average person or only remotely intuited are becoming blatantly obvious. Sure, this is all disturbing, but it is also a wonderful opportunity to abandon any inclination to make an idol of a denomination or a local church and to focus on God. There are wonderful church leaders out there but that cannot automatically be assumed and discernment is necessary.

    • Sabrina

      Yes, I see it.
      Like Lina Abujamra said in her blog post:

      https://www.livingwithpower.org/why-i-left-bible-harvest-chapel/?mc_cid=759320adae&mc_eid=297df9633b

      I think the Church and His People today are in a period of purification and renewal. He knows what’s up ahead so He wants us ready for it and He doesn’t need any long held sin in the way. Purification hurts but it is for our good and and it is His way to sift out and refine the True Church, and to make sure we’re following Him and not ourselves or things of man.
      Peace.

    • Mike

      Susan – I agree – People need to heed your words – Thank you for sharing.

    • David

      Dear Sister, I would like to carefully submit that if there are…. wonderful church leaders out there…..
      and they are taking even $1 and or making a name for themselves in any way shape or form then the
      WONDERFUL word needs to be dropped instantly . Only HE is wonderful and all they are profiting from the sacrifice and blood of our Sacrificial Lamb who is the Christ the Son of the living God.
      He will not give His glory to another, Oh oh whose glory is it then ……..

    • YES! I am encouraged that God is disciplining these men and in doing so revealing HIS HOLINESS. We have all been guilty of passively attending church, mindlessly hand over money, thinking and our calling to the “professionals” this was not God’s plan! By allowing us the information to lose faith in the “professionalism” of Christianity we can now, without anywhere else to turn, turn BACK to Jesus and to OUR spiritual calling. We are guilty for allowing this to happen! Christianity was never about pouring money into a church building but by giving to a community and missionaries that we actually know or at least have met. This lazy “consumer Christianity” has felt so good for so long but we have enabled men to sin by burdening them with the temptation of money. Stop TITHING! Get out there and give generously to your mission that should be very active and we should know the needs of everyone in our community and be pouring our resources into this!

  3. Seeking Transparency

    Can we get the names of the 30 people Mark wrote that letter on behalf? In the spirit of transparency that everyone is seeking?

    • Shaul Levinson

      Your reply is indirect, disingenuous, and passive aggressive. I notice you didn’t put your own name down. That shows it’s just hurtful talk. Do you know that the names were not included in the original email? Does an email on behalf of 30 members equal the secretive, abusive behavior the elders are accused of? The answer is no. And it is obvious.

      Perhaps most obviously, the elders have been demonstrably and self-confessedly abetting and enabling leadership that deliberately hurts, shuns, excommunicates, and manipulates those who attempt biblical correction and reconciliation.

      If you don’t like the regular members keeping secrets, you should resign for giving them the bad example to begin with.

      • Seeking Transparency

        Just a simple question. With claims of speaking on behalf of many members, I believe it shouldnt be hard to reveal those names. The e-mail itself has very specific requests, so this shouldn’t be too difficult.

  4. mike kostock

    I certainly understand the emotion that all who knew of misdeeds should go. However, I think that one should consider what some of those could really do anything about the misdeeds , other than resign. The climate of intimidation probably was inflicted on campus pastors and leaders also. If a personality as strong and as dominant as JMAC was not likely to be deterred by the Elders , who were theoretically his boss , it is not likely that a Campus Pastor , a subordinate , had much of a chance of influence. The Lord and Harvest in many sermons has commanded us to forgive each other for transgressions against us. We as a Church should take that into account when the purge is done. If there is true contrition and heartfelt remorse are we just being vindictive to dismiss all campus pastors ? I saw that contrition Sunday in Elgin. Let us follow our Christian teaching and realize that Christ died on that Cross for all of our sins. Let there be some Mercy and restraint that hopefully can lead to reform.

    • lostsheep72

      Rick Donald’s comment proves he is not qualified to be a pastor. That is very demonic in nature. There also seems to be a problem with any leader having the name of Donald in it at all. False Shepherds!

    • David

      Hi Mike as stated elsewhere , these are not Pastors unless they are not even receiving a $1 they are called hirelings and hirelings run away when they see the wolf coming. Just because some or a lot might still be there in a physical form does not mean anything because they RAN AWAY FROM THE TRUTH a long time ago and are all in very grave eternal danger.
      Can they repent….. maybe , will they …… maybe, maybe not….. strong delusions are just that ….

