James MacDonald hints at return to ministry to followers

Pastor James MacDonald preaches at Harvest Bible Chapel.
Pastor James MacDonald preaches at Harvest Bible Chapel. | (Photo: Courtesy of James MacDonald)

Former Harvest Bible Chapel pastor James MacDonald is signaling that he may soon be back in ministry.

The longtime pastor of the Chicago-area megachurch — who was ousted earlier this year after derogatory comments he made were played on the air of a local radio program and following months of controversy over alleged financial malfeasance and an abusive church culture — posted a message Thursday in a Facebook group called Walk in the Word Partners, according to independent journalist and radio broadcaster Julie Roys.

A member of the closed group sent the message to Roys, who shared it on her website Thursday, including screenshots.

In the message he posted, MacDonald noted that this year he and his family have experienced great loss but that God was in control and the "truth will come to light in his time."

"We have prayed to practice our biblical teaching on love and God has surely allowed us to be stretched. There is much we could say, as so much is not at all what has been portrayed. But we look to the Lord for forgiveness where I did fail as a leader and for vindication of false statements that will not cover forever what others have done," he said.

"Our broadcast partners are our family now and we will be back soon w[ith] fresh messages from God’s Word. All free — all digital — all the time, as promised."

MacDonald added that his children have found other places of ministry and that he and his wife, Kathy, are in good health. He also recounted that he met a man at a gas station in Wyoming who approached him to tell him to get back to preaching.

"Great days of triumph and victory always follow days of testing – we look forward to sharing with you in brand new ways – all the Lord has been teaching us and what His calling is for us," MacDonald said.

As The Christian Post reported previously, Roys' extensive investigation of the events at the church, beginning in December with a World magazine report called "Hard Times at Harvest," is what eventually led to MacDonald being terminated from the church he founded over 30 years ago.

Prior to publication last year, Roys was sued by the church as were two bloggers who since 2012 had been voicing their criticisms of MacDonald and documenting issues related to HBC on a site called the Elephant's Debt. The bloggers' wives were also named in the lawsuit.

After Cook County Circuit Judge Diane Larsen denied the two motions in the case in January, the church decided not to further pursue the lawsuit and dropped it.

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