James MacDonald Signals Return to Preaching ‘Early in 2020’

James MacDonald, pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel, speaks at the Pastors’ Conference 2014, ahead of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Annual Meeting, on Monday, June 9, 2014, in Baltimore, Md. | (Photo: The Christian Post/Sonny Hong)

Disgraced Harvest Bible Chapel founder James MacDonald who recently repented for the circumstances that led to his unceremonious ouster from the greater Chicago megachurch he founded more than 30 years ago, has signaled he could likely return to the pulpit in “early 2020.”

“Early in 2020, around the anniversary of my last local church sermon, we will begin considering interim preaching opportunities,” MacDonald said in a message on his ministry website, jamesmacdonaldministries.org, where he lists Vertical Church and Act Like Men as ministries that are “coming soon.”

MacDonald was ousted as leader of Harvest Bible Chapel on Feb. 12 in the wake of “highly inappropriate recorded comments” he made on a radio program as well as “other conduct.”

He was recorded talking about planting child pornography on Christianity Today CEO Harold Smith’s computer, and made crude remarks about independent journalist Julie Roys — including joking that she had an affair with now former CT Editor-in-Chief Mark Galli — and a vulgar reference to Ed Stetzer, executive director of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College.

He was also investigated for financial abuse and on Thursday, Harvest Bible Chapel published a summary of a legal and financial review of MacDonald’s reign, suggesting he extensively misused the church’s financial resources for improper financial benefit.

While he continues working on his healing and restoration with his wife, Kathy, under the leadership of Pastor Wilfredo DeJesus of New Life Covenant Church in Humboldt Park, Chicago, MacDonald said he was still working on “significant unresolved issues related to our separation from the church we founded in 1988.”

Some of those issues relate to the shifting around of resources between the church and church-related entities such as MacDonald’s teaching ministry, called Walk in the Word, and Harvest Bible Fellowship, the former church planting network that was dissolved in 2017.

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SOURCE: The Christian Post, Leonardo Blair