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Reporting the Truth.
Restoring the Church.

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

By Julie Roys

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.”

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

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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.”

[pullquote]”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.’”[/pullquote]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.

[pullquote]“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.”[/pullquote]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 Responses

  1. I was encouraged with this post until you mentioned Gateway Church would be involved. Is this a joke? Trust me, Gateway Church is the Americanized Church on steroids. What a sad state of affairs happening.

  2. I’m very disappointed in the makeup of the Harvest 2020 committee. To pick someone who has only attended Harvest for 4 years to lead the committee? And to pick someone who is a CEO to lead this committee. Ugh. Are we desiring to restore a church to health or to rejuvenate a large corporation. I’m disappointed that three elders that allowed this behavior are on this committee. I’m disappointed that a campus pastor is on this committee. Why are the “typical congregants” not on the committee.

    For those desiring change at Harvest, I’m not sure this committee will bring much change or transparecy. If I am wrong, I will fully own that.

    1. Disqualifying someone because they are a CEO would be the same as choosing one because he is a CEO.

      I left Harvest back in October 2012 and believe Harvest should shut the doors. There is nothing at harvest that is worth saving. The friendships, the relationships etc will survive as the Lord wills, but the rest of it is a product of the man centered nonsense that has been going on for years.

      Let the people fill the chairs of the churches that have faithful elders and pastors across the Chicagoland area.

      1. I am greatly offended and hurt that someone would say, “there is nothing left saving at Harvest”. Please don’t discount an entire church body for the actions of a person or group within the church. Would you say that to the Lord about us?

    2. If the 2020 team is serious and sincere, they should do three things. 1. Remove the 20 percentage black ops hidden budget and allow the congregation to l see a line by line expenditure and financial report. 2. How will the church get out of their $42 million debt without asking for more tithes, cutting ministries, less funding for missionaries, 3. Pay for the legal fees and compensate the five people that were sued and then withdrawn. 4. Require Pastor James to meet the congregation in person to either deny the allegations or take responsibilities for his actions and ask for forgiveness. Healing can only start if he is honest for closure.

  3. Marty – We have given them a chance. FOR 20 YEARS!

    Sperling had no passion and he PAID FOR THE LAWSUIT!

    Korte was a salesman.

    Learned spoke rote and was not filled with the spirit. Just reading his words.

    Donald’s mouth spewed twisted lies.

    There were some positives but too little, too late. They better move fast with the new “2020” BRAND – had to have a brand, didn’t it? Is a logo going to follow? There is hope, yes, but it isn’t looking good.

  4. Wow , everybody run for your eternal lives, come out from among them, run run run and while you are… WAKE UP and realize that you were all part of a system called the WORLD SYSTEM using the name of God and His dear Son to perpetrate deception on a very large scale. This is happening all over the country.”What is it then Brethren? when you come together, EVERY one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, etc etc ACTS 14:26 , where does it say ever to have ONE bigshot?? Our Lord Jesus is the HEAD. How many thousands each week think it’s OK ? Where was one voice
    in the whole shabang? Oh I know… they left. Yikes now you are going to do the SAME THING over
    again (from my understanding) with some of the SAME SHAMEFUL PLAYERS and a new CEO (that doesn’t know any better cause he’s young in the LORD (hopefully “in”) May God forgive you sir…. RUN AWAY AS FAST AS YOU CAN. To the other one – you think you have seen a storm?
    Oh my I do fear for you, you knew everything that was going on and participated daily for how long ?
    You don’t know Him do you? Permit me to introduce Him to you… He’s the One with all the little ones standing behind Him , He has what looks like a big round stone in His hand….. Luke 17:2
    I believe there would be some of your elders entitled to a meet and greet as well…..
    A few of you have trespassed against me,seeing as I am a member of the body of Christ , I have rebuked you , now IF you repent, I forgive you even 70 x 7 Luke 17:3-4
    May God have mercy on this situation. Oh and by the way do not let ANYONE think that that system has ANYTHING to do with HIS true called out church.

    1. Well David believe it or not God moved powerfully under Pastor James with church plants all over the world even in Romania of all places. Yes we lost our pastor whom many of us loved but Harvest will move on serving Christ our only hope. It’s a very sad time for all of us but we look beyond to what God has in store. Men will fall but God will always be on the throne. It’s a good time for all of us to examine our hearts and motives. Such a tough lesson but one that needed to be taught. I just pray for James, Kathy, Luke, Landon, and Abby. May there be forgiveness and cleansing and may God keep their family strong.

