HBC Meeting Notes from April 2019

These are the notes prepared by Manny Bucur – an HBC deacon from Rolling Meadows – based upon a meeting with HBC leaders on 19 April 2019. He assures me that these notes accurately reflect what was said by leadership during this meeting.

There are some interesting insights. In particular, there is an assertion that MacDonald helped provide substantial financial assistance to his assistant, Sharon Kostal, to purchase a home. More later on this.

Also, of personal interest, the leaders in this meeting confirmed that Duitsman and Sperling were the elders who funded the ill-conceived litigation against the five defendants. For what it’s worth, as soon as I heard two elders were funding the litigation and the lawyer who filed it was known more for DUI work I knew this was not serious litigation. Typically in a civil suit such as this an attorney will accept payment in the form of a contingency fee. If the plaintiff succeeds in recovering then a portion goes to the attorney. Since payment was required up front this was a possible indicator that the attorney did not believe there was a strong case.

Also rather amusing is the fact that the numerous books that filled MacDonald’s office are of no interest to MacDonald, not terribly shocking. He indicated his lack of interest in receiving them back, and HBC plans to sell them.

Follow the link below, and tell me what you found interesting.

hbc meeting 4_19

15 thoughts on “HBC Meeting Notes from April 2019

  1. My thought only May 10, 2019 — 7:37 pm

    Who purchases a house for his secretary or personal assistant ( Sharon Kostal)? What was the nature of that relationship? Was it a strictly professional relationship? Was it platonic in nature? Are there questions being raised about that? Did the funds used to purchase the house come from Walk in the Word ministry or HBC or from JMAC’s personal storehouse of gold and silver? ( JMAC is making $80,000 PER MONTH ).

  2. My thought only May 10, 2019 — 7:13 pm

    It literally boggles the mind !!! Rick Donald earned an annual Salary of over $300,000 !! And Luke and Landon earned over $160 K per year !! A youth minister making over 160K ? Did Luke and Landon lace their sermons with references from Church History in order to justify that extravagant salary? Did they study up and read Carl F Henry and Cornelius Van Till and other intellectual giants of the Christian faith daily in order to feel better about receiving a Luxury income? It just boggles the mind !! And paying for cars and stuffing Alaska bears by stealing from charitable, not-for-profit organization !! It just boggles the mind !!

  3. I really want to keep up with the what’s been going on at Harvest and Macdonald, but, you know what I’m tired of hearing? The under tone of sarcasm in your writing. Straighten up and ACT, TALK, like a Christian – if indeed you are one. You seem to take delight in reporting negativity and have a tremendous amount of sarcastic under-tone in in your reporting. ENOUGH is enough already. Report the truth and keep the sarcastic BS to your self.

  4. I find these things interesting-*there is a statute of limitations on apologies*they don’t know if Luke is diqualified nor do they know how much he made*”we believe there is no more sin”*they continue to waste money (Swicegood was not helpful and they had to buy out his remaining contract).
    I also have question, since Harvest has made a habit of being very particular with their wording. When you say “all of the people are gone that participated in the video” are you including all of those that watched the video (and said nothing), or just the people who made the video?
    I see some evidence of truthfulness, but they still seem like they are hedging. I am praying for the elders, especially the one I know from my time at Harvest. They have a tough job.

  5. nolongerattending May 10, 2019 — 2:44 pm

    1. I realize Jeff Parham stole money, and this was an in-house job, as embezzlement is, right? Why does this make Harvest skeptical of third party auditors? What am I missing here?

    2. What is Abby MacDonald’s role and is she compensated appropriately? It was rumored that she earned 60k annually for very part-time, unskilled labor. Will her compensation be adjusted now that HBC is finished overpaying the MacDonald clan?

    3. We know salaries of JMAC, Rick Donald, and we learned some details of the egregious black budget.What is left to hide? Why not open the books? Unless church money was paying prostitutes or drug dealers, I fail to imagine anything that would deter current tithers. They have already seen a lot, you know?

    4. JMAC chose wealthy and influential men as elders. How were the new elders chosen, and how is HBC sure they would bot be manipulated by a con artist? And, why not consider female elders? Some of the only elders to stand up to Bill Hybels were female and of the utmost integrity.