  5. EB

    Amen to that Mike Kostock

  6. Joe Blow

    In Rick Donald’s sermon last week, he suggested the thought of leaving Harvest may be of the devil. If one thinks about this assertion, it’s an insult to every church outside the Harvest orb. What kind of belief is behind this?

    This is an expression of who the Harvest elders think they are. They believe that Harvest is something really great, that James’ preaching and the church are somehow anointed. This goes way beyond being enthused about their local church and being excited about what the Lord is doing there. It’s really dangerous.

    “When the plurality of HBC elders agree, they speak for God”; that is another expression of this belief. Furthermore, Harvest leaders have done all sorts of things to defend their church that were acceptable within their church bubble but were reprehensible to outsiders. For so long, the elders have justified their actions because of the great pastor and great institution they were defending.

    It’s the Harvest Hubris.

    Whether you decide to stay behind at Harvest or move on, please be aware that you may have adopted this kind of thinking yourself. It’s a pervasive mindset at some megachurches. That is something that must be changed, especially since pride is part of the sin nature of us all. The Lord has used all kinds of churches, throughout different periods of history, in different cultures throughout the world, in different sizes, etc. I hope all of you can be enthused about your church affiliation, and that it’s at a place where the Spirit is active and the Gospel is accurately preached in love. However, our enthusiasm for the Lord himself is what matters far more.

    • Mike

      Joe Blow (or Whoever You Really Are),

      You’ve touched on some important things – I too echo your sentiments as well. Appreciate you sharing.

    • Godsendization

      I disagree. Pastor James blessed many people and bore much fruit for the Kingdom of God. Is there any of you out there that thought for a moment he was not rightly dividing the Word of God. He is still a man. He will still sin, but it’s his heart you all appear to be judging. I would have to agree with Pastor Rick. The obvious is that the Church is being attacked and THAT is the work of the devil. he knows that if he can divide the house it will not stand! And as far as tithes and offerings, is there any church that doesn’t take them. I don’t buy into the tithe teaching as a believer under the New Covenant and realize that many Christians really don’t even know how to give to God. They see the poor and hang on to their money so they can give it to God in the Sunday service — whereby you are all seeing usually goes towards paying the bills. When you do this to the least of these you do it unto ME said JESUS. Wow I feel like many of you are like those who turned against Jesus. As soon as they saw the Pharisees take him down, they shouted “crucify Him, He is a blasphemer…” etc. They let the majority of the sheeple sway them into thinking Christ was a fraud. That’s what some of you sound like. You really think he was a fraud? Really? Not me. That doesn’t mean he has no fault, just not going to judge his character like some of you have.

  7. oneofmany6

    Joe Blow. I agree with you 100%. If people weren’t running for the doors after Rick Donald’s comment, woah! That is very scary! I hope people can discern that.

  8. Sabrina

    I praise God for this letter, and the exposure of the Truth. It is painful to read and see this unfold.

    But I am confident that God has His remnant at Harvest and He wants them to be His Church, not of any man.

    And His mercy is not beyond the McDonald family, though they be under judgement now. My prayer for is healing for all those affected by Harvest, that courage will over come fear and that Pride will be repented of and that there WILL be a Harvest of Righteousness to the 10th generation when we break the sins of the Fathers, so they will not be met upon the children in Jesus Name!

    Heal. Give peace. Let the Harvest of Righteousness come!

    Amen. In Jesus Name.

  9. Headless Unicorn Guy

    Poor Poor Pitiful Babies.
    Now they can’t Inherit Daddy’s Iron Throne of HBC.
    (Though come to think of it, There Can Be Only One…)

    • Je

      Speak kindly, I know that people’s hearts are hurt but where in the Bible does it say we should talk this way? Why should we step down to a lower way of speaking to others who have fallen. Does that now put us on their level

  10. Worship Leader at HBC _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 2004-2010

    I was on the ground from pre-launch of one of the first HBC church plants and there was employed for almost 6 years as the full time worship leader. After all the various Harvest U events, Straight Up Conferences, you could feel a considerable consistency in culture from one HBC church to another (though not all). Not merely a similar DNA with verbiage, 4 pillars and such, but from the CEO type pastors and this domineering approach to leadership (and as we talked behind the scenes all this was evident to all). When in 2009 I was encouraged by my senior pastor to leave my role as worship leader and to pioneer a plant with HBC I shared a number of my reservations over larger differences in philosophy is ministry with HBC as a whole. And when my pastor pressed me, I expressly said, “I do not want to be associated at all with James MacDonald. His finger prints are all over everything, and his ego is of considerable concern to me even from this distance.” That was in 2009. I packed my bags and walked away in 2010 as I could not in good conscience plant with a network for all the reasons which for me as a 30 year old were obvious at that time. All that has happened recently has only further authenticated my perspective many years ago.

