Harvest Bible Chapel leaders failed to provide oversight, report says

A “massive corporate governance failure apparently developed over several years” at Harvest Bible Chapel primarily because of its former pastor, James MacDonald (pictured), according to a report released Nov. 21 by the Chicago-area megachurch.

Among other concerns the report cites a lack of “adequate checks and balances” in the church’s finances. Harvest plans to approach MacDonald for reimbursement of items that shouldn’t have been purchased with the church’s money by the end of the year, according to Harvest treasurer Tim Stoner, who said elders want to give the former pastor “every opportunity to make right what has been done wrong and to make restitution to the church.”

The church has already implemented a number of changes, including closing private accounts, forming a new finance committee and tightening requirements for documentation for credit card purchases. Stoner said the church’s growth in numbers and giving was “exhilarating” but led to minimizing problems.

“We allowed the ends to justify the means by which those results were achieved and this was wrong,” he said. (RNS)