On September 22, 2017, the HBC Elders released an Update stating that James MacDonald was relieved of leadership duty, and he is to remain on staff solely for purposes of teaching/preaching. James MacDonald has been released from the Executive Leadership Team or the XLT (the staff team that runs the day-to-day of the church), and a new team will be assembled. The new XLT will report directly to the Elder Board (EC) and not James MacDonald. As usual, the Elder Update lacks sufficient transparent details to explain this significant decision, but rest assured we are dedicated to writing again on a regular basis to unpack the details.
As you know, on June 14, 2017, James MacDonald claimed to have “resigned” as President of HBF; we posted on this matter which can be found here. From a very reliable source we now can say definitively that this was a forced resignation/termination. This source also confirmed that certain HBF pastors threatened to leave HBF if MacDonald remained as President. As a natural consequence of his termination, HBF demanded an audit of HBF funds, utilizing their own auditors.
Since June, several high level meetings have taken place between HBF leadership and HBC elders to sort through significant concerns over the management of HBF funds. HBF insisted that their own auditors be present to review any available documents of transfers between HBF and HBC. HBF auditors were members of HBF churches, and these auditors were not able to conduct an Internal Control Audit (ICA) which would allow them to see bank account records, cancelled checks, and other specific documentation to determine who signed checks and to whom those checks were written. HBF auditors walked away troubled as to the manner in which a few select HBC staff members managed HBF funds. In short – we will get into the details in subsequent posts – HBF funds in the amount of $573,000 were not accounted for by HBC staff or elders in detail.
After facing intense scrutiny over the character of James MacDonald, particularly his handling of money and greed, the Elders of HBC promised church members greater oversight, accountability and transparency regarding church finances and leadership. It appears by admission of the Elder Update from 9/22/17 that they were still not sufficiently “informed and proactive” in their oversight of key staff, and they discovered their “system of governance did not work nearly as well at protecting” the church.
Why does this Elder Board still not have control and true accountability over the finances of this deeply indebted church?
Who at HBC can account for the $573,000?
Who knows the person or persons that signed those checks?
Who knows to whom those checks were written?
Why have the Elders chosen to hide the answers to these simple questions?