    Sadly, so much of his personality is still being lived out in so many out there who were a part of the former HBFellowship, where spiritual abuse goes on week after week, in the need for “excellence” and with words like, “you just aren’t teachable, or submissive,” simply because you voiced an alternative way of trying something. But then again when the primary metric for ministry is numbers (bodies or money) how can they think any differently? I don’t lament any of this that is unfolding now. Frankly, it is for the good and it is way overdue. I only hope repentance really takes place amid all this from the top down. If not, I think we have good reason to wonder how many of these are really even followers of Christ or just mere charlatans.

  11. harvesTED

    I’m sorry but I see nothing but psychological manipulation and a circling of the wagons at Harvest Inc. with the timing of this letter by Mark, followed by the resignations of two beneficiaries of nepotism. When we read both letters from the princes of Harvest I notice words that are designed to evoke pity on them for having grown up in that corporation, and now because of their silence and complicity they do not have jobs nor do they know what they will do next.

    Where was THEIR PITY on the very many catapulted people standing for truth in the last 20 or so years? Lives ruined while the family mentality was to laugh and mock others. Harvest Inc knows no boundaries when the so called pastor talks about inserting child porn onto someone’s computer daring to tell the truth. Now we are to have pity on their defiance of the truth?

    I think Daddy is extracting his sons not only to protect them from the tsunami that is happening but also to perhaps give them employment at another Harvest venue after everything blows over. Except this time I don’t think it will. I do not underestimate the HUBRIS of Harvest Inc. though.

    On close examination of Mark’s letter I notice that scripture is used as usual. Satan’s first tactic in the Garden was to ask Eve, “Has God said?” Manipulating the very words of God. But when you get into the meat of his letter we learn that Rick Donald is:

    “Placed on an indefinite sabbatical during the ongoing Harvest 2020 process and until such time as it can be determined his level of involvement/knowledge of the abuses that have taken place.”

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Jimmy’s right hand man for 30-40 years doesn’t know the crimes of Harvest Inc? What is there to determine? And I’ll bet that during this ‘Sabbatical’ he will be paid handsomely for his loyalty. Further down, Mark is talking out of both sides of his mouth saying that Rick knew all along. Which is it?

    Then we get to the princes of Harvest Inc. where we get the very same double-talk. What follows is the APPEARANCE of Harvest Inc doing something to stop the bleeding. They are once again catapulting those who are not useful to them anymore and circling the wagons around family and one very loyal friend. This whole charade is nothing but damage control. Harvest Inc is rehabilitating itself. My question is, “Who’s pulling the strings?”

    “The wise men share a joke;
    I run to grasp divining signs
    To satisfy the hoax
    The yellow jester does not play
    But gently pulls the strings
    And smiles, as the puppets dance
    In the court of the crimson KING”

    Ironically, one of the songwriters is Ian McDonald

  12. Katherine

    What’s the end game here? To continue to rip on the imperfect of this world? Speaking truth and slandering people are not the same. I find most of these blogs to be divisive. Broken people are leading broken people. When you’ve got it perfect give me a call. I won’t be expecting it any time soon.

    • Mike L. Willis

      Perfect example of being blind. Deceived people don’t have the ability to see that they are deceived. The whole purpose of what GOD is doing at Harvest is to BE divisive. Truth divides! The truth is what sets people free! (John 8:32)

      Luke 12:51 Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather DIVISION!: The other problem is “broken people” should NOT be leading. False teachers and false doctrine likes to keep sheep with no power over sin. NO WHERE in scripture does it say we have to continue in sin once your TRULY a child of God. All reference to not being able to live above sin is “past tense” in a unregenerated state. That’s why there’s no power in the “so-called church”, because of the heritics that run them. Holy men full of faith built up in faith, tried, proven, with sound doctrine who are CALLED BY God, not with some seminary degree who just parrots the false doctrines of those institutions, who have victory OVER sin should be leading.

      Jesus commanded us to BE perfect as He is perfect in Matthew 5:48 along with dozens of other new testament verse’s that speak on being perfect or perfection. Perfect doesn’t mean we don’t make “mistakes” or aren’t capable of sinning. Is God perfect? Is His word perfect? Therefore if we declare his word and “walk” after his word, then we are living perfect. A green apple is not yet ripe, but it is PERFECT in the state that it’s in.

