Rick Donald Resigns

To the Leaders and People of Harvest Bible Chapel,

Almost 30 years ago, Lyn and I and our two young children arrived at Harvest Bible Chapel, excited and believing God to do something great and for His glory. We were committed to the mission of the church as stated in Matthew 28:18-20, where Jesus said ‘go and make disciples’. In the years that followed, we watched the Lord do more than we could have ever imagined or dreamed. We have watched Him on an ongoing basis change and transform the lives of people through the power of the gospel and the work of His Spirit. We would include our family in this, grateful for His great grace and spiritual growth we have seen in our own lives. It has truly been a church where God has been at work and it has been our greatest joy and privilege to serve the Lord at Harvest. How blessed we have been over the years to serve alongside loving and committed staff and church family in many different ministries. We will cherish these memories and friendships for the rest of our lives.

This is why it is painful to come to the conclusion that I need to resign from my pastoral position as of March 21, 2019. My heart wanted to help lead the church to a better and healthier place, but through time with the Lord and the counsel of godly men, I have come to see that my best way to help the church is to step away and allow the new leaders to take the church where it needs to be. We still love the church and will pray for the leadership team as they move forward to a healthier future.

I am thankful to the leaders for their graciousness in allowing me a leave of absence for a time of personal reflection. Our elder confession and repentance statement read by Bill Sperling in February on behalf of all of us, addressed our failures as an elder board, but recently through time with the Lord, God has shown me areas specific to me.

I have come to see more clearly some of my sin and failures. I see how the fear of man and pride has specifically operated in me at times, with decisions made and not made. The result has caused much hurt and pain to individuals and our church and for that I am deeply grieved and so very sorry. I have sought the Lord in repentance and have known His great forgiveness and cleansing, and now I am humbly asking the church for their forgiveness.

At this point Lyn and I are trusting the Lord with our future and what our next steps would be. Our confidence is rightly placed in our God who has always been faithful and will continue to be true to His character. We would covet your prayers as God brings us to mind as we move forward as well.

One of our favorite verses is one that we are praying over our lives and the life of the church in these days.

“May the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

Trusting in the Lord’s best, Rick and Lyn Donald

24 thoughts on “Rick Donald Resigns

  1. Burned in Deerfield March 22, 2019 — 12:33 pm

    Is Mike Collett still part of this criminal organization? Like Greg Bradshaw he needs to immediately go; but don’t count on any real apologies or repentance though, way too arrogant for that.

  2. Considering all the despicable and utterly disgusting deeds MacDonald has done, things no godly preacher would ever engage in, including blatantly stealing church funds for his personal pleasures, anything short of serious jail time for this criminal would be a travesty. Ditto for all the elders who were participants as well.

  3. Bradshaw and Mo are still standing. I encourage them to do the right thing and immediately resign. They ARE culpable in this mess. The congregation too since they made James and idol. So they would be me. I would like to burn the Vertical Church symbol to hell.

  4. Really Mary? Who’s fault is it for the lies, deception and abuse that has gone on for decades? Mancow? Think not. It was James and his those who did his will of running Harvest like a tightly controlled dictatorship for the money.
    Is it Mancow’s fault when James used him for his celebrity status and personally targeted him for large contributions? James is a used his sales tactics to hob nob with the wealthy and befriend them to get in their wallets. That is not Mancow’s fault except the real James has been exposed by Mancow and the MANY elders and others given their testimonies. Is it Mancow’s fault of what James said? Think not, it’s his own fault. I am grateful God had Mancow speak against this unholy beast who tried to beat down anyone who told the truth.
    Thank God the truth has started to come out. He is a fraud on many levels and God is not done yet.

  5. PTL for fervent and answered prayers.

  6. I just waiting to see Rick, Jmac and the others being question by the FBI under oath. Club Fed is coming. And by the way, is he going to return the Harley or reimburse the church?

  7. I forgive you, Rick. (God’s forgiven kids forgive each other.)

  8. Disgusted and disappointed by Harvest Pastors March 21, 2019 — 9:59 pm

    I’m not shocked that Rick left, he should have left 30 days earlier.

  9. It’s hard to think that there isn’t so kind of underlying motivation. There needs to be a forensic audit done by a firm that has no connection to Harvest. The payment for that audit needs to be held in escrow. Harvest almost seems like a shell corporation, and these so called pastors are trying to collect before the ship sinks. If there are moral clauses attached to their pension. Those need tone enforced.

