Yesterday morning, on his drive-time radio program, Eric “Mancow” Muller precipitated yet another crisis at Harvest Bible Chapel. In addition to releasing what appears to be a controversial, hot-mic audio tape, Mancow threatened to initiate a class-action lawsuit against MacDonald and Harvest. Last night, the Harvest elders met again, beginning at 7:00 pm, continuing their ongoing conversation regarding what to do with MacDonald.
At this time, it appears that Harvest Bible Chapel has finally elected to release James MacDonald from his role as the Founding and Senior Pastor of HBC.
Harvest’s statement, emailed out to the church in the middle of the night, reads as follows:
Below is an update from our elders. All campuses will be open this evening for a time of prayer. Please look for communication from your campus regarding time and location.
Dear Harvest Bible Chapel Family:
It is with great sadness that we as the Elders of Harvest Bible Chapel wish to convey to you a very recent development that has caused us to take immediate action regarding our Senior Pastor, Dr. James MacDonald.
Following a lengthy season of review, reflection, and prayerful discussion, the Elders of Harvest Bible Chapel had determined that Pastor James should be removed from his role of Senior Pastor. That timeline accelerated, when on Tuesday morning highly inappropriate recorded comments made by Pastor James were given to media and reported. Given that and other conduct under consideration, in accordance with the procedures in our Bylaws, Pastor James was removed as Senior Pastor and as an Elder of the church for engaging in conduct that the Elders believe is contrary and harmful to the best interests of the church. His employment has been terminated from Harvest Bible Chapel, effective today, February 12, 2019. This decision was made with heavy hearts and much time spent in earnest prayer, followed by input from various trusted outside advisors.
Our Elders and Staff are committed to fulfilling our fiduciary duty as the leadership of this congregation, knowing that at times the outcome may be misunderstood or emotionally painful. A more detailed communication regarding next steps for our church will take place in our weekend services.
We sincerely thank you for your prayers, your support, and your patience as we work together to restore a trust in leadership, a humility to surrender to biblical authority, and a firm resolve to move forward as a church family. Please continue to uphold our church, the Elder Board, staff, and the MacDonald family in prayer at this time.
– The Elders of Harvest Bible Chapel