Chairman of Harvest’s Elder Board Resigns; Executive Committee to Resign Soon

By Julie Roys
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Admitting that they had “collectively failed” to oversee the church properly, the five-member executive committee of elders at Harvest Bible Chapel tonight announced that they will all be resigning over the next few months and a replacement executive committee will be put in place.

Also today, Ron Duitsman—a member of the executive committee and chairman of the larger 34-member elder board—announced his resignation in an email, which was sent to elders and eventually leaked to me.

The announcement concerning the executive committee—the group that makes all the financial and legal decisions for the church—was read by Executive Elder William Sperling to a packed crowd at Harvest’s Rolling Meadows campus. However, no mention was made of Duitsman’s resignation.

At the service, Sperling said the past week had been “without a question one of the most difficult weeks in the history of our church.”

“Sperling said the past week had been ‘without a question one of the most difficult weeks in the history of our church.'”

On Tuesday, the elders fired Harvest founding pastor, James MacDonald, for “engaging in conduct that the Elders believe is contrary and harmful to the best interests of the church.” According to a statement posted to Harvest’s website, the decision was “accelerated” after Chicago radio and TV personality, Mancow Muller, aired vulgar and defamatory comments by MacDonald on his radio show.

Sperling admitted that over the years, various former elders, staff, and members of the church had complained about James MacDonald’s behavior and “its overall effect on Harvest’s culture.” He added that “part of the complexity” concerning the elders response to those complaints was MacDonald’s occasional willingness to submit to increased accountability.

However, Sperling said in the past several weeks, the elders had concluded that MacDonald’s behavior was not “above reproach.” Instead, Sperling said MacDonald exhibited “a sinful pattern of inappropriate language, anger and domineering behavior.”

Sperling admitted that the elders had not provided the necessary “direction, discipline and response time” regarding MacDonald and asked for the congregation’s forgiveness. He also said that he and the other members of the executive committee would resign.

An earlier draft of the elders’ announcement, which was leaked to me early this morning, called on the elder board to be reduced to 17 over the next few months. Tonight, Sperling said the board’s large size was a problem, and said there would be changes regarding the “composition and structure of the full elder board.” But he didn’t specify what those would be.

The earlier draft also called on the entire board of more than 30 elders to resign by the end of 2019. However, in Duitsman’s email, he said he felt that having all the elders resign seemed tantamount to punishing everyone “for the acts of someone who was our spiritual leader and was misleading us in a very unqualifying way.”

“Duitsman’s email also revealed a very divided board, noting that some elders ‘refuse to come under the authority of the Elder Board’ and are ‘assisting in the bludgeoning of the Bride of Christ.’”

He added, “There is much talk of resigning by many, let me be the first to lead in that, effective immediately.” Duitsman’s email also revealed a very divided board, noting that some elders “refuse to come under the authority of the Elder Board” and are “assisting in the bludgeoning of the Bride of Christ.”

The earlier draft also stated that it was “inappropriate to pursue a lawsuit against some of those outside the church” who raised issues about the church and MacDonald. This was omitted from the statement read tonight.

Also tonight, Sperling announced that Harvest’s Naples campus will be returned to local autonomy and will continue to be led by its current elders and staff. Earlier this week, Harvest Naples announced it had hired Russell Taylor to serve as its new interim pastor to replace founding Pastor John Secrest. Secrest was fired by Harvest several weeks ago for “insubordination” when he objected to Harvest’s plans to allow MacDonald to preach at the Naples campus during MacDonald’s earlier “indefinite sabbatical.”

Sperling also announced that Harvest will not be moving forward with plans to establish a new campus in the Hinsdale area. He said plans would remain on hold “while we evaluate the needed improvements in our governance and the way we do ministry.”

Also addressing the congregation tonight was a tearful Rick Korte, a member of the congregation who will be leading a transition team called “Harvest 2020.”