        1. That is so true! What I am shocked at is how blind people are to the facts. Harvest has been ran as a corporation and has abused God’s people for years. James has to be one of the most manipulative people I have ever seen. Doesn’t James own Harvest really? Is he going to give up this empire so easily? No way! He’s going to squeeze every dollar he can out before total destruction. How can this truly turn around if he or anyone connected to him remains? He is a master of deceit and very clever. It reminds me alot of the serpent’s qualities God spoke of

      1. Robert… “God moved powerfully” as evidenced by multiple church plants around the world? I doubt that narrative. Here’s why. At my local Harvest church plant in five years only 2 people out of 400 were new believers. The rest were transfers from other area churches. People changing seats is not a powerful move of God.

        Perhaps those from other harvest franchises would be willing to share what percentage of their congregation were transfers versus new believers.

  5. The Institutional Church, this religious system of men is built upon the basic underlying principles of business enterprise, Babylon. By employing worldly methods the IC aligns itself with a top/down power structure that is designed to control. The larger more complex the system the greater the need to insert controls over the flock. Those heading up this system are called clergy and those who are not clergy are designated laity. Neither of these terms appear in Scripture anywhere but the entire foundation of Christendom accepts this arrangement as “ normal.” At the Cross the entire Judaic Order, the Temple Sytem and especially the need for an earthly priesthood ended. To enthrone intermediaries, however they are titled; Pastor, Pope, Priest, etc., is to diminish Christ, God’s Beloved Son. My sense of Scripture is that grieves the Holy Spirit in a big way. Hebrews 13: 11-13 has an answer; “ Come out of her,” the camp, this religious system that put our Savior on the Cross. It is a wilderness journey for sure and you will be mocked by the traditionalists in the system who need the organization, the intermediaries and the weekend choreographed services. I submit it is a lonely journey but we “Come out” to go “to Him “ and perhaps fellowship with others who see Him as the Pearl of great price. The choice is re-organize Babylon, find another Babylon which is very easy to do, or go to Him “outside the camp of meeting “ where He says you “will find me, if you seek me.”

    1. Wow Dick , Thank you for sharing the insight of pure truth , please ,if it is ok to ask, keep posting after every comment if needed and it is. I am believing that there must be at least a few more that can hear.
      Narrow is the way that leads to eternal life and FEW there be that find it…. please keep trying Brother I know I will too

  6. I feel that with the firing of John Secrest in Naples, his employment should be reviewed again. Also the resignation of the Naples current elders would be good as an untruth was spoken by one of them to my husband regarding Secrest’s firing. The Naples church needs a fresh new start with its leadership.

  7. I would suggest Harvest folks hit the pause button, Visit some other local churches in the area – there are some wonderful ones. Experience some new teaching. Experience a different way to do church. Experience a new community. Get a fresh start.

  8. I’m still trying to sort out everything that transpired last night on stage. Who’s staying and who’s resigning remains somewhat confusing and convoluted, at best. I understand it’s all a very fluid situation, but despite what people were told up front (i.e. there would be truth and transparency), one thing that continues to be clear is how Harvest missed the mark…again last night to bring a level of clarity, confession, and contrition to the congregation vs. mere crocodile tears. Undoubtedly many were fooled last night (e.g. the sick sounds of a chorus of clapping speaks clearly to that)…but some weren’t drinking the Kool-aid (as evidenced by folks who got up and walked out). Much more could be said…but…in my estimation, Harvest did very little last night to reassure its fellowship that true change is coming. Oh, we heard of a 20-20 Team formed (comprised of congregants, staff, outside professionals, and elders) designed to take the next several months to complete a deep review of the church…to improve its oversight, accountability, and transparency…with the end goal of leading HBC toward a healthy and fruitful future. On the surface, this sounds like steps in the right direction…but…actions speak louder than words, so it remains unseen, at best, what all that means. People were told the executive committee will be resigning. Who is on this executive committee? From my understanding, the EC and the XLT (executive leadership team) are two very different groups of people. I could be dead wrong, but it sounds like a few guys (the EC) will take the fall for the folly of a few, while the MacDonald’s, the Donald’s, and the Donaldson’s will continue to lead Harvest going forward. No admission of wrongdoing was offered by Rick Donald last night. Instead, we got to listen to him open the Bible to 1st Samuel chapter 30 and use the text as a springboard to deliver his best infomercial on Harvest…and why people shouldn’t listen to the Devil and leave Harvest. Rick’s nose wouldn’t have grown a full foot if he would’ve only told the congregation how great a sinner he is, yet how much greater a Savior we have…and then resigned on the spot for his 30-year reign of complicity and duplicity, in his failure to expose (1 Timothy 5:20-21) James MacDonald as a man who has demonstrated a pattern of living that disqualified him as an elder long ago. Rick is entirely accountable; yet somehow he fails to see what should be crystal clear by now. Tender your resignation, Rick. Take responsibility for your sin, confessing and forsaking it once and for all.

