According to Stoner, some of the $1.9 million may have been legitimate church expenses. “But too often, there is insufficient documentation or no documentation at all to confirm the intent of the payment,” he said. “And it appears the decisions to spend these funds were too often made unilaterally without proper budget procedures, oversight, or approvals.”
(Julie Roys) Harvest Bible Chapel (HBC) suffered “a massive corporate governance failure,” which enabled former senior pastor, James MacDonald, to “extensively” misuse millions in church funds “for improper financial benefit.”
This was the conclusion of a financial review, which was revealed last night live at a sparsely attended meeting at Harvest’s Elgin campus, and simulcast to Harvest’s six other Chicago-area campuses.
“MacDonald’s strong and persuasive role as authoritative senior pastor, along with his close inner circle, insulation from proper accountability mechanisms, and key changes to the church’s operational structures, resulted in a highly problematic culture,” stated the report prepared by Wagenmaker & Oberly. This led to “systemic failure,” which enabled MacDonald to enrich himself with church money and treat ministries like his former broadcast ministry, Walk in the Word, as “essentially his own business.”