ECFA President Dan Busby to Retire Amid Controversy

By Julie Roys
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The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) today announced that ECFA President Dan Busby will be stepping down as president in spring 2020. Though the ECFA’s statement says Busby approached the ECFA board in early 2018 about seeking a successor, the announcement comes on the heels of numerous reports documenting ECFA’s failure to hold its members accountable. 

As I reported in last spring, ECFA ignored potentially fraudulent activity at Harvest Bible Chapel, like using money given to Walk in the Word, the broadcast ministry of former Harvest Pastor James MacDonald, to purchase and develop a deer herd at the church’s camp in Michigan. And even though ECFA said MacDonald’s salary was “unremarkable,” I discovered in April that MacDonald’s regular annual salary plus deferred compensation was nearly $1 million. This was in addition to MacDonald’s so-called executive checkbook, which MacDonald used to pay for things like African safaris and an extended vacation in Naples.

 Also, in June, I reported that ECFA continued to accredit National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) for more than a decade as NRB slowly slid to the brink of bankruptcy. And stunningly, Busby, who heads ECFA—an organization that claims to uphold standards of ethics for more than 2,300 nonprofit groups—was himself fined $9,000 in 2016 for the unlicensed use of the CPA title on dozens of publications and websites.

Just last month, WORLD Magazine also published an exposé on ECFA, noting some of the same failures. The article also noted that ECFA didn’t revoke the membership of Teen Mania Ministries until 2014—three years after the organization had reported net assets of -$4.1 million. ECFA also failed to revoke Gospel for Asia’s accreditation until others, like blogger Warren Throckmorton, published allegations of financial wrongdoing. 

Even so, ECFA Board Chair Danny de Armas praised Busby for his “amazing legacy,” noting that in the past 12 years, Busby has grown ECFA’s membership from 1,260 to 2,400. 

“Dan is an incredible leader who has grown ECFA’s membership and increased its influence among the evangelical community in our country and around the world,” De Armas said. “Dan’s legacy will linger in the valuable resources he developed that serve ministry leaders and pastors in their efforts to operate above reproach.”

Below is ECFA’s full press release:

ECFA said Busby will continue to contribute to ECFA’s work even after he’s resigned by serving as president emeritus.

ECFA Launches Presidential Search
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3 thoughts on “ECFA President Dan Busby to Retire Amid Controversy”

  1. EFCA now has almost 0 credibility. They operate like a group of Chicago alderman. No repentance just business speak. I will seek other means to study the ministries I support. Beware of the wolves who ask you to believe they are sheep.

  2. I remember reading “The Elephant’s Debt” and their links to the financial things Harvest was doing about five years back and thinking “if EFCA is approving these guys, what are they doing?” Very, very sad. The main thing I can think of in their defense is–and I write as a guy who does quality and reliability for a living–is that one of the hardest things to do well is to consistently and ethically bring bad news to organizations. The pressure to back off, fudge the data, and such can be just tremendous. You’ve got executives who are betting the company on something working, and you’re the guy who says “no, this won’t work.”

  3. And another greedy, manipulative, and lying false brother “retires” with a wallet full of ill gotten gain. You just cannot serve both God and Mammon. Guys like this with their enormous salaries are broadcasting a clear message of whom they despise because it is all about the success which means lots of mammon for them. This group is a brood of vipers destined for an eternity with their false God of Money. Their is nothing Christian about these activities, selling a lie to donors while they care not about what the truth really is. Jesus says woe many times to these modern day neo-Pharisees.

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