  10. PS. Jim was holding his ground, I feel I know the reason for his quick retirement, I found a home church through ex Harvests. The first night , we sat down looking too my right was jim. ,
    Alot hugs , we found. Our home church.

  11. Hmmm. Not really impressed Rick. After all the carnage you’ve left in your wake, this is all you can offer?? May God have mercy on your unrepentant soul. 😔

  12. The title “pastor” implies someone who lovingly takes care of the flock; Rick D. was nothing more than a hired-hand, serving the JMac “dog and pony show” of deception, deceit, who should have fully known that the money, people were giving, was not being spent as they intended. Nice “swan-song” Rick D., but the “fleecing of the flock” has an accounting and reckoning still to come, if not in this world, then most certainly in the next. You helped “wreck” HBC, and its high time you return to the “marketplace,” otherwise known as secular employment.

  13. Nice? I’m sitting here in Raleigh trying to figure out how the word *nice* can be used for anyone who stayed one with church leaders who said and did the things about which have been written. I don’t get it. I would love to have a post written by one of the *leaders* who could justify what I have heard. I’ll give you space anytime you want it. HBC leadership sadly sound like a bunch of frat boys on rush weekend. I’m sure they occasionally act nice but they wouldn’t be considered nice by anyone in my neck of the woods.

    1. Dee,

      I’ve seen Rick be very nice. The small group he led that I was in (2013) was genuine, personal and helpful. I could sense that he and his wife sincerely cared about our well being. We did a long van ride to Canada with Rick. He was never condescending or rude like other Harvest leaders. We talked, laughed and had a great time. He ate with us in a very normal restaurant and was excited to show us poutine. Honestly I’m having a hard time reconciling the Rick I knew with the stories of kicking Mike Bryant’s church out of HBF and firing John Secrest. Anyway, yes, I remember Rick as a nice guy while also believing that these stories don’t describe the actions of a nice man. I hope he’ll make things right with Bryant and Secrest. I also wish him and Lynn well.

  14. HBC Deerfield is a Fraud March 21, 2019 — 7:07 pm

    dkeller: very astute, answer: absolutely nothing. This is no more than another cut & paste fake apology just like every other one that has been delivered by these sons of satan.

    “ A few weeks in the penalty box… fake repentance, fake apology, all boxes checked, …who can I go brutalize and scam next!… “

  15. When is JMac going to MAN UP?
    No repentance James…?

  16. Is it really that easy, to hurt and steel , then I am sorry and leave?

  17. Rick is a nice guy. I’m sad, but this is right. I think there is a tendency to see all of this in strict black-and-white terms. It’s just not that simple. One of the reasons all of this is so hard for some of us–and has been for years–is that we have seen and heard things that suggest godliness, even in James, but are, at the same time, confronted with godless treatment of people and an unbiblical, empire-building approach to church. Rick, as James’ right-hand man from the day he arrived on staff, has clearly been involved in all of this. At the same time, he has been a nice guy, and I just don’t believe that niceness was devoid of genuineness. His letter of resignation reveals a repentant heart. That is good for the church, and it is good for Rick and his family.

    1. After first-hand experience with Rick (and two others), I am sorry, Mark, but ‘being a nice guy’, is as far from the truth as you can get.

      Repentant heart – not even close. Caught with hand in cookie jar – spot on.
      Devastatingly, I was privvy to Rick’s character face-to-face, and he is not who you make him out to be.

      Do I forgive? Yes.
      Do I forget? Never.


  18. Still not sure what he’s repenting from?????

    1. That is the problem. Genuine repentance demands acknowledging one’s misdeeds. That is something not one of these leaders has truly done. It would require unearthing all the crimes and abuses committed, naming names, dates and places. It would require opening up all financial records, all recorded material (such as Mancow claims to have) and individually apologizing to the people who were shut up and/or run off. It might require handing over money acquired without members’ knowledge of how excessively it was handed out to cooperative staff.

      The ‘This has been such a great church, and you have us to thank’ and ‘we now realize we made a few mistakes’ apologies are not enough.

      1. “all recorded material (such as Mancow claims to have)”
        Mancow- be a man and turn in all those dubious “recordings” to Harvest attorneys so they can be analyzed as to their authenticity. Some of us who know you from your colorful past are dubious of your motives for making them in the first place. And I do mean ‘making’ them.

        1. Watching and Praying March 21, 2019 — 8:51 pm

          “mary” you sound a lot like James- making threats by accusing someone of misdeeds you alone know and will expose if that person does not keep their mouth shut or do what you want. That tactic isn’t working anymore. That day is over.

      2. Amen, TSOO.
        Spot on.

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