Church finance watchdog suspends Harvest
by Lynde Langdon
Posted 3/18/19, 11:19 am
The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) suspended the membership of Chicago-area megachurch Harvest Bible Chapel after blogger Julie Roys reported lavish spending by fired Pastor James MacDonald. “Given the emergence of new information, we have concerns the church may be in serious violation of ECFA Standards,” the organization said in a statement Friday. The ECFA said the suspension will remain in place while it investigates the possible violations.
Amid turmoil over MacDonald’s strong-arm leadership style, reported by Roys in WORLD Magazine, the church fired him in February for making obscene remarks that Chicago radio host Mancow Muller played on the air. On March 9, Roys reported the church paid upwards of $15,000 for a South African safari for MacDonald, spent $150,000 renovating his office, and bought more than $500 in cigars for the pastor, among numerous other extravagant expenditures. Harvest’s leadership team said it has commissioned an independent review of the church’s finances and is working to reduce its weekly operating expenses from $409,000 to $308,000.
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