Trei Tatum has Resigned from the XLT and Harvest Bible Chapel

update button 25 janu 2019Updated: 1/25/19 at 6:15 p.m.  Earlier this afternoon we ran aimg_2325 story asking whether Trei Tatum had resigned from Harvest Bible Chapel.  By the evening, Mr. Tatum confirmed this by updating his Facebook account to read: “Worked at Harvest Bible Chapel Elgin.”  This along with several other confirmations leads us to believe that he has given HBC 30 days notice.  Continue to read for the full story.

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According to three independent sources, when he walked into work today, Trei Tatum, Executive Pastor of Shepherding and Operations and Lead Pastor, was one of the six current members of the Executive Leadership Team (XLT).  According to the Harvest website, this team is currently composed of Luke and Landon MacDonald, and four other individuals.  By this afternoon, Trei Tatum had allegedly resigned his position at Harvest Bible Chapel, but as of this writing, he has not confirmed this with TED.   If this information is accurate, it comes at a time of incredible instability on the leadership team.  Consider if you will, the composition of the Executive Leadership Team as recently as year end 2016:

James MacDonald, Senior Pastor
Rick Donald, Assistant Senior Pastor
Scott Milholland, Senior Executive Pastor and Chief Operating Officer (COO)
Fred Adams, Executive Business Pastor and Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
Dean Butters, Executive Pastor of Operations and Students Minstries
Garrett Higbee, Chief Health Officer Biblical Soul Care (CHO)
Janine Nelson, Executive Director Walk in the Word
Trei Tatum, Executive Pastor of Stewardship
Jeff Donaldson, Executive Ministry Pastor
Luke MacDonald, Executive Ministry Pastor

According to the Internet Archive called the “Wayback Machine,” sometime between the end of 2016 and 5 April 2017, Dean Butters had left and Kent Shaw has been added to the list. 

James MacDonald, Senior Pastor
Rick Donald, Assistant Senior Pastor
Scott Milholland, Senior Executive Pastor and Chief Operating Officer (COO)
Fred Adams, Executive Business Pastor and Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
Dean Butters, Executive Pastor of Operations and Students Minstries
Garrett Higbee, Chief Health Officer Biblical Soul Care (CHO)
Janine Nelson, Executive Director Walk in the Word
Trei Tatum, Executive Pastor of Stewardship
Jeff Donaldson, Executive Ministry Pastor
Luke MacDonald, Executive Ministry Pastor
Kent Shaw, Executive Director Harvest Bible Fellowship

By 26 May 2017, the “Wayback Machine” indicates that Kent Shaw, the Executive Director of Harvest Bible Fellowship has left and Dallas Jenkins has been added.  It is important to note that this would be during the time when James MacDonald inappropriately exercised his authority to sever all ties between Harvest Bible Chapel and Harvest Bible Fellowship (now known as the GCC).  So Shaw’s absence is particularly noteworthy in this time frame.

James MacDonald, Senior Pastor
Rick Donald, Assistant Senior Pastor
Scott Milholland, Senior Executive Pastor and Chief Operating Officer (COO)
Fred Adams, Executive Business Pastor and Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
Dean Butters, Executive Pastor of Operations and Students Minstries
Garrett Higbee, Chief Health Officer Biblical Soul Care (CHO)
Janine Nelson, Executive Director Walk in the Word
Trei Tatum, Executive Pastor of Stewardship
Jeff Donaldson, Executive Ministry Pastor
Luke MacDonald, Executive Ministry Pastor
Kent Shaw, Executive Director Harvest Bible Fellowship
Dallas Jenkins, Executive Direction Vertical Church Media

Just two months later, by August 2017, the “Wayback Machine” indicates that the Chief Health Officer, Garrett Higbee, has also stepped off the XLT. 

