Last Sunday, the elders of Harvest Bible Chapel announced that they had found former pastor and church founder James MacDonald to be biblically disqualified for pastoral ministry. Today, MacDonald posted what appears to be a response to that announcement on his Facebook page.
MacDonald begins with a vague reference his “former church”:
I trust this timing finds you well in the Lord and growing in your awareness of how good He truly is. Our efforts to work through existing channels in our former church have reached an unsuccessful end, leading to this release of words we have long sought to express.
MacDonald addresses various concerns raised by Harvest’s weekend statement. Specifically, he confesses “sinful patterns of fleshly anger and self pity that wounded co-workers and others.” He adds that his decisions involving the lawsuit against Julie Roys, two former elders and their wives, his media ministry and Harvest Bible Fellowship were “regrettable.”
In the end, however, he continues to contest the statements from Harvest and remains in arbitration.
Decisions by the current Elder/staff, along with inaccurate announcements and recent public condemnation, signaled clearly the timing to communicate our message directly. With sadness we accept that no face-to-face confession or truth-advancing interaction will be forthcoming.
The above matters are now in Christian arbitration where impartial believers will hear and give a written, objective ruling. As we cannot give specifics, we are trusting the Lord for truth to be revealed in His time, and we covet your prayers.
Despite the words of confession and findings of HBC, it appears MacDonald is gearing up for a return to ministry of some kind.
After waiting many months in hope of a pathway toward restoration, we have been welcomed into the congregation of New Life Covenant Church in Humboldt Park, Chicago. A multi-ethnic church under Pastor Wilfredo DeJesus, New Life has embraced us in love, offering us a place to serve and the beginnings of healing community.
In a recent Naples Daily News article, I was quoted as saying that James MacDonald would be back in the ministry saddle. That interview was conducted in May. It is not that I think disqualified pastors should go back into the pulpit. I don’t; but this is the pattern that has become well traveled.