Korte announced that the members of the team will be Crystal Lake Campus Pastor Greg Bradshaw, Senior Ministry Director Laura Wiegle, and Elders Brian Musso, Tod Desmarais, and Mike Collett. Korte also said that Harvest had retained  several “outside professionals with relevant experience,” but didn’t name any of them.

“If we haven’t done something in 30, 60, 90 days, if this team is not able to push us forward, then I will walk with you hand-in-hand and leave.”

However, the earlier version of tonight’s announcement said that the church had contracted with Lawrence Swicegood, a somewhat surprising choice. Swicegood is director of media for Gateway Church, a Texas megachurch that in 2017 had to lay off staff because it had overspent revenues by $23 million. The church also has repeatedly invited disgraced pastor and close friend of MacDonald’s, Mark Driscoll, to speak at its conferences.

Another somewhat surprising choice was the preacher for tonight’s sermon at Harvest, Assistant Senior Pastor and Elder Rick Donald. Donald has been at Harvest from its inception and is considered one of MacDonald’s closest friends and allies. Brian and Tammy Anderson, who attended Harvest for 10 years, told me they left the service when Donald began speaking and so did about 30 to 40 other people. 

Despite issues at Harvest, Korte urged the congregation not to leave, but to give the transition team a chance to change things. Though the congregation was extremely quiet during Sperling’s statement, it cheered after some of Korte’s statements.

“If we haven’t done something in 30, 60, 90 days, if this team is not able to push us forward, then I will walk with you hand-in-hand and leave,” Korte said. “But I want you to stay with us now.”

Watch video of tonight’s announcement below:

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155 thoughts on “Chairman of Harvest’s Elder Board Resigns; Executive Committee to Resign Soon”

  1. PLEASE STOP USING THE WORDS PASTOR , PASTORAL ETC , YOU ARE PERPETUATING
    A LIE EVERY TIME THE WORD IS USED BEFORE THEIR NAMES . THEY ARE HIRELINGS
    PERIOD (John 10:12) THEY DID NOT GO FROM A PASTOR TO A HIRELING , THEY ALL WERE
    HIRELINGS FROM THE BEGINNING (unless someone volunteered in the beginning) NOW THEY ARE RUNNING WHEN ALL OF YOU SHOULD BE ……. RUN! Find the REAL Shepherd with everything you have and listen for HIS voice (John 10:27) The voice you want to hear is not in the SYSTEM. ALL BEFORE WAS MASSIVE DECEPTION , THE THIEF COMES NOT BUT TO STEAL,
    KILL and DESTROY. Steal more than money , kill any faith one had and destroy your soul forever,
    all premeditated a long time ago…………RUN

    1. It is curious to me that they have now seemingly granted Secrest’s request to restore the church’s autonomy, acknowledged his firing was wrong, yet have not restored him as the pastor. They have lost any right to a say in this church from this point forward, and I hope the congregation demands their removal and anyone else they have appointed.

  2. I would like to echo the earlier sentiments about the dialogue of this comments section. A lot of self-proclaiming Christians in this thread seem to be gleefully dancing on James MacDonald’s grave and what could be the end of Harvest, with little regard for the broken hearts, spirits, finances and lives that this chaos leaves in its wake. And let’s not forget that a world of unbelievers is watching all the chaos and mudslinging on BOTH sides, using it as a reason to doubt the church and the power of the gospel.
    There is nothing to be cheered for here. Nothing Godly will come from doing an “I told you so!” dance. Nothing Godly will come from taking a “that’s not good enough!” stance either. From the sounds of it, there is nothing any past or present leaders, elders or even friends of Harvest can do to appease the judgements and appetites for destruction of the people on here. You want your pound of flesh and more, and no apology will do it. (After all, from the sounds of it, all of you know the hearts of every leader who has apologized, so you know that there’s no way any of them could truly be sorry.) THAT attitude needs to be taken before the Lord and laid at the foot of the cross right alongside all the sins of the Harvest leaders.
    It is time to leave Harvest alone and let them heal. Shame on whoever is leaking all these messages for a public blog. Shame on those who have been attending services not to pray for healing or to praise the Lord but to critically take notes for a blog. How can you judge the intentions of those from the pulpit when you showed up at church with ungodly intentions of your own? Churches are families…imagine if your family was in crisis and someone was leaking comments from your family meetings, emails and texts for an outsider to blog about for the world to judge, laugh, and hope for your destruction. Would your ability to be transparent be hindered knowing there was someone who is ready to publicly blast, doubt, and humiliate you in your midst?
    I would like to see nothing but repentance, a return to God and His word, and moving forward under His provision ON ALL SIDES. It grieves me to see all this drama that takes so much attention away from the gospel. The devil truly has his foothold on BOTH sides.
    There are no winners here. We need to stop the “right fighting” and get on our knees before the Lord. Let HIM decide what happens next, not our emotions or desire for vengeance and to be right.