James MacDonald, Senior Pastor
Rick Donald, Assistant Senior Pastor
Scott Milholland, Senior Executive Pastor and Chief Operating Officer (COO)
Fred Adams, Executive Business Pastor and Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
Dean Butters, Executive Pastor of Operations and Students Minstries
Garrett Higbee, Chief Health Officer Biblical Soul Care (CHO)
Janine Nelson, Executive Director Walk in the Word
Trei Tatum, Executive Pastor of Stewardship
Jeff Donaldson, Executive Ministry Pastor
Luke MacDonald, Executive Ministry Pastor
Kent Shaw, Executive Director Harvest Bible Fellowship
Dallas Jenkins, Executive Direction Vertical Church Media

The next time the “Wayback Machine” catalogs Harvest Bible Chapel is on the 25th of February 2018.  Clearly, the split from the Fellowship has been a tumultuous time; and it is perhaps reflected in the significant changes we see on the XLT.  Fred Adams (CFO) and Dallas Jenkins (VCM) are now both gone; and the team is down to seven.

James MacDonald, Senior Pastor
Rick Donald, Assistant Senior Pastor
Scott Milholland, Senior Executive Pastor and Chief Operating Officer (COO)
Fred Adams, Executive Business Pastor and Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
Dean Butters, Executive Pastor of Operations and Students Minstries
Garrett Higbee, Chief Health Officer Biblical Soul Care (CHO)
Janine Nelson, Executive Director Walk in the Word
Trei Tatum, Executive Pastor of Stewardship
Jeff Donaldson, Executive Ministry Pastor
Luke MacDonald, Executive Ministry Pastor
Kent Shaw, Executive Director Harvest Bible Fellowship
Dallas Jenkins, Executive Direction Vertical Church Media

Now we come to January of 2019.  Far more radical changes have occurred.  James MacDonald (SP) is no longer listed on the XLT.  Neither is Rick Donald (ASP).  Scott Milholland (COO) has been publicly blamed for certain ill-defined problems and has resigned.  Finally, Janine Nelson (WITW) has left.  In an effort to bolster their ranks, Harvest has apparently promoted the following men: Mohan Zachariah, Jeff Sharda (the new CFO) and James MacDonald’s youngest son, Landon MacDonald.

James MacDonald, Senior Pastor
Rick Donald, Assistant Senior Pastor
Scott Milholland, Senior Executive Pastor and Chief Operating Officer (COO)
Fred Adams, Executive Business Pastor and Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
Dean Butters, Executive Pastor of Operations and Students Minstries
Garrett Higbee, Chief Health Officer Biblical Soul Care (CHO)
Janine Nelson, Executive Director Walk in the Word
Trei Tatum, Executive Pastor of Stewardship
Jeff Donaldson, Executive Ministry Pastor
Luke MacDonald, Executive Ministry Pastor
Kent Shaw, Executive Director Harvest Bible Fellowship
Dallas Jenkins, Executive Direction Vertical Church Media
Mohan Zachariah, Executive Ministry Pastor/Lead Pastor
Jeff Sharda, Chief Financial Officer
Landon MacDonald, Executive Pastor of Student Ministries

Now, as of this afternoon, Trei Tatum has allegedly resigned his position at Harvest Bible Chapel.

James MacDonald, Senior Pastor
Rick Donald, Assistant Senior Pastor
Scott Milholland, Senior Executive Pastor and Chief Operating Officer (COO)
Fred Adams, Executive Business Pastor and Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
Dean Butters, Executive Pastor of Operations and Students Minstries
Garrett Higbee, Chief Health Officer Biblical Soul Care (CHO)
Janine Nelson, Executive Director Walk in the Word
Trei Tatum, Executive Pastor of Stewardship
Jeff Donaldson, Executive Ministry Pastor
Luke MacDonald, Executive Ministry Pastor
Kent Shaw, Executive Director Harvest Bible Fellowship
Dallas Jenkins, Executive Direction Vertical Church Media
Mohan Zachariah, Executive Ministry Pastor/Lead Pastor
Jeff Sharda, Chief Financial Officer
Landon MacDonald, Executive Pastor of Student Ministries

