Harvest Bible Chapel Jeff Bucknam
Pastor Jeff Bucknam and his wife, Jeanne Bucknam, greet the congregation of Harvest Bible Chapel in a videotaped message. (Source: Video screengrab)

Harvest Bible Chapel Names Pastor from Canadian Megachurch for Lead Role

By Julie Roys

Harvest Bible Chapel has just named Jeff Bucknam—pastor of a megachurch of about 3,100 in British Columbia—as its new lead teaching pastor.

Bucknam is the first to fill the lead role in a permanent capacity since Harvest fired disgraced pastor, James MacDonald, two years ago for numerous issues ranging from financial wrongdoing, bullying, and conduct “contrary and harmful to the best interests of the church.”

During services this weekend, Harvest announced the new hire, saying that both the selection committee and lay elders were unanimous in their decision to call Bucknam to lead the church.

Bucknam also addressed the Chicago-area congregation from Canada in a brief videotaped message.

“I’m super excited to come there because of the challenge that it is . . . and the potential, and how amazing it has been in the past,” Bucknam said in the video. He added that Harvest’s history of training leaders and planting churches is “very much what I’m about.”

Give a gift of any amount to The Roys Report and receive a copy of “Have we lost our Head?: Reconnecting churches with Jesus” To donate, click here.

For the past 15 years, Bucknam has served as lead pastor of Northview Community Church in Abbotsford, British Columbia. Northview is a Mennonite Brethren church, a denomination founded by Russian Mennonites, stressing repentance and holiness. Before that, he taught at Pathways College in New Zealand and was a teaching pastor at Hope Community Church in Nelson, New Zealand.

According to press release by Vanderbloemen, the search group hired by Harvest, Bucknam was born in Boston and raised in Seattle. He has a master of theology from Dallas Theological Seminary and a doctor of ministry from Talbot School of Theology. 

Though the couple says they’re thrilled to come to Chicago, Bucknam’s wife, Jeanne Bucknam, admitted that moving to Chicago with children aged 20, 17, and 11 is a challenge.

However, she added, “God has been moving in our hearts, I think, just warming our hearts to the idea, warming their hearts to the idea, of being willing to serve Him wherever He calls. And that’s been a really, actually, beautiful journey for my family, for our kids just to think about what discipleship looks like and following whatever God calls us to do.”

Bucknam will preach at Harvest for the first time on May 23 and 30. He officially starts his new position at Harvest on July 12.



Keep in touch with Julie and get updates in your inbox!

Don’t worry we won’t spam you.

More to explore

25 thoughts on “Harvest Bible Chapel Names Pastor from Canadian Megachurch for Lead Role”

  1. As an MK who had to go with parents to the mission field which I loved I also realize it can be a big problem when children are moved at their ages. They will lose not only their home, but their friends, their school. I think it is dangerous to try and spiritualize it as discipleship.

    1. I couldn’t agree more. We took our young kids overseas for most of their growing-up years and returned from the mission field when they were teens. They had a relatively positive experience but the losses were huge and re-entry was very difficult. It’s made me re-evaluate the wisdom of families going to the mission field, even to a familiar country next-door. As you say, it’s dangerous to try to spiritualize the cost we expect our children to swallow when it leaves them unrooted and destabilized. Frankly, it seemed the Bucknams were minimizing the challenge ahead for the family, and I wasn’t convinced Jeanne’s heart is sold on the idea (not that it matters if I was convinced, I know; perhaps I saw myself in her).

    1. As a life long , born again Christian, I get so sick of Christian speak. ‘God is warming our hearts, it’s a beautiful journey.’
      ‘I’m super excited’ sounds like a 16 year old.
      Don’t any Christian leaders speak normally any more? Like real, everyday people?

      1. Gordon Hackman

        Yeah. I can appreciate this objection. I get tired of it too, especially when I hear it coming from my own mouth.

      2. Denise you are correct. Christian leaders don’t SPEAK normally anymore , they SHARE.

        I would say ‘super excited’ is more likely something a child under 12 would say.

        16 year olds and teens tend to use terms like ‘wicked’ and ‘bad’ which means ‘good!’

    2. Which false doctrines?
      I attend HBC and have diligently listened for false doctrines for over 10 years and have not heard any.
      So please prove your point with a citation or two.

  2. One Salient Oversight

    What’s the bet that the biblical standards of eldership (1 Timothy 3, Titus 1, 1 Peter 5) were ignored in the pastoral search, and instead worldly business criteria were used instead?

    Because God forbid that a person who knows the scriptures, has the ability to teach and is a godly man and example to others end up in pastoral ministry and leads a church.

    1. What gives you any reason to believe that was the case? Just because Harvest has had leadership struggles in the past is no reason to assume that they would ignore a thorough and biblical selection process for leadership now. In fact, I would argue that it would be the exact reason why they would be even more thorough now.

      I have known Jeff for years and he, more than anyone I have ever known knows the scriptures, has the ability to teach, and is a godly man.

  3. Harvest has a solid pastor coming on board. Pastored across the river from Jeff. Following my departure, the church I left became a satellite congregation under his church’s umbrella. Good preacher. I have experienced him as a man of integrity.

    1. Ron, thanks for sharing that. May God use him as a good shepherd for His flock there. It is refreshing to read a positive comment here.

    2. Ron, thank you.
      I attend HBC and after the announcement Sunday I listened to several of Pastor Jeff’s sermons.
      I liked what I heard.
      As a member of HBC I appreciate your comments and ask you to please pray for us as we move forward under the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit.
      I believe GOD is restoring His Church under the direction of the Holy Spirit.

