Randy Williams (HBC Elder & Former Chairman of the Board) calls HBC a Cult

Early this morning, co-defendant and journalist Julie Roys published a new article entitled “Harvest Elder Accuses Church Leaders of ‘Deceitfulness and Manipulation’ and Attempting to ‘Run a Cult.'”

5 thoughts on “Randy Williams (HBC Elder & Former Chairman of the Board) calls HBC a Cult

  1. BTW – Where is Randy Williams now? He is no longer listed on Harvest’s website as a member of the elder board . I know he stated his term was coming up as executive committee chairman, but has he quietly left the elder board altogether?

  2. What? No update on this post? No willingness to give airtime to Randy Williams’ December 21 statement in response to Julie Roys’ post? Could it be that you may not be interested in publicizing facts that contradict your own desired narrative? I really have wanted to believe the best about your motives in curating this site, but I am not yet persuaded that they are as honorable as you would want people to believe. Praying for us all, who will give an account to the only One who rightly judges each ones’ heart. I genuinely wish God’s best for you.

  3. Former 12 Year Member and Leader December 18, 2018 — 4:39 pm

    Current Harvest Bible Chapel Elders,

    The situation is quickly escalating out of control. Before James can direct the narrative and spin the “attacks” against him and his church, the elder board needs to act quickly and decisively to gain control and protect the church and its members from further damage. While James is away, the elder board needs to vote unanimously and announce the following changes:

    – Given the character issues recently brought to light through World Magazine and the current litigation, based on Titus 1:5-9, James S. MacDonald is immediately relieved of all duties and obligations to Harvest Bible Chapel and is removed from the Elder Board and from access to the Harvest pulpit and systems
    – Dissolve the Executive Elder Committee effective immediately
    – Ask for the resignations of any and all elders that are found to be complicit in James’ unbiblical leadership, character, and treatment of subordinates
    – Terminate the employment of any family members of James S. MacDonald currently working for Harvest Bible Chapel and any of its affiliates, including but not limited to: Luke MacDonald, Landon MacDonald, Abigail MacDonald, and Kathy MacDonald
    – Terminate the employment of any and all pastors and leaders that executed James’ unbiblical and unethical treatment of members and fellow leaders, including but not limited to: Rick Donald, Jeff Donaldson, and others
    – Remove Harvest Bible Chapel from any and all lawsuits currently in process
    – Announce the immediate search for a new high-quality Senior Pastor, with an emphasis on character and Bible-teaching gifts
    – Invite any former elders, pastors, leaders, and members to return to help the transition process in a Godly, Biblical, and humble manner
    – Announce that the current multi-site structure will be re-evaluated once the new leadership and elder board is in place
    – Announce that the current constitution will be completely rewritten in line with a Biblical distribution of authority and which supports the future structure of the church
    – Broadcast these changes to the congregation through an Elder Update, Press Release, and e-mail blast
    – Ensure all future communication with membership and the press is devoid of spin, wordsmithing, dishonesty, and protection of leaders
    – Release all ex-leaders and pastors from any existing anti-compete and non-disclosure agreements

    James will certainly sue to be re-instated, but with him no longer controlling the narrative with the congregation, he will be without his most important asset, control of the conversation. He would also need to be made aware that any lawsuit would result in the public release of all financial records previously under control of the XLT, including Salary, Bonus, and Benefits for all MacDonald family members, LLC ownership that resulted in financial conflicts of interest, and any shifts of funds between Harvest Bible Chapel entities. The potential impact on James’ future ministry opportunities should limit any litigation options.

    Although this would be an extremely difficult time for the church, it would protect the current congregation from future harm and ensure the Bride of Christ is led in a Biblical, humble, and God-honoring manner. Any loss of membership as a result of James’ departure would likely be offset by the many wounded and disillusioned that return with optimism, hoping for integrity and humility to return to the church they loved. May His Peace be over the entire process.

    1. Thoughtful plan! However, from reading a recent article, it states as follows…..
      “The Bylaws make the Sr. Pastor a member of The Executive Committee. The Bylaws provide for removal of the Sr. Pastor only by unanimous consent of The Executive Committee.(…)” It sounds as though James would have to fire himself and that probably would not happen.

      The congregation of 12k+ is at stake and I’m grieved as to where to go from here. Your ideas are well thought out and you may consider sharing on Julie Roy’s Facebook where discussions are going on.

      Blessings on your efforts to protect the “church”.

  4. I have read this site for some time, having come across it as a result of originally following, listening to, and reading James McDonald’s sermons and books.