    1. Absolutely right. The way JMac and his crew behaved for decades was disgusting, but so also is the behavior of some supposed Christians during the last few weeks.

    2. It is time to leave Harvest alone and let them heal.

      So you’re suggesting it’s time to leave a church that still has all but two of the original leadership team in charge after years of inaction and who only took acted when the public pressure and glare of publicity became too great to ignore alone?

      There is no evidence that they should be left alone and trusted to do the right thing yet. They still haven’t apologized to Julie and the other victims of their malicious law suit. Indeed, they said right there on the stage that they will be more open in their communications and they should be judged by their actions in the next few weeks, so let’s wait and see what happens. If the same people who enabled MacDonald’s behavior are still there at the end of this process, then more public attention will be needed.

      1. Amen!

        “If I sit next to a madman as he drives a car into a group of innocent bystanders, I can’t, as a Christian, simply wait for the catastrophe, then comfort the wounded and bury the dead. I must try to wrestle the steering wheel out of the hands of the driver.”

        Dietrich Bonhoeffer

        1. Hope after Harvest

          What a great quote. People are watching Gods people and see Harvest as just another reason to not want to be part of God. They see the taking of large sums of money, they see arrogance, they see a regular arrogant man that says he is a pastor, they see a pastor telling everyone to give sacrificially, only to live a lavish life… I had many years of tough times there, he was not a nice person. Took a while to heal. But, people are watching how we bring truth and love so that there can be forgiveness and restoration. Maybe not now, as the truth must come out and a new course set for Harvest with capable leaders. But be careful, as people are watching. This quote is good and the wheel should be wrestled away to set the course correctly toward God with humility. Christianity Inc unfortunately requires a celebrity pastor, but true God followers only need to show Gods love to others to grow a church. I hope some of these issues with so many churches turn our hearts once again towards God alone.

      2. No, that’s not what I’m saying not at all. HBC has a lot coming to the surface that needs be dealt with. What will become of “now that they are in pain, let’s leak messages and disrupt prayer meetings”? Yes, THAT is what’s happening, and when that is the answer, I don’t see anything good coming from that. So that’s when I say, “let it be and let them deal with it.”
        I DO question the motive of those who show up at an HBC prayer meeting and start shouting from the back of the sanctuary only to be escorted out (yes, that happened). I DO question the motive of those showing up at HBC services only to take notes to “leak” to outsiders. I am just not convinced that will help. I don’t see that supporting the confused, hurting members. I see little more than creating a scene, getting the latest gossip, and refusing to leave it alone until everyone is vengefully and publicly humiliated.
        This is not the first church scandal I have been through. Having been through one where I wanted to see the church through it….and having been through one where I wanted complete and utter upheaval, mass firings, and blood, sweat and tears from everyone who was ever in the pulpit, I can truly say the way some people are going about this won’t bring about the “Godly repentance” they CLAIM to want. (Emphasis on “claim” intended).
        I understand all the anger, hurt, and even hatred many may feel more than you know. But when you’re allowing those emotions to lead you to show up shouting in the sanctuary, good won’t come of it.

