In 2017, former pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel James MacDonald taught Bible classes at Harvest Christian Academy. While there, on January 25 2017, he was recorded harshly confronting and physically grabbing a student during one of his lessons. This video recently surfaced on social media and in a blog post by Julie Roys. Here it is:
This is a video excerpt of James MacDonald teaching the HCA Bibliology class in early ’17. PLEASE NOTE: This is NOT the incident that @reachjulieroys wrote about in her WORLD mag article. I don’t know if this was during the same class session as that incident. Still horrible. 😞 pic.twitter.com/4PAWBWUhY8
— Jessica (@ex_harvest) March 20, 2019
I wrote the current superintendent of HCA, Talbott Behnken, to find out what happened as the result of that incident and if such behavior was in violation of HCA’s policies. Earlier today, he sent a statement that he requested be printed in full.
James MacDonald was fired from Harvest Bible Chapel in February of 2019. Harvest Christian Academy had no authority to fire or discipline the then Senior Pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel, James MacDonald. That responsibility belonged to the elder board of Harvest Bible Chapel.
Prior to the time of the Bible class situation in 2017, I was not aware of James’s outbursts and issues to recognize that it would not be a good situation for our students. At that time, I believed that James was a gifted Bible teacher and it was a great opportunity for our students. Clearly, it didn’t go as we all had hoped. If I had to do it all over again knowing now what I know, I would not have permitted James to teach Bible at HCA. We have wonderful godly teachers and staff at HCA who pour themselves out for the Lord and our students everyday. These videos are not representative of our incredible teaching staff, our school, or our expectations. The people being hurt are our dear students, alumni, teachers, and staff. James MacDonald is not here to deal with any of the fall-out from his behavior. He has hurt our people enough.
The content of the videos speak for themselves and James MacDonald is responsible for his conduct and words. James MacDonald has not instructed HCA Bible students since early in the spring semester 2017 and will not be permitted to teach students at HCA again. Please direct any further inquiries regarding the behavior of James MacDonald to James MacDonald.