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