    When the controversy arose during the involvement of T.D. Jakes in the Elephant’s Room 2 event, I sent an email to HBC as one who was concerned about the theological confusion and harm that might come from the seeming validation of his doctrinal positions. To the credit of HBC, I received a phone call from one of the pastors (He is no longer there but I believe his first name was something like Lyle, Lionel or Lowell – my apologies to him for not remembering). I expressed some concerns and we had a very amicable conversation.Unfortunately, in my opinion, within a few days after our conversation James McDonald seemed to bring ‘race’ into the dialogue in regard to the Elephant Room 2. I texted or emailed that same Pastor as to the intensity of my disappointment and how inappropriate and, perhaps even unnecessarily inflammatory, such an effort appeared to be. He responded – graciously, albeit a bit defensively – and that was the end of our contact, as it wasn’t long after that that he, too, left HBC.

    Fifteen years ago I felt led to leave my job and to enter full-time vocational ministry. I have been a Senior/Lead Pastor since that time, and the Lord has continued to bless myself and our church family beyond what we deserve. I have no regrets in making this transition and am grateful that the Lord lets me be involved in His Kingdom in this way, in spite of my own brokenness. That said:

    1. Having now served in this role for this length of time, I have concluded that God gave a biblical model of church governance that involved a plurality for a reason. No one man has the capacity, the call, or the wisdom to have excessive executive authority. I have heard time and again that ‘a bigger church has to use a different model,’ hence things like executive teams made up of individuals who don’t even attend the church, or ‘elders within the eldership’ who make up an ultimate decision-making group, often where the Pastor has a clearly disproportionate say and/or authority in matters. HBC’s seeming lack of trust in God’s ways has not only appeared to reek havoc on their own church family and their staff but is also casting a shadow on all of us seeking to preach the Gospel of Jesus as the information like that in the text streams in this blog post, and the recent article in World becomes public.

    2. The need for ‘non-disclosure’ and ‘no-compete’ clauses in the very Body of Christ in my opinion is a disgrace. How is it that we have come to a place that we let competition and silence be guiding factors in what is to be a Gospel-driven community (the church) that is all about proclamation and the spread of God’s Word? Isn’t any positive impact we’ve had for the Gospel and the Kingdom from God anyway – what is it we’re ‘protecting’ by such things? Surely not Him.

    3. I have watched individuals leave our church family at times for reasons that I did not agree were real or justifiable, in regard to how we were painted as a staff or leadership. I have no doubt HBC has had the same. That said, both individuals who have been involved in their leadership and staff seem to point to the presence a culture that is incredibly broken, unpredictable and – in some ways – vile. Perhaps it is time for everyone to just get on their knees, repent of the wrong that has been done and – literally – to start again with a new leadership model where the Pastor is one of several Elders with equal authority. If not, it appears they’re on their way to letting their pride destroy them as was done at Mars Hill – where a Pastor appeared to blatantly ignore the authority that he was under, imploded a church body (as well as, it appeared, the willingness of some to ever put their faith in Jesus), and ran off and planted a new church appearing to try to hide / ignore what had just happened.

    4. Years ago, while holding an elective office, I was part of a small group that ended up ‘rocking the boat’ and making some very unpopular – and personally costly – public decisions as a result of uncovering some behaviors, financial arrangements and lack of accountability that was just wrong. The ‘easy’ thing to do would have been to just let it go, move on and to not face the assured broken relationships and ‘new normal’ that were going to come about due to acting. But, after a lot of prayer and sleepless nights it was clear that acting was the right thing to do.

    Although I write this from a distance – Pennsylvania – due to the fact that I feel it impossible for HBC to claim anymore that these are ‘in-house’ events for ‘in-house’ folks only to speak into, due to their own efforts to be a ‘brand’ and to influence churches throughout the nation and the world, I do acknowledge that, ultimately, these events will need to be resolved by the HBC community. However, the fact that some folks in the HBC body found some information that they felt was wrong, sought to have questions answered, and ultimately started this site when answers appeared to be not-existent, misleading or avoided does not make them wrong for taking action.
    I clearly don’t know if all that has been shared here is 100% accurate – and it is unfortunate if it isn’t. But these folks didn’t just write a few personal opinions; they published a wealth of seemingly very disconcerting information. And, it is information that appears to have stood the test of time, rebuttal and that has led to additional information that appears to be concerning.

    I don’t know where this goes next for all of you, but I do know that the more that is revealed, the worse it appears to look; not just for HBC but for all of us seeking to stand for and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus, if from nothing more than ‘guilt by association’ in the general public’s eyes due to being Christians.

    I write this as a follower of Jesus who struggles with my own sinful nature, pride, and past leadership decisions I wish I could go back and make differently – an imperfect person saved by grace through Jesus. Might we all constantly remember that’s all we are regardless of ‘worldly metrics’ of ‘success.’ My fear is we’re going to do nothing but add to the deconstruction of a Christian worldview in America if we don’t.

    Blessings, Eric

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