Giving Thanks for An Incredible Year

By Julie Roys

This time last year, I was embroiled in a lawsuit with Harvest Bible Chapel and James MacDonald. My professional reputation was in jeopardy as Harvest regularly published updates, accusing me of attempting to “stir up gossip, sow discord, inflame old animosities” and “discredit the church.”

I had hoped by Thanksgiving of last year to publish my article with WORLD Magazine on Harvest and MacDonald. But about a week before Thanksgiving, MacDonald and key Harvest leaders responded to my multiple requests for an interview. Yet instead of responding to me, Harvest leaders responded to WORLD, saying they’d do an interview, but only if it was conducted by someone other than me.

WORLD conceded and halted my article. Managing editor, Daniel James Devine, was selected to conduct the interview, and I waited in suspense.

I knew MacDonald and Harvest would do everything they could to discredit me. Would WORLD believe them and cancel the story? If they did, I knew my credibility as a journalist would be shot and I’d might as well retire. What’s worse, MacDonald and Harvest would continue to misuse God’s money and abuse His people.

Sure enough, when I received the transcript of the interview, it included accusations by MacDonald that I was “having speculative conversations” with “every person” who had worked at Harvest to generate a story. MacDonald also claimed that I had acted unethically by approaching the homes of families whose children were part of a DCFS investigation. (I address this false accusation here.)

MacDonald told Devine that he “didn’t want to be unkind,” but suggested that “in the matter of your reporter, there’s more,” and suggested that WORLD might want to consider a “change of employment.”  

Thankfully, WORLD didn’t take MacDonald and Harvest at their word. Yes, the editors came back to me and required that I provide substantiation for every claim in my story. They even reached out to my sources to make sure my account of what these sources said matched theirs.

But when WORLD saw that my story held up to scrutiny, they stood by me and the magazine’s calling to report the truth. And about three weeks after Thanksgiving, WORLD published my article on MacDonald and Harvest.

Today, as I count my many blessings, at the top of the list is WORLD Magazine and its editor-in-chief, Marvin Olasky. Had Marvin and WORLD capitulated last year, so much would be different now. But because they had integrity and courage, the truth was told. MacDonald was fired; all the executive pastors of Harvest resigned, including MacDonald’s sons; and the elder board was replaced.

About a month ago, I attended a banquet with two of the three former elders that Harvest had excommunicated in 2013, as well as Dave Corning, the longtime chairman of Harvest’s elder board who was ostracized for opposing MacDonald and leaving Harvest. We marveled at all God has done this past year and we thanked God. It truly has been awesome.

With former elders Scott Phelps, Dan Marquardt, & Dave Corning

But beyond what happened at Harvest, God this past year has enabled me to expand my work. Like WORLD, Judson University has stood by me throughout my reporting on both Harvest and Moody Bible Institute. And this spring, Judson set up a fund so people could make tax-deductible donations to my work.

So, on Thanksgiving, I want to publicly thank God for all He’s done through this ministry this year. I also want to thank Him for you—a small, but mighty army of truth-tellers who are standing with me in this work. I couldn’t do it without you.

So many of you have responded with incredible generosity. This not only has enabled me to continue to shine light where it’s needed in the Christian world, it’s also enabled me launch a new radio program, The Roys Report. Also helping me launch this program were three other sponsors—Marquardt Buick, Woodland Windows and Doors, and the Illinois Family Institute. I never could have launched the show without their support either. So, I’m extremely grateful for their partnership.

But perhaps the most encouraging result of my partnership with readers like you and Judson was the RESTORE Conference earlier this month (pictured above). To gather with nearly 300 people—many of whom have been wounded by unscrupulous leaders and toxic, religious systems—and to seek healing together was profoundly moving. The Holy Spirit ministered to so many. And to hear the testimonies of how God touched people and began to heal their hurt was so incredibly gratifying.

So, on Thanksgiving, I want to publicly thank God for all He’s done through this ministry this year. I also want to thank Him for you—a small, but mighty army of truth-tellers who are standing with me in this work. I couldn’t do it without you.

Have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving!




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13 thoughts on “Giving Thanks for An Incredible Year”

  1. It’s an honor to in the Lord’s army with you. We are going to see more victories! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your sweet family.

  2. Julie, we are blessed to have you bring truth to us. Truly this has been An Incredible Year. You not only survived, you are victorious! Happy Thanksgiving from me and my wife, Kathy.

  3. Julie ….. you have done a marvelous job ……. to Him be the glory …… just ‘walk on’ and keep Micah 6:8 as a banner.

  4. Julie, I greatly admire what you have accomplished. It’s not easy going against entrenched interests with financial and social power as you have done

  5. Julie – thank you for your tenacity. Everything that you and ElephantsDebt exposed turned out to be true. MacDonald still in his wicked ways denies everything. Do you think he ever think he was authentic – or are he and his family all grifters out for the money? Wishing you a great holiday season!

  6. Julie, God bless you. When you were first let go from Moody radio, I knew there was something special and honest about you, and I have followed you since then. Your drive and passion to speak the truth in love for what’s right and just is a breath of fresh air, especially in the Christian community. Keep up the great work. God bless you and your family.

  7. Julie, so thankful to have met you- but better still, to witness your Christlike character and genuine Christian devotion. You are a blessing to so many, some you know and many you don’t know. May God continue to guide you as you execute the talents He has generously granted you.

  8. God is still raising up Davids to slay evil giants. All we have to do is keep our hearts and eyes bent towards Him and He’ll do the rest. I hope everyone is truly looking back and thanking God for the blessings He’s bestowed on each of us this past year and for remaining faithful to us in the midst of our trials.

  9. Julie:

    I praise God for your commitment to Christ and His church.

    Not only was your Facts verified by multiple sources to be true………but the Real Story is that the corruption and lies and abuse at Harvest and James MacDonald is ten times worse than previously thought.

    Restore conference speaker Lina Abujamra was correct when she lamented the tragedy of so many WICKED and Ravenous Wolves ( i. e. Pastor James MacDonald ) who continue to fleece the Flock and abuse the Body of Christ. Lina called them “hit and run” for a reason, because they abuse the Body of Christ with no consequences to themselves.

    I hope that your website opens the eyes of the Church to the reality that Ravenous wolves come from WITHIN the Church, and Not outside the church.


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