        1. If you are referring to Dan Keller, he’s on this comment thread. Why don’t you ask him what happened? I think he will disagree with your account.

          1. Has more than one person been escorted out of Harvest recently?

            I only know of one, and his account and the recording of it, differs significantly from your written comment. Can you clarify?

          2. These questions are directed at H.M., but I wanted to keep them together. Looking forward to learning more!

      3. Speaking of apologies, I love this quote from Bill Sperling, an elder on the executive committee, per a recent Chicago Tribune article: “We failed to identify opportunities to prevent new grievances”. I’m going to try that on my husband next time I owe him an apology.

    3. Also, having just read the entire comment thread, I see very little “glee” at the course of events at HBC. I see anger that it was allowed to go on for so long, anger and concern that the right steps will not be made to correct it, and relief that something is finally happening.

      So enough of the self-righteous hectoring. You’re doing nothing but stoking the flames of the controversy by misrepresenting what the people of HBC are saying here.

      1. And how do you know I haven’t been a member of HBC through all this?
        And I refuse to believe I’m stoking the flames of controversy more than those leaking memos for blogs and shouting in the back of the church.
        When one has been sinned against on this level (which MANY have been in this case), it can tough to see past all the anger and hurt and realize that a response to sin can also be sinful. It is more natural to react out of emotion or want vengeance. I get it.
        I just don’t think the way some people are going about this will get them the reaction they want.

    4. I’ve seen comments in several articles on this topic condemning churches and Christianity in general. I like to point out that the majority of us churches have less than 100 members and cannot afford to pay their pastors a full-time salary, much less a lavish salary.

      I agree there are ppl on both sides that need to check their eyes for logs. However, I hope these happenings can be a lesson that all churches need to: maintain 100% financial transparency; have little or no debt; focus resources on reaching and serving people and not real estate; maintain strict “separation of powers” so there are always checks and balances on all leaders, no matter how beloved.

  3. It really saddened me that it was said to leave this church was taking the easy way out. We were there for 17 years and left in October. Let me tell you that it was NOT the easy way to leave with our kids and find another body of believers to worship with. It is so far from the truth to say those that leave take the easy way. We could not in good conscience stay in a church going against God’s word filing a lawsuit, lying to it’s members, and the hypocrisy. We as Christian’s could not support that in Christ’s church. As Christians, we are all one in Christ. For us to find another body of believer’s to worship with, does not make us any less of a Christian. We have seen the Harvest wayi isfor people to think otherwise, and treat us accordingly. It is also being encouraged in the pulpit.

    1. Susan Vonder Heide

      I appreciate the comments of Not the easy way. The important thing is fidelity to Jesus Christ, not being in a certain church building at a certain time every week. Sure, people sometimes leave particular churches for silly reasons, but people also sometimes leave particular churches for very valid reasons having to do with better following the Lord.

    2. Not the easy way- I am happy for you that you left last October and found a new church in which I trust God has placed you and yours in a happy church family.
      As a handyman, I always thought it was easier to move into a new place with the improvements already done then to stay in a place that just got a major hit by a tornado.

      I do not recollect hearing Harvest say that those who choose to move on are lessor Christians. In fact,
      it is to God’s goodness that He allows us to choose our places for serving and worshiping Him. Many Christians around the world do not have such choices.
      If it is His will that Harvest survives the turmoil, it is to God’s Glory. If it is not, so be it and we will move on prayerfully and carefully.
      Either way, this should not be an issue if as believing Christians we put our trust in God that one day soon we will all live together for all eternity.
      Peace-

  4. Very disappointing, James disqualifying traits have been known for over a decade. Those speaking now and some of those charged with figuring out a path forward have been up close witnesses to this for as long. I pray that God shepherds His flock to healthy churches. The lack of discernment that Harvest, it’s leaders and staff have shown allowing James to rule the church, to run up debt and act in such an ungodly fashion is disturbing and shows how blinded the culture still is to the truth of the circumstances that have preceded James firing.

