James MacDonald, who was recently fired as senior pastor at Harvest Bible Chapel, is now facing an allegation of sexual misconduct by the church’s former worship leader.
Anne Green, who is married, alleged that MacDonald touched her inappropriately on a private plane in 2005.
“I was sitting in the back seat. And James, uh, moved over by me, and he snuggled up to my right side, and leaned his head onto my right shoulder. And then, uh, he reached across with his right hand, and put his right hand on my right upper thigh, right next to my crotch,” Green said in an interview on Mancow Muller’s radio show on WLS/AM 890, which was cited by independent journalist Julie Roys.
Green, who said she was traveling with MacDonald and several other staffers at the time, told Muller that she had to raise her voice at MacDonald to get him to back off.
“I was shocked and immediately said, ‘You can’t touch me there!’ And I said it loud. And I heard giggles from the others, I thought. And James kinda got flustered, pawing his hands on my shoulder, laughed and said, ‘I never would’ve thought Anne Green would be the one to bring down my ministry,’” she recalled.
Muller, who is also a former member of HBC, said he had heard stories about that kind of behavior before and said he once asked MacDonald about the allegations when they were still friends.
“He basically said that you’re a holy-holy type, and that’s not the words he used, that you’re just holier than thou, easily offended and that there was some turbulence, and he brushed up against you because the plane shifted, and you made it some kind of sexual harassment thing. That’s what he told me,” Muller said in the interview.
Responding to the allegation in a statement on Monday, HBC officials said they first heard about it in September 2018 and reached out to her to discuss the situation via email but she did not respond.
“We care about all who have labored for the Lord with us, past and present and since it was not reported at the time, we want to offer an opportunity to tell your story to a couple of women who remain here and remember you fondly,” the email sent on Sept. 30 from the church’s human resources department said in part.
“I would like to schedule a call with you and [other woman on plane], maybe an Elder’s wife and myself, as I work in our HR department. We are offering a safe environment to share your story without fear and understand if you choose not to. Also, be assured this offer does not expire should you wish to talk with us in the future,” the message continued.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair