On 17 April, 2019, ECFA issued a damning statement regarding Harvest Bible Chapel. ECFA stated that they changed HBC’s status “from suspension to termination due to significant violations.” This termination of HBC’s membership in ECFA was “based upon new information,” perhaps a reaction to the reporting by Julie Roys.
Remember that ECFA visited HBC for a review – not an audit – based upon new information it had received in the fall of 2018, and the review led ECFA to state on 10 December, 2018, that HBC was in good standing. They suspended HBC’s membership later on 14 March, 2019, and this week, based upon additional new information, they terminated HBC membership. In other words, during the review in December 2018, someone at HBC failed to disclose or hid critical financial information from ECFA. The most recent ECFA press release commented on the December 2018 review and affirmation of good standing as follows:
This statement would not have been made if Harvest Bible Chapel had shared all crucial information with ECFA.
Question – Who was responsible at HBC for gathering the financial information for the review with the ECFA? Who met with the ECFA in December 2018? Well, thanks to the internet we don’t have to wonder. According to an HBC statement made in December 2018, we know Jeff Sharda, CFO, and Jeff Smith, Elder and Treasurer, met with the ECFA, and they provided the information that ECFA said was incomplete. Notice how HBC says in its December 2018 statement – captioned below – that the parties spent hours “closely examining” the financials of HBC. This was no mere cursory glance, according to HBC. So, did Sharda and Smith withhold relevant information, did they provided false information during this review, or, did another party hand false information to these men? Either way, the Treasurer and CFO are responsible for this false reporting of financial information, and surely, HBC must release these men from their positions of trust over HBC finances.
Also, note the ECFA statement wherein they assert there were “significant violations” of ECFA standards, in particular HBC’s “use of resources and compliance with the laws.”
Question – What laws did HBC violate in its use and reporting of funds, and did Jeff Sharda, CFO, and Jeff Smith, Elder and Treasurer, participate in these violations, the reporting, or the concealment of violations?
Lastly, ECFA “determined that restoration to full membership was not a viable option.” In other words, the “significant violations,” lack of “compliance with the laws” and deceitful reporting of financial information by HBC – by and through Sharda, CFO, and Smith, Treasurer and Elder, at the behest of James MacDonald, former Senior Pastor – were so significant there was no remedy possible. No new audit or reporting could fix it. No new elder board could re-establish trust. No new CFO hiring could alter the damage done. The financial state of HBC was so full of malfeasance that the ECFA permanently revoked its endorsement and membership. Yet, Sharda and Smith remain.
Through the years HBC touted the ECFA endorsement to assure you, in the face of this blog’s criticisms and questions, that you could trust HBC with your money. Let’s look at what HBC said about ECFA’s endorsement over the years.
Question – If, according to HBC, an ECFA endorsement means you can trust them with your money, does not an ECFA termination mean that you can no longer trust them with your tithes and offerings?
I did reach out to Jeff Sharda, CFO, for comment, but he did not answer. I left a detailed message for him regarding this piece. I did not hear back from him, but I would gladly include any response, defense, or comment he is willing to make. I do not have any contact information for Jeff Smith, Elder, but I would also include any comments he has.