In late December 2018, Moody radio (which has a large national network of radio stations) discussed pulling MacDonald’s radio “ministry” program Walk in the Word (WITW) from their radio distribution. Julie Roys, again, has written a masterful piece covering this issue in detail. When you are finished reading Roys’ piece, please return to this post for further discussion of the issue and a litigation update regarding proceedings scheduled for this Monday, 7 January 2019.
What must be appreciated is the large network Moody radio has around the country that provided a massive fund raising platform for MacDonald. In a time when millions of dollars from Harvest Bible Fellowship (HBF) are no longer available to him and regular giving at Harvest Bible Chapel is consistently running under budget, this represents a significant financial blow to the MacDonald empire.
As is his usual practice, when faced with “strained” relationships that place a “burden” upon him, MacDonald resorts to resignation and rhetoric. This morning an email went out to the church announcing that WITW was going digital. This is yet another “resignation” he is attempting to explain to his congregation. Recall that he resigned from the Gospel Coalition in 2012, he resigned from Harvest Bible Fellowship in 2017, and now he has resigned from Moody Radio (and TBN) in 2018. Even before this email and website posting, MacDonald was in full spin mode.
On 31 December 2018, he released a video on the Vimeo platform from what appears to be a lovely home in Naples Florida. Below you can hear in his own words how he began to lay the ground work and attempt to save face amidst this monumental loss.
Also, in this same video MacDonald claims that in 60 days the lawsuit will be over. It is not clear what he means by this. So, let us provide you with a litigation update that might help explain his reference.
All five defendants have filed a total of three Motions to Dismiss, and these motions (if successful) will only dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint for a variety of defects. Again, if the complaint is dismissed, it does not mean that the lawsuit itself will be dismissed. We have no desire to predict or influence the judge’s ruling on these motions.
If a Motion to Dismiss a complaint is granted, typically, a judge will allow a plaintiff to re-write and re-file a new complaint. All motions and responses in our case will be presented on February 27th to the judge and all parties, and at that time the matter will be set for argument and hearing at a future date, suitable to the judge’s and parties’ availability. Is this what MacDonald is referring to? If so, it will not be over in 60 days no matter how the judge rules. Or, is he stating that he (or his elders) will simply withdraw the suit within 60 days time? This remains unclear.
In the meantime, the plaintiff has filed a yet another motion, this time asking the court to stay or cease discovery until the motions to dismiss are heard. This motion to stay discovery was noticed for 7 January 2018 (Monday). Defendants may have an opportunity to respond with their own motions, and then the matter may be set for a hearing date sometime after that.
As you can imagine, preparing these motions, preparing for multiple hearings, and presenting arguments at a multiple hearings is rather expensive. While MacDonald claims this matter will be over in 60 days, there is much legal work that needs to be done behind the scenes before then. At present, we anticipate needing to raise approximately $20,000 over the next two months to fully cover the Motion to Stay Discovery issues, the Motion to Dismiss issues and the Allstate coverage issues that remain in play.
As always, you can donate to The Elephant’s Debt Legal Defense Fund through Go Fund Me or, preferably, by sending checks to:
2206 N. Main Street, #207
Wheaton, IL 60187
We deeply appreciate the financial support you have all provided, and we continue to pray and seek out additional resources going forward.