    Harvest, you missed out on yet another opportunity to reassure your congregation that things will truly change going forward.

    Mike Medow
    Former HBC Member (1999-2011)

    1. Hi Mike-
      So what are you personally doing to help us in our time of trouble since you have not been any part of Harvest for 8 years?
      And if you actually attended a Harvest service last night (which it sounds like you did), then why exactly were you there?
      Be honest.
      Did you come to worship God in Jesus Christ with us?
      Did you come to pray in huddles with us and for us before the service in Rolling Meadows?
      Did you come to snoop and to satisfy the dark and evil side of your curiosity?
      Did you come to gloat so that you could now tell us all about “Here’s what I think”?
      Did you come to see what us Kool aid drinkers look like?

      With Christians like you, who needs ISIS?

      “Mike, Mike, why do you persecute Me?”

  9. Given all the potential financial malfeasance, going after enemies, and conspiring to put child porn on his enemies’ computer, I would not be surprised at the following:

    1. Law enforcement raids to execute search warrants at the properties of James McDonald, his sons, the elder and executive committee members, the various church sites, etc.

    2. All the top people close to MacDonald will be subpoenaed for their testimony.

    3. Depending on what they turn up, a lot of this also indictable under the RICO statutes. This would be victims would be entitled to triple damages.

    The only way to end this cancer it is to completely remove it, via criminal charges, bankruptcy, and civil court actions. The hammer will drop on all of this, and it will not be pretty as all those in power will be throwing each other under the bus in exchange for immunity….

  10. 5:44 of the video. They will appoint a new Executive Committee. Why? What might they need that Exec Comm to do that a reconstituted, 17-man elder board with a chairman cannot do? Like at almost every other church? Are there any highly sensitive functions and resources that only the EC performs and has access to?

  11. Still confusing. They all should resign. The McDonald family, Rick and all the henchman that played out James ruler ship. Return Harvest to Godly humble leadership, not to continue Christianity Inc. Time for churches to humble themselves and get out of the corporation. Sadly, this was not a clear message. There are so many good churches out there. It is time for a change. There are amazing people at Harvest, but the system of Harvest is failed. All that wonderful talent can use some healing and renewal to drop the Inc. part, and put back on the humble God part.

  12. Whoa,

    These Elders know the books and debt. My gut and experience would tell every member to run and never go back. Don’t except the resignations of these men, let them reap the consequences of their own failures. When these Elders walk out that door, they are like James McDonald, zero accountability and they are free. I agree this is what should have happened a very long time ago and if this church had financial stability then the effort would seem to be plausible.

    Nobody REALLY knows the amount of millions this church is in debt or the difficult and possible legal matters with all the properties. THIS should be on the Elders and James. Now that James has been fired, he and his kids get to walk away free and clear of any financial responsibily while living in luxury and being set financially for life. The same will happen for these Elders. Is it really wise for anyone to step up and sacrifice any more of what they have already been taken for? Be wise to this, I believe James and the Elder board understood clearly this ship was sinking financially. What does every unethical and greedy business person do who is ripping people off? They calculate just how far they can go and get more and more greedy and foolish. They may not have an exit strategy or timeline but they prepare for life after fall.

    Did I hear James is building a home in Naples? Ha! James knew this was coming and the financials would bring him down. What if his plan all along was to be fired? It’s the perfect retirement plan “scam” without the hassle.

    We rest in God’s judgement of all who participated in this scam, however, this is the time for all those members to really use discernment for themselves and their families from her on.

    BTW, this is a scam that in the real business world would hold people legally responsible. Jail time, restitution, fines, etc. if all these men are gone, who is responsible for this debt?

