Editor’s Note: The elders of Harvest Bible Chapel released the following announcement to their congregation this morning (dateline February 13, 2019).
Dear Harvest Bible Chapel Family:
It is with great sadness that we as the Elders of Harvest Bible Chapel wish to convey to you a very recent development that has caused us to take immediate action regarding our Senior Pastor, Dr. James MacDonald.
Following a lengthy season of review, reflection, and prayerful discussion, the Elders of Harvest Bible Chapel had determined that Pastor MacDonald should be removed from his role of Senior Pastor. That timeline accelerated, when on Tuesday morning highly inappropriate recorded comments made by Pastor MacDonald were given to media and reported. Given that and other conduct under consideration, in accordance with the procedures in our Bylaws, Pastor MacDonald was removed as Senior Pastor and as an Elder of the church for engaging in conduct that the Elders believe is contrary and harmful to the best interests of the church. His employment has been terminated from Harvest Bible Chapel, effective today, February 12, 2019. This decision was made with heavy hearts and much time spent in earnest prayer, followed by input from various trusted outside advisors.
Our Elders and Staff are committed to fulfilling our fiduciary duty as the leadership of this congregation, knowing that at times the outcome may be misunderstood or emotionally painful. A more detailed communication regarding next steps for our church will take place in our weekend services.
We sincerely thank you for your prayers, your support, and your patience as we work together to restore a trust in leadership, a humility to surrender to biblical authority, and a firm resolve to move forward as a church family. Please continue to uphold our church, the Elder Board, staff, and the MacDonald family in prayer at this time.
– The Elders of Harvest Bible Chapel
Julie Roys, Christian and investigative journalist, released the following statement on her Facebook page:
The elders of Harvest Bible Chapel have removed James MacDonald as a pastor and an elder “for engaging in conduct that the Elders believe is contrary and harmful to the best interests of the church.”
This is long overdue, and should have happened five years ago when eight former elders sent a letter to the sitting elder board, warning them that MacDonald was disqualified for his office. So much pain and suffering could have been avoided had the board done the right thing back then, instead of excommunicating the messengers. (By the way, some of the elders who participated in that vile deed remain on Harvest’s elder board. In fact, one of them, Steve Huston, remains chairman of Harvest’s Executive Committee of Elders.)
That being said, I am grateful for this first step in the right direction. And I am praying for the good people of Harvest, who I know are grieving today. I can only imagine the sense of betrayal and loss. I am so sorry it came to this.
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