Disgraced former Harvest Bible Chapel pastor, James MacDonald, today responded to damning evidence that he misused millions of dollars of church funds by asserting his innocence. He also expressed disappointment that Harvest would publicize the results of its financial review while MacDonald and Harvest are seeking resolution to these issues “through confidential Christian arbitration.”
Last night, Harvest released the results of its forensic audit and legal review, which revealed that MacDonald had spent millions of dollars of church funds on personal expenses. According to the report, some of these expenses were approved by elders, but some were not.
In an Instagram post today, MacDonald claimed that his expenses were “Elder and auditor approved” and “predate the involvement of those now speaking.” The elders who are now speaking are all part of a new board, which replaced the former elders who resigned in the wake of the scandal involving MacDonald. MacDonald also claimed that “significant exculpatory information” was excluded from the report due to “an Elder imposed moratorium” on communicating with MacDonald.
MacDonald also made reference to “historic agreements” concerning Walk in the Word (WITW), MacDonald’s former broadcast ministry. MacDonald and Harvest are currently in arbitration over ownership of WITW.
According to Harvest’s report, the former executive committee at the church and MacDonald had a signed an agreement dated January 1, 2015, which gave MacDonald ownership of all “works of authorship created by MacDonald.” It also gave MacDonald “all net financial and legal assets related to Walk in the Word.”
However, the report called into question the legitimacy of this agreement because there appeared to be no corporate board minutes “reflecting proper due diligence regarding intellectual property matters.” The report also said that the church did not have “documentation or other information reflecting whether MacDonald recused himself from deliberations and votes” on the WITW commitment. It added that the agreement also is “problematic” because it shows Harvest relinquished “charitable assets” for which MacDonald had already been compensated “as part of his pastoral duties.”
Below is MacDonald’s Instagram Post: