March 14, 2019
Dear Staff and Church Family,
Let me say from the outset that we love this church. And because we love the church we have made the decision to immediately step away so that there are no obstacles to Harvest getting healthy again.
To the Elgin Campus Family – we love you. It has been my great honor to serve you as Campus Pastor. You will forever hold a place in our hearts. Our lives have been made better because of our relationships with you. Please know our love for you. I am so very sorry that many in our church have been hurt by my leadership. A couple of weeks ago in the service I had the opportunity to specifically repent and confess my own sins of omission and commission. Your very strong show of forgiveness and support that day blesses us more than you may ever know.
To the Staff – I am so grateful to have worked for over 19 years with such a strong, godly and gifted team. Your love for Jesus and love for His people will win the day. Fix your eyes on Jesus, He never fails us. Give all you have to ensure a healthy and God honoring staff culture exists again at Harvest. Continue to press for full transparency and needed change. I will be praying for you and cheering for you from a distance.
I truly believed that I could stay on staff and lead through needed change. I stepped back from all global leadership in an effort to show that the “old guard” is gone, to allow others a chance to lead in better ways than I could, and to lean into the Elgin Campus, my true place of passion. I have come to realize, through the counsel of godly men that I respect, that my presence at Harvest represented the old way of doing things and hence was a stumbling block to a congregation hoping for real change. I heard them. I never want to hurt the church. We trust that this decision will lead to even great health and change.
The staff and people of Harvest Bible Chapel are truly amazing. I have great hope for the future. Please pray for our family as we being a new journey of faith as we continue to trust in a great God who has never failed us. We do not know our next steps, but we have our eyes fixed on Jesus. We leave here with a greater faith in Jesus, as stronger family, and loving memories of our church family. Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to do life with you. We are so very grateful.
You are loved,
Jeff and Bethany Donaldson