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A prominent Chigaco-area evangelical megachurch is under scrutiny for an alleged culture of intimidation, fear, and suspicious financial activities, allegations the church says amount to an unfair attack from a journalist with an "unhealthy fixation" on it.
Harvest Bible Chapel, which has several campuses across the Chicago area, was the subject of an eight-month-long investigation by former Moody Radio host and author Julie Roys, who published her findings in the most recent issue of WORLD magazine.
Report - Actions - Elders - Pastor - James
Her report detailed the actions of former elders who believed that longtime pastor James MacDonald was unfit to serve any longer in light of the New Testament requirements for being an elder or pastor. In 2013, eight of them penned a letter describing how MacDonald loved and mismanaged money, bullied people, and was known for "abusive speech," "outbursts of anger" and making misleading statements.
This set in motion a dispute that garnered some notable press coverage at the time. MacDonald ultimately apologized for the harsh way church leadership had disciplined three of those eight former elders and those three elders accepted his apology in exchange for leaving the church alone and allowing the current elders to reform the ministry. Yet now those three elders and others say that they think no reforms have been implemented and that the culture of abusive treatment and shady financial activity has continued.
Blog - Tuesday - Roys - Randy - Williams
Writing on her blog Tuesday, Roys elaborated further, quoting Randy Williams, a current HBC elder and former chairman of the church's executive committee — a group of a few elders and MacDonald that make financial and legal decisions for the church — who said in a November 2017 text message to a pastor at an independent Harvest Bible Chapel in Indianapolis that he was recusing himself from EC activities and the leadership team because MacDonald and the senior leaders conduct...
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