      May GOD’s blessings be upon you, Jeff!

      1. Over the years I had the privilege of attending the Moody Bible Institute Pastor’s conference on numerous occasions. Heard James MacDonald a number of times, and also attended HBC one Sunday morning. Jeff is not James…not as theatrical, more pastoral by nature, and a solid theologian and expositor. He’ll be taking on a big challenge, but may be just what HBC needs right now.

  4. Can’t believe HBC production team allowed Jeff & Jeanne to get filmed without a proper script and a good acting. Her body language tells you she’s not sold to the idea of coming to Chicago. It was so painful watching her cringe. Jeff’s vocabulary could be compared to a 15 year old. Man, English is such a beautiful language. Put JMac’s video presentations and you’ll see heaven and earth difference between these two guys. Even though JMac is a crook, he could have sold himself so much better. I give this couple a year…max. Just my 2 cents…

  5. I attend Northview and I can assure you that Dr. Bucknam is an incredible teacher with solid doctrine that will no doubt challenge Harvest. He will leave a very big hole to fill at Northview.

  6. I pray Harvest is FINALLY turning the page to a new chapter, especially since earlier this month, Harvest FINALLY settled on an agreement with JMac (who was challenging a real estate valuation). PLEASE let the JMac era be over so Harvest can get back to doing God’s work.

      1. Who says it wasn’t? Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. I know of many believers made and lives transformed by HBC.

  7. Probably one of the most awkward videos I’ve ever watched celebrating a new pastor come on board. His wife looked so uncomfortable, as if she was about to cry any second. Nothing says “this is a great choice” like that!

  8. Having read through the comments and much of the criticism many have given pastor Jeff with knowing next to nothing about him and the work the Lord has done through him at Northview, I felt compelled to comment myself. We are are called to be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, yet I am very disappointed that because Jeff and his wife did not speak with the eloquence and grandeur that would satisfy you you doubt his character, and more importantly, God’s sovereign hand in all of this. The search process was intense and thorough and, simply put, Jeff is the one God led Harvest to. Let us trust God’s orchestration in that. Everyone at Northview agrees that Jeff’s departure is hard. Jeff is a very gifted communicator of God’s truth that will be missed greatly. Why is it such a shock that they are real people sharing their real struggles from the front of their home? Forgive him for not spending the hours he spends preparing sermons to prepare a speech that would appease you. I have had the privilege of sitting under Jeff’s preaching for years, and you can rest assured, Jeff preaches the word of God with genuineness, clarity, power, and applicability. His preaching and exposition of the Scriptures leave you desiring to know and treasure Christ more, as well as boldly live out the faith God calls His people to. He is a man who isn’t satisfied with simply seeing people profess faith in Christ, but rather he longs to see people come to know what they say they believe and why they believe it. A man who seeks to teach his congregation the deep truths and doctrines of the Scriptures. And I don’t say all of this lightly, as I myself expect much from anyone who would bear the term ‘pastor’. So before being rash with our words, let us all pray before we speak and seek to gain insight of who a man is before we tear him and his wife down. The very least we can do is seek to learn more about him from those that know him. As well, I believe it is a good thing, and even God’s grace in him, to hear Jeff is excited about where God is calling him and his family to, rather than being apathetic and reluctant to His call. If you doubt any of these words let his preaching speak for itself. Again, Harvest will be immensely blessed by pastor Jeff, as the Lord enables. May Christ be honoured at Harvest through Jeff as He has been through the years Jeff spent at Northview. Amen.

    1. Jason that was beautifully said. As a member of HBC for the past 10 years and having weathered the storm of critics who blog and comment about these things, I would presume that those criticizing Pastor Jeff and his wife are not members or even attendees of HBC but rather disgruntled and hurt folks who make themselves feel better by blasting others. I’m sorry you had to read through that and experience even a little of the harsh rhetoric many of us have received simply for staying here at Harvest and trying to disciple our children to be followers of Jesus. One thing that many of us either knew or learned being through this is that all people including pastors are in need of a savior, all stumble, no one is righteous not one. The question isn’t will we sin, its when will we sin? And when we do will we seek repentance or will our stubbornness, pride, and self righteousness prevent us from seeking repentance? I’m cautiously excited for Jeff and his family to come here, I hope they are prepared to be under the microscope and have everything they do questioned by Julie Roys who has made it her duty to uncover the sins in the church and air them for all to see; as well as more and more folks like those in the comments above who will seek to attack simply for the sake of attacking.

      1. Joseph, Though I agree some of the comments here are less than charitable, I find it concerning that a 10-year veteran of Harvest would disparage those like myself who report the truth. I know James taught the congregation well to label all critics as “attacking” the church or simply “disgruntled” Christians. But I would hope congregants would have more discernment now and would welcome the wounds of a friend. (Prov. 27:6)

The Roys Report seeks to foster thoughtful and respectful dialogue. Toward that end, the site requires that people use their full name when commenting. Also, any comments with profanity, name-calling, and/or a nasty tone will be deleted.

Leave a Reply

The Roys Report seeks to foster thoughtful and respectful dialogue. Toward that end, the site requires that people register before they begin commenting. This means no anonymous comments will be allowed. Also, any comments with profanity, name-calling, and/or a nasty tone will be deleted.
MOST popular articles


Hi. We see this is the third article this month you’ve found worth reading. Great! Would you consider making a tax-deductible donation to help our journalists continue to report the truth and restore the church?

Your tax-deductible gift helps our journalists report the truth and hold Christian leaders and organizations accountable. This month we’re offering a beautiful “The Roys Report” branded mug to anyone who gives a gift of $25/mo or more.