    Turn the keys over to the bank, Shepard the flock to healthy church’s and turn off the lights on the way out.

    I pray for all affected and I pray that James and Hybels and others will serve as reminders that mega churches and rock star pastors are not part of God’s plan, He can use them to His glory because He is a mighty God, but our Faith should reside in Christ alone!

    We serve a mighty God, the same God who spoke the world into creation and parted the Red Sea, He does not require a bank loan to carry out His will!

      1. We were told that was the elder board, speaking in consensus.

        The Catholic church doesn’t go that far. The Pope is only speaking for God in magisterium, and on a matter of doctrine. Quite rare.

  5. Jesus said clearly…. Who is my mother , and who is my brethren , behold MY mother and MY brethren. For whosoever shall DO the will of my Father which is IN HEAVEN (not the devil), the same is MY BROTHER and SISTER and mother (Mat 12:48-50) Not everybody that says Lord Lord shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven…….
    Also please begin not to use the word CHURCH concerning this situation, this SYSTEM is part of the World System and under the control of the enemy of our souls who owns it
    Heb 10:26 clearly says For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins. Therefore any broken hearts,spirits, finances, lives
    and chaos is on our heads , we were disobedient , we were wrong. As far as any little ones that have been hurt, God knows whose are His and is well able to keep each and every one.
    IF one or more STAY IN the system please dont think that God the Father has to decide anything
    for that was written along time ago and reserved…….. 2 Peter 3:7
    Come out from among them and be ye separate saith the Lord and touch NOT the unclean thing and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you and you shall be my sons and daughters saith the LORD ALMIGHTY

  6. Since these Harvest leaders condone suing innocent people for bogus defamation claims it is proof that when they are under heat, they resort to secular means of solutions to resolve their problems. According to 2 Cor 2:2-5, a Christians sword is spiritual to overcome Spiritual strongholds. Jesus says “You will know them by their fruit”. They showed by their bad fruit who they are.

    1. I think it goes much worse than that. I have been around Harvest for around many years and have been horrified by their real actions. Like when I reached out to get help for a suicidal family member and was told by Brit Gilman that he could not help them because they were not saved. He didn’t call them, visit, or help me in any way. This man is a pastor? Wow! Or when family was very sick and died and not one reached out and asked how I was. I requested someone call or pray but they were too busy. The only one who showed up for me was the Lord. AMEN! Perhaps to reveal to me the evil present at Harvest. There are more of these stories. I was so grieved to learn my church was not there for me at my worst times in life, but God strengthened my faith and heart to know he always is there for me. Thank you Lord Jesus for caring for this sheep!

      1. I have got important news for you lostsheep72 ….. BY THEIR FRUIT YOU SHALL KNOW THEM
        RUN RUN RUN and BE SEPARATE and yes thank the Lord He has given you the understanding of what is His and what is not.
        Brit Gilman is that true that you spoke to one of my little ones like that, it would be better for you that a millstone were hung about your neck and tossed into the deepest ocean…… and we all know that that type of thing could not possibly have only happened just one that one time, right Brit.Brit Brit Brit what shall we do with you…… I fear greatly for you

        1. Thank you David for caring for the abused. I will forever be horrified of that man’s response. Praise the living God we can trust him and thank him for this light to shed on so much darkness.

          1. Dear Foundsheep72,
            Thank you for noticing……. I greatly love HIS people, David actually means Beloved of the Lord, so somewhere early in my journey I realized that I…freely received and I am to freely give
            and that even if I give my body to be burned…. without love I am NOTHING…
            It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the LIVING GOD and we are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling……. but I also see the fiery indignation and FURY in moving heaven and earth to reach you when you CRY out to Him with ALL of your heart….
            If I may suggest , get yourself a KJV and Concordance and even begin searching the words of this message to you (I left the verses out for a reason) I believe you will be amazed and encouraged at what you shall find……
            Man shall NOT live by bread alone but by EVERY word that proceeds out of the mouth of God and in this journey we NEED to hear HIS voice and be led of HIS spirit and another voice we WILL NOT hear….. Amen

  7. Aside from how HBC’s people are hurting, what is Harvest’s witness in the larger community? James MacDonald is somewhat notorious in Elgin and surrounding towns for tearing a strip off anyone who got in his way or slowed him down. How did this go on so long?

