James MacDonald Responds to Harvest Report: Claims He’s Innocent of Misusing Church Funds

By Julie Roys
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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:




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53 thoughts on “James MacDonald Responds to Harvest Report: Claims He’s Innocent of Misusing Church Funds”

  1. I don’t go to church at HBC. However, I am a follower of Jesus Christ. The things that have transpired at HBC are sad to hear about. Furthermore, it upsets me more that all of this is being openly discussed in a public social forum for anyone to see. Matters such as these should be dealt with in the church. Every one that I have read who has commented on this situation has said that he is guilty. Regardless of his innocence or guilt, these comments should not be aired so that even unbelievers can see. How does this honor Christ in any way? I direct you to 1 Corinthians chapter 6 verses 1-11. Please read this.

    1. Why should I not be able to comment? This is a Public forum. That was my point to begin with. Keep these things private between the church members. This makes the church look like a bunch of idiots. Are we supposed to look like the world?

  2. Well Jon lots of people have tried to do this privately to no avail …me included….this has been going on for years…and it wasn’t a secret…still nothing was done .

    1. Dan

      I believe that the truth of God’s word is of utmost importance. What I was trying to say is that the name calling from many posts I read was alarming. How are we , as the church , any different from the world when we respond to being wrongly treated just as the world does. God has called us to be holy. I love God’s word, Dan, and complaining and bickering over injustice is not what God called us to do. Please know that I don’t in any way want to minimize what has happened. However, for people to respond with total lack of caring doesn’t help. The man needs love and forgiveness, not harshness and uncaring.

  3. So MacDonald is going to start a new Ministry season in 2020. The site will be Naples Fl – the church that Harvest got kicked out of. Interesting to see if Jeff Donaldson joins him. The crazy thing is that folks couldn’t care what MacDonald did. They will continue to fund this charlatan. Well at least MacDonald will take his posse out of Chicago.

  4. Jon, John the Baptist called out the sadducees and pharisees publicly in Mt 3:7 in Mt 23:1-39 Jesus called out the scribes and pharisees publicly….because they were false teachers, He warned the people to do what they say not what they do, he also had a ton of unflattering things to say about false teachers in the only true faith at that time ,Judeism….James McDonald is a wolf, and he has been warned privately and he doubled down on his bad behavior, He refuses to repent. Now in order to Contend for the Faith and protect unsuspecting Sheep from this Wolf He Must be exposed publicly …He already has announced his intentions to get back in the saddle in 2020. To keep this in house would be cowardly at best and sinful at worst…..we as believers must protect the unsuspecting body of Christ from the multitude of Wolves who are out to devour them…..we forgive others when they Repent……to do otherwise would Cheapen Forgiveness….GOD offers forgiveness to people…all people…who repent and believe…those who don’t wont be forgiven.

  5. Dan

    Thank you for sharing with me more about this. I will be praying that God works this out for His glory and that His will be done. We definitely need to contend for the faith. Even though I don’t know you I love you brother! May God give you more grace and peace in your journey.

  6. If old MacDonald has a farm, he should go there and repent for a good long while. Please consider a trade other than ministry.

    1. John Przybyl:

      agree with you ….problem is that false prophets like James MacDonald who arise from within the church have no other skill-set , except maybe selling snake oil.

      sad that so many continue to encourage his pattern of lies and wickedness by permitting him to return to preaching / teaching

  7. Hey folks! Thanks for everyone’s comments regarding this difficult subject.

    Unfortunately, I went through a situation like this with a different church a number of years ago. It wasn’t to do with financial improprieties but a drastic difference of opinion and how the church was going to move forward. The result was a fracturing of the church leadership and sins were committed on both ends. The difference was in the way the church leaders admitted and apologized for their sins. One side admitted specific injustices, apologized for them and begged for forgiveness to the congregation, as well as one on one if the need was there. How can you not forgive them?

    In this instance however, Pastor James has been far from contrite but instead, has been mostly deflective and casts blame towards others. He just can’t seem to strap on a pair and come clean. Instead of offering specific apologies or admissions to any charges that have been leveled against him, he simply tosses out vagaries like we are going through a period of refinement or other such nebulous drivel. If you were to just man up and admit fault, I really think a lot of people could move past this. Unfortunately, he just continues to plow forward and blame others in the process. It’s a very very sad end to an incredibly gifted preacher.

    We should all pray that God removes the scales from his eyes so that he can see his true self versus the image that he has created. We should pray that he and his family heal from this sinful path they have been on. We should pray for all of his followers and especially for those people who are just beginning to trust in Jesus and pray that this is not going to derail their faith.

    Trust in God, not man

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