      The end game is to LOVE what God loves and HATE what God hates. God hates institutional churches, and thats why he’s judging them. Cheer up….it’s gonna get worse! Churches like harvest big and small are going to start falling like domino’s. God’s cup of iniquity is full! (Google that one!)

    • Fisher

      Katherine, you’ve provided a classic example of diverting the focus from the sin and mismanagement of James and his elders by accusing others of sin. It seems James was quite good at this tactic. So were his elders. Check out the guest post on Julie’s blog Feb 21, 2019 which outlines in detail how the Harvest elders used this diversionary method over and over and why it’s a sure sign of spiritual abuse.

    • Shocked

      Well said

    • David

      KATHERINE I DO NOT HAVE YOUR PHONE NUMBER I WOULD LIKE TO READ TO YOU and EXPLAIN….. 1THES 2:7-12 out of the KJV for effect , it talks about God Himself sending a strong delusion….. I am kinda hoping you are related to someone in leadership (I say that lightly) here so maybe you could pass the message along after you hear it….. would that be ok Thanks

      • David

        By the way……. James and HIS elders ….. YIKES!!!

  13. I wouldn’t let those two on the picture to walk my dogs not to mention running the church in some capacity. You can clearly see the are walloping weirdos.

  14. Susan Vonder Heide

    I think that it is important to distinguish between perpetrators and passive witnesses. I suspect that more people would have come forward despite the personal cost if they had thought that there was any real chance of influencing change in that environment.

  15. “…This audit is necessary as Harvest Bible Chapel is $42 million dollars in debt, even with two of our seven properties being gifted to us. This debt at a minimum indicates gross mismanagement and likely even theft and embezzlement. ”

    And here is impostor MacDonald telling you about debt @ 1:40 and financial integrity at 2:03… He was good, wasn’t he? Let that sink in and be an exercise in preparing for future impostors and actors who will be even more convincing:

  16. formerharvestmember

    While it was appropriate for Luke and Landon to resign, the blogosphere should be careful about throwing too much shade on them for their misconduct. They grew up in a warped environment, this is all they’ve known. I doubt any of us would have done much better.

    On the other hand, speaking as a former Niles attender, I respectfully disagree with the people who think Mo should stay. Niles was not well-run under his watch. A number of events were poorly organized, it was hard to get involved with volunteering because HBC staff were nonresponsive, and joining a small group was difficult for the same reason. Plus the pastoral care was nonexistent when church members were hurting. It’s not like he could use the burden of delivering weekly sermons as an excuse for such neglect.

    All this is from personal experience, so I’m not interested in hearing anyone else say “Well, things were fine for ME, so it must have been great for EVERYONE.” It wasn’t.

    Furthermore, Mo had plenty of opportunity to leave but chose to remain, knowing full well the toxic culture of HBC. He nearly did leave a year or two ago, but opted to stay put. A six-figure salary for doing very little must be a sweet gig.

    If he’s asked for forgiveness, and he’s sincere, that’s great. But there still should be consequences for his actions, and one of them should be resignation or dismissal from HBC.

    • Mo must have been too busy riding is harley with MacDonald and gang. As to Macdonald sons…. They are grown men in their 30s… Had enough time to know better, especially if they read those bibles they preached from. For crying out loud, they knew what they were doing and laugh about it all the way to the bank.

    • Katie

      Blaming Mo for some poorly run events is a little silly. There are specific people who reach out to those who want to volunteer. Just as there are specific people who reach out to those who want to join small groups. I was a small group leader. Leaders get an email/text NOT from Mo first telling them to reach out to the person who is interested in the small group. If it takes forever it’s probably on the small group leader. I got an email once and I had a family memeber who passed away and so it took almost three weeks to get back to someone. I should have been faster about it but that was completely on me and not the pastor. As for pastoral care, just because something went wrong there for you does not mean it’s poorly run. I know many people at Harvest that have had Mo reach out through a phone call or pulling them aside and talking. Yes Mo definitely has his faults for remaining silent. However, did Jesus end Peter’s work after denying him three times? What about the other disciples who chose to all run away out of fear? If there is sincere repentance and there is clearly change I don’t see why he has to go?

    • David

      Thank you for shedding light on the system of Mo , it was not and did not work did it…
      YOU CA NOT FIX SOMETHING (A SYSTEM) THAT IS NOT SUPPOSE TO EXIST
      By the way 6 figures , 5 figures whatever it is, is called stealing and theft when the job done is sub par.