  13. Gateway Church was mentioned. Is there a possibility that HBC might transition to being under the umbrella of Robert Morris, who took Mark Driscoll under his wing? I’m sure that Robert Morris could be positioning James MacDonald for something too. Remember that Mark Driscoll transitioned into a new gig fairly effortlessly with no remorse for the wreckage left behind. He just erased his past, retained his sermons, and was accepted by gullible Christians with little discernment. This could all be maneuvering to look good on the surface. Ultimately though, God is not mocked.

  14. What is with all the scripts and prepared speeches? Mark 6:8; And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; NO SCRIPT, no bread, no money in their purse: Luke 12:12; For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say. A true man of God leans 100% on God to bring a message, a UNPREPARED message. Why? So God’s heart at that moment will come out of his mouthpiece, so that it’s Him and not us. Some of these “so-called pastors can’t even pray without looking at there notes! These charlatans are not men of God. They wouldn’t know what salvation looks like if it slapped them in the face. Their whole doctrine is flawed.

    Salvation isn’t raising your hand and repeat after me, and now your “born again”. These false prophets are straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel. Matthew 23:15; Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you travel on sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, you make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. Thats what they are doing every time they open up a so-called church (franchise) spreading this man made gospel. They run there affairs EXACTLY like a Corporation, in fact it is a corporation (501C3). Boards, chairmans, directors, minutes, fundraising, campaigns, seeker friendly activities, Sunday school, youth pastors ( that’s the funniest one…youth AND pastor in the same sentence lol). and dozens of other thing that are NOT in Gods word. 2 Timothy 3:7; Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of truth.

    The ONLY time God has been in Harvest is NOW… judge it and spare the very FEW who are there. God has been long suffering Harvest for 30 years like he has been long suffering America for hundreds of years. America has NEVER been a Godly country, oh excuse me except if you were white and owned a slave, or couldn’t vote because you were a female, I could list dozens of other examples, yet they were all going to church singing hallelujah thinking they are saved. Just like God was silent for 400 years between Malachi and Matthew, he has been silent and long suffering in America. But now he is active and pruning and purging and restoring. Starting with the head of our country, by placing Trump there, to the head of the Churches, by bringing down these false prophets and institutions, by raising up husbands to learn how to be the head of their family. Judgement STARTS in the house of God, 1Peter 4:17. Hate to tell you this but TRUTH divides, Luke 12:51, Jesus didn’t come to bring peace, but rather division.

    Most of Pauls letters to the churches was to correct, instruct and judge…in fact 1Corinthians 6:2 says; they couldn’t even judge in the smallest (Harvest) matters let alone angels.God is sending this strong message because he wants people to have a true real intimate relationship with Him, and learn what salvation truly is, and have a life that Glorifies Him, and have power OVER sin. I know the Macdonalds and there close friends like Rick Donald and others ego’s are so big that there reading these blogs, so the message has to be tough because God IS tough with those that are over others. So James, Luke, Landon, Rick, Jeff, (both Jeff’s), both Daves, Greg, please contact me personally because God has a message for you. Been trying to reach you guys for years…hard to reach corporate big shots. I did reach false prophets Jason Dinn and Drew Schmidt a few years ago and told them God will remove them….and He did. Oh I know Drew relocated to a different address with Harvest but its still the same street called deception. Call me Drew let’s catch up!

    If anyone out there would love to gather the way the new testament saints did, please contact me.

  15. I wonder if James McDonald got a severance package, and if so, how much it was and who determined the amount? If he did, it would’ve been nice for the congregation to determine the amount of his severance since it was their tithe that was mishandled in order to elevate MacDonald.

  16. When I look at photos of the elder board and the staff that are posted on the HBC website, I see the faces of men that I called my brothers in Christ. These were people that I believed in. Now I’m just so very disappointed.

    Every campus pastor (who either knew or should have known and said nothing) as well as all church leadership (including MacDonald’s partner pastor Rick) and the entirety of the elder boards needs to be fired immediately for their failure to stand up and “Act like Men”.

    Julie, please keep digging the dirt goes much deeper, of that I’m sure.

    To the so-called leaders of harvest,
    Enough of the slick brochures and lies! We aren’t buying what your selling anymore.

    Stop pointing your fingers at others as if it were their failings alone. Take responsibility for what you allowed by your inaction. It’s time for you to be “Gripped by the Greatness of God”.
    If you call yourself a follower of Jesus, then it’s time to “Come Home” and be “Authentic”.
    Ask him, “Lord Change my Attitude” and tell everyone the complete truth.

