A “Deer In Headlights” or A Divided Board?

Over 48 hours ago, on the 18th of December, Julie Roys published a piece on her blog entitled “Harvest Elder Accuses Church Leaders of ‘Deceitfulness and Manipulation’ and Attempting to ‘Run a Cult.'”  In that piece, Randy Williams, the former Chairman of the Executive Elder Board and current sitting Elder at Harvest Bible Chapel, wrote:

“I’ve had it with the deceitfulness and manipulation … This update and all that it represents is beyond my comprehension of anything but an attempt to run a cult and control the masses.”

Since that time, James S. MacDonald and Harvest Bible Chapel have released a piece entitled “Pastor James, Randy Williams and Harvest Elder Authority.”  Embedded within that document is another piece entitled “Elder Statement of Record: December 18, 2018.” It reads, in part, as follows:

“We, the Elders of Harvest Bible Chapel, express our appreciation and unconditional support for our Senior Pastor, James MacDonald.”

What is of great interest at this point is quite simple. Of the current elders who have been asked to sign this document, only 25 out of 36 men have been willing to pledge their “unconditional support” at present. [1]  Clearly, this is a developing situation, and we would fully anticipate the very real possibility that individuals who have not signed will eventually sign. [2] [3]

But one of two possibilities exist.  Either, MacDonald and Harvest Bible Chapel will get all of the non-conforming elders to sign, which would strongly suggest that Randy Williams was prophetic when he said:

“I think the vast majority [of the elders] are deer in headlights.”

Or, alternatively, the non-conformists will not sign the Statement of Record; and MacDonald and HBC would appear to have a divided Elder Board, which undercuts their ability to argue for Elder consensus in the future.

Either way, Harvest would appear to have a real problem on their hands.

Finally, it should be noted that MacDonald and/or Harvest Bible Chapel are attempting to recruit former Elders to sign this Statement of Record.  To date, three such former Elders have agreed to put their names behind MacDonald.  What is of note here is that HBC is embedding these former Elders in the list of active signatories, without noting that these men are not current sitting Elders.  This makes it appear as if they are trying to visually strengthen their case by pointing to large numbers, without clearly indicating that these former Elders hold no official power in the church.


[1] The article originally read 23 out of 36, when the piece was posted.  It will be updated periodically as current elders consider adding their name to the list of signatories.

[2] Shortly before the publication of this piece, Steve Stewart signed the “Statement of Record.”  Likewise, shortly after the publication of this piece, Dan George added his name to the “Statement.”

Since the publication of this article, we have added numerous Elders from various eras, including David Streich, who contacted TED and asked to have his name added to the list that would “Probably Would Not Sign.”

By 7:00 am CST on 21 December, four current elders including: Gil De Las AlasJohn Dierker, Anthony Honore, and Marcel Olar joined four former elders including: Ron Frahler, Jamie Harrison, Ernest Holton, and Bill Williams in moving their names off the “Have Not Signed” and “Probably Won’t Sign” lists and onto the “Current Elders Who Have Signed” and “Former Elders Who Have Signed” list respectively.

[3] It remains utterly unclear as to what Kevn Dekker would do.


8 thoughts on “A “Deer In Headlights” or A Divided Board?

  1. The subject of HBC being a cult is an interesting subject. The key in determining wether HBC is a cult is what they do with Jesus. Have they turned Him into merchandise? Have they replaced the Cross with a logo ? Has the ministry become personality driven ? Do the church at work videos replace Christ with Harvest? There is so much more it would be hard to cover. Take a look at some of the the “Act Like Men” video from camp Havest. Are there behavior modification techniques being used? True repentance is the only medicine.

  2. Watching this play out reminds me of the old Soviet Union or currently North Korea. It seems to break down that there is a subset of the population that are true believers, there is a subset that know it’s all bunk but are in it for profit or self-gain, and there is a subset that go along because they are afraid of getting killed. In the end, if all that is being said is true, I suspect all of the current elders will sign on due to one of the above conditions. I also wonder how much of the “unconditional” support is based on the fact that some members of the elder board have their own deep sin issues that haven’t come to light outside of the elder board and James has made it clear that if he goes down, they will all go down with him via all those issues being made public.

  3. I hope this matter may be solved within the Christian community, ie, no secular reporters or media allowed.

    1. The Lord will use whomever he sees fit.

  4. It certainly seems deceptive to include the names of ex-elders on an elder statement without including some kind of notation that they are former elders. Seems designed to create an inflated sense of support from the current elder board.

  5. In reading this, one has to agree with you or they are a deer or in a cult. If they try to find other people that agree with them then they are just searching to make it look like they have support. If you or someone you know was to interview past elders or past members and they agree with you that just proves your point. It is hard to believe how blind we can become when controlled by bitterness and anger. I am not saying you do not have a reason to be angry but I am saying you paint it in a way that anyone that does not see it your way is weak. We will all give an account someday for the lives we have lived, the words we have spoken, and the actions we have taken. It really is not a day that I personally am looking forward to. As you move forward this is something I would keep in mind as should I. I hope you find peace and healing in the coming days.

  6. If any current or former elder who has had his (or his wife’s) photo shot at by James’ pellet gun, and still signs a statement of UNCONDITIONAL support, then we’ll know the situation is even worse than we thought.

  7. Friendly edit: “deer” 🙂


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