This morning on Mancow Muller’s radio show on WLS/AM 890, Anne Green, a former worship leader at Harvest Bible Chapel, accused Harvest founder and senior pastor, James MacDonald, of touching her leg near her crotch during a trip on a private plane in 2005. The plane reportedly was one that MacDonald formerly shared with Bill Hybels, the founder of Willow Creek Community Church who recently stepped down amid allegations of sexual harassment and assault.
Green said she responded by saying loudly, “You can’t touch me there!.” She said MacDonald laughed and replied, “I never would’ve thought Anne Green would be the one to bring down my ministry!”
Anne actually told me this story months ago, but I haven’t reported it because I’ve been seeking to get corroboration for her story. I’ll be publishing her complete story soon, including the testimony of others who were on staff at Harvest at the time. In the meantime, here’s the audio and transcript of Anne’s conversation with Mancow today.
Mancow: Anne, welcome to the program. Are you there? Anne?
Mancow: Yeah, hi.
Anne: Yeah, hi.
Mancow: Gotta be very careful. I got hit with a flurry of letters denouncing you. Of course. Uh, from the church.
Mancow: But, uh, look, I know, I understand they’re denouncing me too. Anyone that asks questions, you know, you get a knife stuck in your back, and then they say it’s covered with love.
Anne: Exactly. Protect, protect James. Alienate the victim.
Mancow: Protect the cult leader, James Macdonald, at all costs. And there’s a lot of great people there. I want to make that clear. But when his best friend is still in charge, and all of his other hand-picked goons, it ain’t a church. It’s a family business. And if you’re fine with giving 10% of your income to that, tithing, and I believe in it, I’m saying this to the other folks, great. I met with a psychologist yesterday. I met with one when my father died, and he helped me ride through it. And uh, yesterday I’m talking to him and he’s like, “wow, you’re going to need a lot of help. You’re going to need a LOT of help. This guy really screwed you up royally.”
And, when you put your trust in this sort of guy, and you find out he’s an abusive, manipulating liar, it messes you up. Anne had a horrific thing happen, according to her. Her story is going to be on next. We’re going to have the victims of this cult on the show, until they fix things. And what is fixing things? Well, it’s open the books, tell us where the money went. Millions of, tens of millions of dollars I believe are, in my opinion, sitting there for James MacDonald’s retirement. And remove all of his hand-picked goons, and family members, and then let it start as a church. Let it really be a church. And set the people free. It’s time. They’ve waited long enough. And there are thousands of abused people. “But what about the people in the church?!?” What about the thousands that aren’t in the church? And what about the thousands that are in the church that deserve to know the truth?
Anne: Harvest Church
Mancow: Harvest cult.
Studio voice: Harvest cult.
Mancow: And I call it that because if you look up what a cult is, that’s a cult. So anyway, what Anne went through, Anne is loved by everybody. She’s beyond reproach. She was someone that everybody knew. Thousands and thousands of people knew. And her story, next. By the way, it’s on the cover of the paper today, right John?
John Dempsey: Yes. People walking out of church yesterday, because they were upset that MacDonald’s right-hand man delivered the sermon via video.
Mancow: He fake fired himself because he got caught doing all kinds of stuff. And so, then his best friend stands up, and they went, “WHAT?!??! OH COME ON!!!!!”
John: The Tribune said, “Dozens of people walked out of the service.”
Mancow: Yeah, and I’ll bet it was more than that.
ANNOUNCER: THE MANCOW.[BREAK]
Mancow: Let’s go to, . . . Anne, how are ya?
Anne: Hi, Mancow. Good morning.
Mancow: So, this is not the right place for you to be doing this, but nobody else is doing it. And I want everybody to know that this is not what I want to do. This is not what I want to do with my time, with my life. But I do see a lot of injustice going on and a scam. And so, I want to let people know what they’re dealing with. And look, he bamboozled me. James MacDonald. Con artist. I don’t believe he believes the Bible. Anne, do you?
Anne: I believe he is a false prophet.
Mancow: Yeah. He uses it as a tool to manipulate and to get money. He can quote the Bible to get money. To make you feel guilty.
Anne: He has an agenda. It’s hard to say. It’s really hard to say. I mean, I was with him in his good days, and then it got really bad. So, you know, it’s hard to say.
Mancow: I know you and your husband have been through a lot. By all accounts, everybody that I talked to, everybody still at Harvest goes, “Oh yeah, Anne Green was a major leader in the church. Everybody loved Anne. Hey, what happened to Anne? Anne used to be . . . what happened to her?” So, I tracked you down on the internet, and what happened? Why did you leave Harvest?