    1. There is no aside from “how HBCs people are hurting”. We ARE hurting and this is going to umpact a lot of people who only knew Jesus through what Harvest did for them.
      If you are a Christ-follower, how can you be so mean and harbor such hatred and short-sightedness?

      People around Elgin will have to do without many things which witnessed the love of Christ through Harvest Bible Chapel for unbelieving people in the Elgin community.

      So tell us,
      How will you give and fix cars for single working mothers unable to afford cars of their own?
      How will you provide hundreds of Thanksgiving turkey dinners complete with huge turkeys, pies and all the dinner stuff for qualifying families in the Elgin area?
      How will you provide hundreds of backpacks filled with required school supplies for students whose parents cannot afford them?
      How will you provide the food pantry that Harvest runs?
      How will you provide the holiday store at Christmas in Elgin for kids like those with incarcerated parents?

      Maybe you guys and Julie and Mancow and the 2 elephant guys will do what we may not be able to do.
      It’s going to be sad for a lot of people for years to come- and not just for us Christians who decide to remain at Harvest.
      What will you tell Jesus when He asks you how you fed Him and clothed Him?

      You guys should be wanting to help us out instead of slapping our faces over and over.
      No wonder Christianity is dying in the west.

      1. I’m guessing that HBC is not the only church in Elgin. You don’t have a divine right to exist you know. Other congregations would be there if HBC was not.

      2. cheerios, tacitus, former member-
        You really don’t get it, do you? Am I Pastor James? No. Is he still in charge of Harvest? No. So why are you guys punishing me – and the others who are choosing to stay at Harvest – Why are you punishing us for the sins of James?
        cheerios, tacitus, former member-
        So when will your anger be spent? And what will it take for you to leave us alone? Are you intentionally trying to kill our faith in God? Because that is what your continued belittling of Harvest is doing to those who are left. Why do you hate us? What are MY sins that you think you are entitled to destroy what little faith in God I have left within me as I try to rely on that faith to help others like me stand back up?

        1. Maybe James should come and apologize to HBC. And also to Elgin.

          And you could try a different church. Harvest may be hurting your heart.

          Stop commenting here if you think we are trying to kill your faith in God. And get the help of some wise spiritual counselors.

      3. Keep in mind people gave their money for this. JMac and the HBC staff didnt do it by themselves. I simply took my tithe and gave it to another church to continue helping others. HBC is not the only one helping.

      4. Don, I want to extend to you and other current or former Harvest members the love and acceptance of Jesus. I for one have prayed much for everyone involved. It is not easy to face betrayal. It’s even harder for those who experienced the abuse face to face or in their families. Hurting people have many ways to deal with pain. Some will cry, some will yell in anger. Some will “vomit” emotionally through what appear to others as inappropriate comments on sites like this. I will give grace to all these people and all their responses of hurt because while they are grieving we need to cut people some slack. If in one year people are still expressing their hurt inappropriately that’s the time to gently and kindly help them.

    2. He is notorious around Elgin for not being a nice man…some one commented when James was mentioned…I would never consider him a man of God…..ask the people at the dealership where he got his vehicle how he behaved when his vehicle was not ready when he thought it should have been..or any of his golf caddies or employees at Elgin county club

    3. What is worse is allow to this disaster to continue and give the believers and unbelievers hope that this is a real church for God. The truth must be told so it can set the captives free. I am beginning to believe we might be witnessing the worse Judgment of all spoken by Jesus which is that of a hard heart and to blaspheme the Holy Spirit. James appears to have a hard heart! Scary!

