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