Harvest Bible Chapel founder James MacDonald shot back at recent allegations he tried to hire a hitman to kill his former son-in-law, Tony Groves Jr., with an excerpt from Psalm 37 and a video in which he declares to Groves, ‘I’ve always loved you.”
In an Instagram post on Thursday morning, the two men appeared together smiling before Groves starts off the lighthearted talk.
“What’s up James,” Groves says.
“Hey man,” the HBC founder replies.
“A lot’s been going on hasn’t it?”
“Sorry about everything.”
“Don’t think nothing of it.”
“OK. Well, you know, we’ve been through some things and we’ve always stayed friends and I’ve always loved you. Tell you what. One of the best grandson’s we have. Because you and me, we’re always gonna love you for that,” James adds.
“Like you said, we’ve always been friends but overall, family,” Groves responds, pointing his finger.
James ended the video by declaring “amen and I’m glad you’re part of my family.”
Emmanuel “Manny” Bucur, a deacon at HBC and former confidant and volunteer bodyguard for MacDonald, alleged in a recent report that nearly four years ago, in 2015, MacDonald asked him to kill Groves, and offered to help dispose of his body. He argued that he did not report MacDonald because he was angry about his daughter, Abby, allegedly being hurt by what a police report suggests involves a sex tape possibly being posted online.
Bucur alleges that MacDonald asked him to kill Groves while they were on a motorcycle trip to the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky, from July 31, 2015, to Aug. 2, 2015. Others who were on the trip included: former HBC Assistant Senior Pastor Rick Donald, former elder and Executive Director of Harvest Bible Fellowship Kent Shaw, former Elder Marcel Olar, and church members Tom Moore and Steve Lupella.
During breakfast while at a restaurant in Indiana on the last day of the trip, Bucur said MacDonald asked him to kill Groves while searching pornography websites for damaging material he feared Groves might have posted of his daughter Abby.
MacDonald allegedly asked Bucur if he would be willing to “take Tony out.” Bucur said he responded, “Are you asking me what I think you’re asking me?”
It was then that MacDonald confirmed his request and told him that with his background as a combat Marine veteran, it shouldn’t be too hard to kill Groves and get away with it.
Bucur said he replied, “Absolutely not! We’re not having this conversation and we’re not talking about this ever again.”
Along with the video of himself and Groves, MacDonald, who was ousted as leader of HBC on Feb. 12 due to "highly inappropriate recorded comments" he made on a radio program as well as "other conduct," seem to dismiss his critics as evildoers while proclaiming his innocence.
In a second video in the Instagram post, MacDonald scrolls through Psalm 37: 3-6 and highlights verse 6.
“Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. 4 Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. 5 Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. 6 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday,” the excerpt reads.