Hard times at Harvest Bible Chapel

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Jim's picture

Former Camp Harvest groundskeeper Mike Hulburt told me that in 2010, he saw MacDonald use a butter knife to stab repeatedly a picture of a former Harvest pastor in front of 15 to 20 close associates. Another witness, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of losing his livelihood, confirmed that MacDonald stabbed the picture multiple times “to get his point across.” Hulburt said the incident happened in the camp dining hall immediately after MacDonald yelled at the former camp director, Dan Plantz, asking why he had not gotten rid of the picture.

Bert Perry's picture

....how harmful the "big man" can be in our fundagelical circles, re-read Roys' article.  For reference, she's among the people who are being sued by MacDonald and HBC for writing openly about their views of Harvest's finances and governance.  It does not seem that the lawsuit has intimidated her into silence, and we'll see if she's listening to her lawyers and if the lawyers' advice is sound.

Now whatever you believe about the propriety of suing a fellow believer and in which conditions, consider that MacDonald basically chose to drag things through the courts when he simply could have provided the evidence that the accounts were wrong--if in fact they are wrong.  Moreover, he's suing a journalist and a couple of former Christian day school teachers.  It's not like he's going to get any blood from that turnip; the only goal he's got in mind is bankrupting these people.  James 2:6, brothers.

Finally, in the section Jim references, notice that MacDonald is more or less admitting some of the behaviors he's accused of as if he simply does not see the significance and why they might be objectionable.  Quite frankly, it all makes me rather nostalgic for the days when he was merely accused of owning a monster home, playing high stakes poker, and kicking out elders who want to see the actual line item budget.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

mmartin's picture

At about the middle of the World piece is this paragraph:

FORMALLY, THE BOARD OF ELDERS leads Harvest Bible Chapel. But multiple former staff members and elders—including former elder and business pastor Jim Jodrey, former counseling pastor Rob Green, Phelps, Marquardt, Slabaugh, Corning, and former elder and original director of HBF Gordon Zwirkoski—told me that in practice, MacDonald exercises ultimate authority. (Church bylaws, amended in 2015, provide for the removal of the senior pastor, but only by a unanimous vote of the full elder board and the executive committee on which MacDonald sits. The bylaws also grant the senior pastor the power to “act in an emergency to suspend any elder board member … subject to earliest possible ratification by the executive committee.”)

Wow!!  Sounds like Harvest is using the Mark Driscoll model of governance.

The current controversy at Grace To You has many similarities to what this article describes at Harvest.   

I've experience this first hand.  At a non-profit I worked at the main guy at the top was a classic "Big Man" who was very insecure, moody, vindictive, and thought he was all that as a leader.  He would throw you under the bus at a whim.  Most of the board had either spouses and/or their children involved in the organization or were related to the Grand PooBah, thus it was very hard for them to be independent and call the Master on his toxic behavior.  If they did, Mr. Kingpin would've cause problems for the family.  In other words, the board was very passive for the reasons I described, which is not a good sign of a healthy organization.  I hate to say "Never," but I will never work for another organization that has this leadership and governance style.

Power corrupts.