    To all the people who have called harvest their church home, please remember this, it’s always been about the message, not the messengers. Indeed “God wrote a Book” and it’s full of truth and hope.

    Jesus is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. He will never change. Praise the LORD and trust in him alone.

  17. I no longer attend HBC, as I, along with my family left the church in 2013, when James, on Resurrection Sunday, in a disgusting show of arrogance, chose to speak about money, instead of the the Risen Christ!! As someone who attended HBC from 1999-2013, and who served on the elder board for three years, which opened my eyes to lot of the deception and the lying to the congregation regarding the extent of the debt, I will say this again: Unless HBC follows the exact same path as Willow Creek church did, and clean house from top to bottom, including all elders, leaders and campus pastors who are complicit in this debacle, business will go on as usual at HBC, and the congregation will continue to get fleeced, like I was.

  18. I spoke with Rick Korte after the services. He acknowledged that the congregation wants those leardes involved out and the challenges that are faced in making that happen. He made it clear (during our conversation) that the time needed is simply because the people involved are at high levels of the organization and can not be removed without the church ministries collapsing without those leadership positions. There have been many leaders who have left and they need to be replaced. He is ordering a forensic audit on the HBC computers and if anything is turned up that is wrong the people involved will be removed.

    Rick mentioned that the pastoral staff have been working past exhaustion and needed help in this time to support the questions and concerns of the church. I could see that on Dave Learned’s face. The man was completely spent. Praying for them in the coming days.

    His tears were because a close friend was in the audience and he noticed them weping and was moved to tears as well. Before I had the chance to speak to Rick, he was speaking with that person and related the reason for his tears.

    He said that if he is not able to put things to right or if he does not receive carte blanc in all areas of change, he is out and will announce that.

    After only 36 hours of time in that position he was not sure how much or often communication should occur, but myself and others in the conversation suggested weekly as a minimum, because the congregation needs reasurance and transparency quiclky or Harvest 2020 will have the appearance of an evil sham instead of the intended biblical reorginization.

    IMO it is wrong to have former elders on this team. I do not know these two men who were chosen and have zero trust for the HBC elder board after the 30 years I have spent at HBC.

    One thing is certain, Time reveals truth.

    One of the truths that was important to note was that the church has good biblical ministries that are serving the body of Christ faithfully. That is true. Should they be torn down, just to be rebuilt elsewhere? Only if God does not clense the house of the desease that has infested it.

    1. If they are sincere, Mr. Korte needs to do a forensic financial audit and fully disclose the findings to the congregation. You have folks at Harvest making 6 figure salaries. I left Harvest years ago since I did not think the church wisely spent my tithes. Instead my tithes were used to enable James MacDonald to live a life a luxury in million dollar mansions, pay for his expense golf outings, and on and on. Others on staff were also grossly over paid – just talk to Matt Stowell. It is a choice that the church needs to make.

      1. Bob Hallam, Saturday night at Rolling Meadows, Bill Sperling, Elder, Executive Committee announced 2020 team included three Elders. Tod Desmarais, FAIA Managing Director at Lamar Johnson Collaborative, Mike Collett Founder, Managing Partner at Promus Ventures, Brian Musso managing partner of Promus. As of Friday Brian Musso was listed as an Elder, today 2/17, his name is off the Elder page. Perhaps he will be on team 2020 and resigned last night?

    2. Bob- Has anybody asked whether or not a complete voice analysis and comparison is going to be done on that poor-quality sound tape Erich Muller played?
      A friend of mine who is a PhD in speech and language pathology heard it and questioned whether it is the same voice throughout the tape, a fabricated voice on part of it, or a vocal imitator on part of it. She has professional reasons for asking.
      Any thoughts?

      1. The speed at which the sacking occurred after the tape was made public leads me to believe enough of the elders already knew it had to be MacDonald’s words — probably because they’d witnessed him say them, or very similar words, before.

      2. Don ERacer,
        If his voice was at all in question, why would he be fired right after it aired? Wouldn’t they above all people want to confirm if it was really James? The truth is Don that the evil going on from this church has been a long time. Many voices , elders and members have asked questions and spoke up only to be criticized, turned away, Humiliated and excommunicated. For you to willingly blindfully deny that and call the wounded those persecuting our Lord and church is so out of line and untrue. Quite frankly it has been them abusing us. If you are not concerned for the many people who shared their stories about how they were treated at Harvest shows you have your own issues. These people are the hypocrites Jesus talks about in Matthew 23. How long should the inmates run the asylum before you see they are false shepherds?