      • David

        Hi Katie , Mo has to go , first of all because he is not a pastor , he is a hireling and a hireling cares not for the sheep , the words of our LORD and Savior.
        Your words – What about the other disciples who chose to all run away out of fear? This is exactly what I have been suggesting on these blogs…. WAKE UP! and RUN RUN RUN and be ye separate
        saith the Lord and touch not the unclean thing and I shall receive you…………

  17. HitlersYouth

    This is simply history repeating itself over and over and over again… The witnesses we’re the guards at the camps… But they were doing good by as a whole, to their own accords, in spite of the Riddler’s missgivings. They paraded in front of the people, giving them hope, structure and prosperity… Though it seemed. But there was just that one character flaw they all looked past because so much “good” was being done… Although, in the three instance of Harvest, there were no gas Chambers.. just hurt feelings… But I’ll tell you this the CFO always knows where all the bodies are buried… Someone better move to discovery before they’re in an island in the Caribbean… Oh.. maybe they already are? Naples to the Caribbean.. not too far right!?

  18. carolynrussell9237

    Thank you Julie for keeping us up to date on what’s happening at Harvest. Harvest stated they would keep us up to date but still haven’t sent out a notice to members that Luke and Landon resigned. The only thing they did was remove them from their website.

  19. Patrick Gaffney

    My question is, if Harvest has cut ties with James MacDonald, why is the website still linking to WALK IN THE WORD 1 week and a half later?

  20. Don Jones

    Another aspect that I think will be important to watch is the affect that this will have on the ECFA. ECFA gave HBC a clean bill of health financially, from what I have read. If after an external audit is conducted, it is determined that there was financial impropriety taking place, this will certainly hurt ECFA. It may be that they weren’t shown the complete books. There will be a ripple effect to all of this. I do wish ECFA the best and not passing judgment on them until we have facts. Just something to consider in all of this debacle.

    • joemisek

      EFCA gave HBC a clean bill of health, in the years where supposedly almost $300k went missing and the CFO was terminated, and funds were shifted around from different ministries against donor intent. EFCA never apparently never thought there was a biblical problem with the deer herd and other ministries paying for it. If the feds come in and open up the HBC books, uncovering major issues, EFCA certainly better be ready to explain for their little goof-up.

    • David

      I am considering it right now Don and Every Christian Fraud Available is just part of the SYSTEM that was set up a long time ago. Apparently Billy set this up and Billy died with $25,000,000 in the bank…… DO NOT BE DECEIVED and thank you for that tid bit of info , very interesting….. one needs to ask ones self … who is at the head of all this

  21. Shocked

    Julie, I use to listen to you on wmbi. I also use to listen to Pastor James. I understand in this life we want justice but in my opinion you have gone too far dear sister. It is so sad that all of you and your blogs have spent all this time on this. I have been a Christian for many years but never did I think I would witness something so grieving. May God have mercy on us all. Please stop.

    • So if you ignore it it isn’t really happening????

    • I hope your not a Doctor or a machanic.

    • David

      I have been a Christian for many years but never did I think I would witness something so grieving. May God have mercy on us all. Please stop.
      GET BEHIND ME satan FOR THOU ART AN OFFENCE UNTO ME: FOR THOU SAVOUREST NOT THE THINGS THAT BE OF GOD BUT THOSE THAT BE OF MEN

    • Mickey F

      Certainly this letter needed to be written, but this raises a lot of questions to an outsider. What is a security team and why are there so many of them? I assume pastoral security = bodyguard? Did Jmac have a 24/7 security detail? Was anyone on the security team(s) armed? Were women not allowed to sign on this letter? Not even wives? Do women have any voice?

  22. Sft

    All of those close enough to see experienced plenty of what James did, I don’t know what they profited that is yet to be determined by a possible audit and opening the books. They failed to take action and the consequences should be letting them go. They did not protect the flock and allowed what has been discussed on many previous posts. They are part of what James did. There were godly men who stood up and we’re let go. They have now been vindicated.

  23. Steve P

    A criminal investigation needs to take place at Harvest. A complete and total house cleaning needs to be done to show every Elder and Pastor of Harvest the door. James McDonalds assets should be frozen while the criminal investigation unfolds. The McDonalds assets should be sold and returned to the church with new leaders and a new church name. It’s time for “Little Jimmy” to man up and pay for his sins. Choose to Sin, Choose to Suffer! That is what James McDonald taught.

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