    5. So the steel issue was under $3mil and that leaves a lot of money accounted for. The church CAN get someone to look at it or WILL get someone to look at it? This is not a question that can be ignored.

    6. So when both sides are at fault no apology is necessary. Got it. This is what you teach your kids, right? You and Jimmy were both mean to each other, so you don’t need to own up to your part in it. So glad my daughters will not be raised in this “church” environment. I am teaching them to make repairs when they know they are at fault.

    7. I thought Jeff Donaldson resigned in disgrace. Why the heck is he in Naples. Current elders, what was your role here?

  6. “Behold, all you who kindle a fire, who equip yourselves with burning torches! Walk by the light of your fire, and by the torches that you have kindled! This you have from my hand: you shall lie down in torment.”
    Isaiah 50:11. Jmac is this you? Is this other’s around you?

  7. Questions 1.) JMac financial assistance to Sharon Kostal: A.) who is the source of this funding; JMac or HBC? B.) was this assistance a gift, loan or bribe? 2.) JMac’s book A. ) should HBC keep the books to expand their own in-church library? B.) should JMac received a tax deduction for the value and donation of his library:) C.) JMac being omniscience doesn’t need his library any longer:):), 3.) should HBC get the authorities involved? A.) file a lawsuit vs. JMac for embezzlement B.) contact the IRS, C.) contact the IL Attorney General

  8. You can probably find accurate details on the house sale price and the mortgage on the web sites for the county Assessor’s Office and/or Register of Deeds. Most of those sites are searchable by the public.

    1. nolongerattending May 10, 2019 — 2:20 pm

      Very true, You can absolutely look up the house through the Recorder of Deeds and see of there os a mortgage or not.

  9. Wil Widman Jr May 10, 2019 — 9:12 am

    What a mess. While I am not a member of the church I have been actively listening to Pastor James teachings of scripture; and his teachings have saved and changed my life. We, even Pastors, are human and we all fall and make mistakes. No one, except Christ, is perfect, no one will be perfect.

    From all the crossfire I have read online, with Pastor James maintaining silence for his reasons, there seems to be culpability all the way around as well as misrepresented, or differently presented, facts about the events that transpired. As well as misunderstanding and poor communication among the parties in play. All the inconsistency leads to levels of misconception and speculation about what has really occurred. Only God and the persons involved know what happened, with the persons involved only knowing and seeing things from their own vantage points and filters.

    As for me and my house, we will continue to follow The Lord, we will continue to listen to Pastor James’ teachings as I am able to find and purchase them secondhand; and we will continue to pray for Pastor James, his family, as well HBC’s staff and congregation and those in any way involved so that they may all find peace, forgiveness and love in moving beyond whatever has really happened to bring about the current situation.

    1. Wil Widman Jr, is seems like you’re more interested in exonerating James MacDonald because of how he benefits you than you are discovering truth and enacting justice. Kind of a “throw people off the bus if they complain that the bus driver’s drunk” kind of a position.

  10. The Corning’s are definitely owed an apology. They have chosen to share very little of all that could be said.

  11. My observations May 10, 2019 — 6:42 am

    I find it rather interesting that when there are two sides culpable in a problem they conclude there is no need for an apology.

    When I’m dealing with my children and there is fighting or an issue, if they are both in the wrong I don’t then tell them there is no need to apologize. Each party is still accountable for making an apology and working to make things right. Anyway, I just thought that kind of shows where their heart is. Or that they are going to pass on the responsibility of making amends to the next leadership.

    1. I noticed a lot of “no apology required” there where observers would guess that there is something to apologize for. That implies a degree of covering one’s patookie or at least a lack of transparency.

    2. You are right. When there is ‘culpability’ (why not just sin?) on both sides, then both sides should apologize. But someone has to be first, why not the leadership who can then demonstrate their truly repentant heart attitude? True repentance owns our wrongs and seeks to make amends. So many unanswered questions that leave one with the impression that the leadership doesn’t really want to have to dig deep and make changes; still holding onto the idea that if they can just ride this out and put the blame ‘over there’, then things can continue along at status quo. The responses to the questions still feel evasive and incomplete.

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