  8. H.M. many people you speak of ARE Hurting Harvest family members who have walked away still licking their spiritual wounds trying to make sense, hear truth from the pulpit(still waiting) that they once trusted and sound the trumpet of warning when necessary. This is not a witch Hunt. No one is a winner. Tears fall! So remove your log. The avalanche of hurt caused by the same people you suggest people are attacking is REAL. Don’t minimize it.

    1. I don’t see how I minimized it when I literally said the SAME thing: No one is a winner here.
      Even amidst whatever commuppance is coming (and I believe more will come), no one will come out “winning.” People will still be left hurting, angry, and confused. Non-believers will look at this is as yet another reason not to turn to Christ.
      No winners AT ALL.

  9. Yes agreed
    Does everybody remember when Jesus rebuked Peter to his face calling him satan…. Thou art an offense unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men

  10. Julie-
    I’m really hurting like all the thousands and thousands of other people in the body of Christ who called Harvest their church home.
    From the bottom of my heart, I would never want my worst enemy of even a religion hostile to Christianity to experience what we are going through right now. No flood or hurricane or earthquake could do the damage to so many people as has been done to us who were (and still are) the body of Christ at Harvest. The hate and names we are still being called, the continuing accusations against even us, the members, the weeks turning into months of uncertainty, the failing faith in God of more than I thought, and the hopelessness and confusion of many is overwhelming.

    But worst is the underwhelming to the total lack of compassion, understanding, and prayers from Christians not of the Harvest fold.

    This is why I really need for you to accept the apology I made to you several weeks ago when I made an unkind remark about your Anglican church.

    Please reply to my apology or tell me why you choose not to forgive.

    Thanks.

    1. I understand you are hurting. Being deceived by the one place, that should be a safe place is hard to reconcile. However, I believe your anger is pointing in the wrong direction. What I wish all the existing members would consider is to have compassion for those who have had unthinkable damage done to our families personally. You should also see this as a blessing for yourselves to only have to deal with the great disappointment of a man and the system instead of having to spend years restoring the faith of your own children and family. Do you not realize those of us who left broken also grieved the experiences you are now? Be thankful to God you don’t have the irreparable consequences of being one of many families who suffered at the hand of James McDonald and his Elders. I Believe you are all hurt by the revelation and depth of James sin. You need to understand their are faces and names to these victims. You should have more compassion for them then yourselves.

      This is more evidence to the affect of spiritual abuse. When one can have more empathy for the abuser and for your own loss/hurt, over the actual victims and their suffering, there is something very wrong. Not invalidating your loss and grief. Just making the point needed.

      If I was unaware of my pastor and elders extreme abuse on God’s people, I would be shocked and hurt but I would certainly have the most compassion for the families who the abuse was perpetrated on. Compassion has to go both ways.

  11. Julie- Sorry I made so many comments but you sure have attracted a bunch of Christ-haters as your followers.
    I can’t believe how rude, insensitive and hateful the majority are.
    Maybe you could investigate what makes christians such lousy Christ-followers and such self-righteous and opinionated old busybodies.

    Sad this is what Christ’s love looks like between members of His church.

    1. Many many comments are from ex Harvest attenders. From their comments you hear the pain they had at Harvest. Disillusionment and anger focused at Harvest at having been hurt. I hope those folks can gain peace and closure. Find a new healthy church.

  12. My take on Sunday’s 9AM service – At least Jeff D seemed contrite. Rick Donald. hey, noone wants to talk about this anymore, time to move on!

  13. When people resort to nasty remarks about those raising concerns about an organization, particularly a purportedly Christian organization, one suspects that the facts may not be on their side. Blaming the messenger is a poor substitute for honestly dealing with the message.

  14. I am hoping HBC clarifies publically that those resigning thus far are from the Executive Elder Committee, not the Executive Leadership Team. It has confused many people including the press based on the articles I’ve read.

    The Executive Leadership Team link has been removed from the HBC website but the individuals from this team have not resigned. They are now lumped in with numerous other staff bios under “Central Leadership Team”.

    I did email the Elders and request public clarification on this and trust they will do so very soon.

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