These are the many changes at the very top of the XLT leadership structure at Harvest Bible Chapel.  And they come in a two-year season during which:

1.  Harvest broke all ties with their church planting Fellowship

2.  Harvest fired its Chief Information Officer over issues of alleged theft

3.  Harvest sued two bloggers, their wives and a freelance journalist

4.  Harvest published a “biblical” defense of their lawsuit in Christianity Today

5.  Harvest put MacDonald on an “indefinite sabbatical” while allowing him to preach in Naples.

6.  Harvest allegedly fired the founding pastor of the Naples Campus

7.  Harvest has found its issues being covered by major media outlets including: The Daily Herald, The Chicago Tribune, Radio host Mancow Muller, WORLD Magazine, The Christian Post, Religion News Service, Christianity Today and “All Things Considered” on National Public Radio (1/25/19).

With the shrinking number of names now listed on the XLT membership roster, who is really making key decisions for the Harvest ministry now? Also, we hope that Trei will make a public statement as to the reason for his stepping away and his possible future involvement in ministry oversight, decision-making and conflict resolution. Rather than surmising his reasons — and with so many unanswered questions and the degree of his involvements in previous decision-making — we believe that the church is owed that much now by Trei and anyone else who might be stepping away from the church leadership while this remains unresolved.

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Editor’s Note: The Elephant’s attempted to reach out to both Trei Tatum and Sherry Smith to seek comment.  Neither were available.

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13 thoughts on “Trei Tatum has Resigned from the XLT and Harvest Bible Chapel

  1. Sounds like these elders are very tied to keeping earthly treasures provided by the church and that’s not a good place to be

  2. How cozy that Rick Donald is the interim campus pastor at Harvest Naples while James is taking an “indefinite sabbatical” at ?? You are correct… Harvest Naples… this after they fired the original pastor that founded the church! You can’t make this stuff up! I’m sure James and Rick will be able to whittle a few strokes off their golf handicap and enjoy some very nice meals on the churches dime while they still bring in their huge 6 figure paychecks! Wowzers!!

  3. As this continues to explode, I’m wondering what the consequences will be for these men that were involved and then resigned? Surely there will be some legal ramifications for the financial misuse?

  4. Walk in the Word 2018 Financials Radio Broadcast Ending March 2nd
    Income $8,100,000
    https://jamesmacdonald.com/fy1718-midyear/

  5. Sorry to derail the conversation but I just noticed that there is a new Harvest starting in Hinsdale. Looks like they are going straight after the high dollar donors. The worship pastor is none other than Jordan Donald (Rick Donald’s son).

    1. That’s the Mark Driscoll influence. Church implodes, relocate to wealthy area.

      1. The Hinsdale campus has been in the works for a very long time, years in fact. It was more of a grass-roots situation. People in the area have been asking for a Harvest campus for years.

    2. They’ve already given $750K to this campus start-up. Wondering if it will still open as planned….?

      1. Where did you get that 750K figure? Is that much needed? I would think they would start off first by renting a space for awhile until the congregation builds up.

    3. And notice HBC site announces James Mac WILL BE preaching by satellite….so much for the indefinite sabbatical!!!!

  6. carolineafischer January 25, 2019 — 7:18 pm

    Who is going to stop these men from resigning one by one and taking hefty severance packages when they should be FIRED? And if certain people want to rise up and be part of the solution, they better get LOW first and repent of being part of the problem. Confess it to the church. Talking to you, Greg Bradshaw, Jeff Donaldson, Brit Gilman.

    1. If a person resigns or gives notice they do not receive severance pay. At least not that I know of. Severance packages are offered to people who are asked to take early retirement or severed through down sizing. Do you know anyone who has received a hefty severance package who has left?

  7. Ex Service coordinator January 25, 2019 — 5:57 pm

    Harvest XLT board is starting to alot like a Holiday Party at the Macdonald mansion, everyone is related…James has achieved what seems to have been his goal all along…Total Absolute Control! What a shame!

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