Anne: Oh, my gosh. Well, ultimately, I mean, he fired my husband when he was on staff. And so, you know, we were no longer being paid on salary. So, we stayed an extra year. And I was able to start seeing through it, without having my whole life supported by him. And I really just started seeing through it and I really started understanding that he just to seemed have an agenda that really wasn’t about Jesus.
Mancow: You want to talk about what happened on the plane?
Anne: Yeah, sure. You know, I mean, it was back in, around [the year] 2005, and I was on a Walk In The Word trip to California and back. And James MacDonald’s on the plane, along with Trei Tatum, Andy Rosier, who’s a worship leader, and Sandy Song. And we flew to California and back, to the Lake in the Hills airport. It was all in a 24 hour time. And I was sittin’ in the back seat. And James, uh, moved over by me, and he snuggled up to my right side, and leaned his head onto my right shoulder. And then, uh, he reached across with his right hand, and put his right hand on my right upper thigh, right next to my crotch. I, uh, I was shocked and immediately said, “You can’t touch me there!” And I said it loud. And I heard giggles, from the others, I thought. And James kinda got flustered, pawing his hands on my shoulder, laughed and said, “I never would’ve thought Anne Green would be the one to bring down my ministry.”
Mancow: Well, a lot of that syncs up with a lot of different things. He told me, uh, he told me that he was, uh, see, the Seedorfs run N-Jet. And N-Jet ran the plane for MacDonald and Bill Hybels. They shared a private jet. So, I kinda heard stories. And I’ve heard stories about this, for probably two years. And I asked James about it when we were friends. And he basically said that you’re a holy-holy type, and that’s not the words he used, that you’re just holier than thou, easily offended and that there was some turbulence, and he brushed up against you because the plane shifted, and you made it some kind of sexual harassment thing. That’s what he told me, and I remember clearly. Just this weekend, he was texting people, people were forwarding it to me. And it’s basically, “He’s on an island. He’s suffered such injustices.” And again, him and his goons that he hand-picked, he’s still running this as a PONZI scheme, in my opinion. And he’s still the victim, Anne. He’s still the victim!
Mancow: And I just wonder . . . and the guy could have ended all of this, James MacDonald could have ended this, ALL of this, again, on the cover of the paper today, with a phone call. Had he shown any kind of care for people like you, people like me and my family, and thousands of others, things would be different. So, he slid his hand up to your crotch, your story, then I’m sure he cried. Then he fake-cries when he gets caught. (Mancow imitates sound of person crying) “What have I done?” And then, when nobody’s looking, he tells people like me, “(Mancow imitates James’ laughter) Hilarious.” And you heard the tape I have, which is allegedly him, “I can earn a hundred thousand dollars in a minute with my act.” And it is an act, folks, it is an act. She says she doesn’t know. Well, I think I do. I don’t think someone that believes in a God, and knows that there’s heaven and hell, feels up women, lies, berates people and destroys families and chases people away from God. I don’t think that’s what someone who believes in God does.
*Below is Harvest Bible Chapel’s response to Anne’s allegations, which were posted Monday evening:
Harvest Bible Chapel received a report in September of 2018 of an alleged inappropriate incident, which took place on a private flight in 2005, between Dr. James MacDonald and Mrs. Anne Green. The Elders took the matter seriously and began investigating immediately.
After hearing of the accusation, the Human Resources department of Harvest Bible Chapel proactively reached out to Mrs. Green on September 30, 2018, via email and text. Below is the email. Please note, for privacy, the name of the other woman on the plane has been omitted.
We have been made aware that you may have a concern about something from your time of employment or ministry involvement at Harvest.
We care about all who have labored for the Lord with us, past and present and since it was not reported at the time, we want to offer an opportunity to tell your story to a couple of women who remain here and remember you fondly.
I would like to schedule a call with you and [other woman on plane], maybe an Elder’s wife and myself, as I work in our HR department. We are offering a safe environment to share your story without fear and understand if you choose not to. Also, be assured this offer does not expire should you wish to talk with us in the future.
Just know that we care for you and would appreciate some response at your earliest convenience – at least to know we have connected with you to express our care and support.
Mrs. Green did not respond to the email or text invitation. Additionally, Mrs. Green never filed a police report regarding the alleged incident.
The three other passengers from that flight were interviewed. The passengers stated that they did not recall seeing or hearing anything suspicious or inappropriate.
With no complaint filed by Mrs. Green, no report to the police and the testimony of three witnesses on the flight, Harvest Bible Chapel closed the investigation with the Elders considering the case appropriately vetted and no further action required.
In light of today’s radio interview that Mrs. Green provided to WLS Radio, Harvest Bible Chapel would like to reiterate a sentence from the email sent to Mrs. Green in September, “be assured this offer does not expire should you wish to talk with us in the future.”