James MacDonald Fired from Harvest Bible Chapel

Kate Shellnutt reported the story for Christianity Today:

In the midst of efforts to reconcile with longtime critics, Harvest Bible Chapel fired its founder and senior pastor James MacDonald for “engaging in conduct … contrary and harmful to the best interests of the church.”

Harvest elders announced this morning that they were forced to take “immediate action” on Tuesday to end his 30-year tenure.

“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,” they wrote.

Perhaps the most damaging statement is directed towards the Harvest Elders who failed to act for more than five years. Julie Roys, a reporter, and defendant in a lawsuit brought by Harvest and James MacDonald in an attempt to silence her stated after the firing,

“While I am heartened that the elders finally removed MacDonald, he should have been fired five years ago. That’s when eight former elders sent a letter to the sitting elder board, warning them that MacDonald was disqualified for office,” she said in a response posted Wednesday.

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