      3. You have possession of the whole tape? Wow, you must be a member of the inner circle!

        Post it on youtube, and we can all judge for ourselves.

  19. Just because a church grows in numbers of congregants does not mean it’s for the right reasons. Look at all the cults who have great numbers of followers…all of whom happen to be lost because they are following a false teacher. Look at Rick Warren, whose bad habits and man-centered programs MacDonald emulated with regard to church growth. When was the last time anyone heard Warren actually preach the Gospel instead of promoting his latest self-aggrandizing program? When you go after the “unchurched”, as Warren and his ilk do, you will surely find people with itching ears to fill your pews. Church numbers don’t necessarily mean anything good. It just means there are a lot of undiscerning people who follow men rather than God. MacDonald became an idol for too many, and so did those Elders who aided and abetted him for so long. Allowing a single one to remain is foolish.

    1. Cks
      Please show us any of James hundreds of recorded sermons in which he taught heresy against thr Gospel.
      And do not refer to my church as a cult.

  20. This is a sad time for evangelicals and Christians. So many hurtful words have been said on both side of this controversy. This should be a time of self reflections rather than public chastise and judgement. I would encourage all of us to fall on our knees and humble ourselves before the Lord and ask for forgiveness and offer forgiveness to others. I believe God will judge appropriately and we should not feel inclined to do it ourselves. We should offer those who have chosen to stay at Harvest room to heal and offer them mercy for they were not the perpetrator of the sins. As well as those who have chosen to leave room to find a new congregation to worship in. We do not worship a pastor, a church or elders, but we worship the one true God.

    1. Paul unequivocally states in 1 Corinthians 5 for the church to cast out the sinner from the church so that the leaven found may be purged and a new lump formed. “Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?” Granted believers sin. And the church is not faithful to this as Paul lays out in 1 Corinthians, most likely not wanting to publicly embarrass or shame anyone. But when such immorality is known and not dealt with in the church, and the immorality is displayed by the pastor(s) and and elders especially- leadership- we must obey God rather than man. The blatant unrepentant sinners must be removed. This is Christ’s church! We must keep it pure. We should know and keep the Word of God. Paul says immorality in Christ’s body must be judged, and believers in Christ are not even to associate with a fellow believer who is engaging in sin. Believers do not judge those outside of the church, God judges those outside the church.
      Doesn’t mean we can’t keep those removed in prayer, but until they are repentant and restored to God, they must be kept out.

        1. I know what is happening is hurtful. I went to a church where it was found the Sr. Pastor was having an affair with a member of the congregation. It was shocking and hurtful. But I leaned on the Lord through it all. He helped me by His word to navigate that troubled time.
          I attended Harvest when it first started at RM High School and about 2 years into the move to the warehouse. I am aware and can understand what all is happening now because of my time at Harvest and why I left. I believe that what is transpiring now is true and not a witch hunt.
          Secondly did you read the passage in 1 Corinthians 5? When I sin, I immediately take it to God for forgiveness when He brings it to my attention. I am also made clean by the blood of the Lamb.
          Are you aware of the higher standard God puts on pastors and elders and teachers – leadership? Pastors especially are public in nature.
          Do you believe that they should not be put out of the church until they have repented and are restored? They should. This is what Paul teaches. This is what God says should be done. This is Christ’s church and in their blatant sin any pastor is no longer equipped to teach or lead the body of Christ, under Christ.
          Jeremiah 5:31
          Ezekiel 22:26
          Micah 3:11
          1 Tim 3:1-7
          Titus 1

          Like I mentioned I am praying for this situation. I am not glad it happened. Not at all.

    2. God will not be mocked-
      Could you please show me a few dozen Harvest members here (in addition to me) who have used hurtful words against those who hate Harvest and who joyfully refer to Harvest members as cultists, brainwashed, and Kool-aid drinkers?

      My reason for staying in Harvest is that I do not want to go to the churches the majority of people here attend.
      What a bunch of hateful people!

  21. I am relieved that James MacDonald has been fired and elders resigning, however this is not enough. What has been done to Pastor John Secrest at the Naples church is shocking and heartbreaking. The elders at Naples, one who lied to my friend about the John Secrest firing, need to be relieved of their positions and Pastor John Secrest reinstated and compensated for his wrongful firing. I am thankful to know Jesus Christ as my savior and to Trust Him in this dreadful situation that has taken place in the Harvest Church.

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