James MacDonald Declares Break from Public Speaking for a Season

According to Southern Baptist Conference president Danny Wood, Harvest Bible Chapel’s beleaguered pastor James MacDonald is “stepping away” from speaking “for a season.”

This tweet was followed by a second which said:

2/2 “Thankful for this brother, and he has my prayers as he focuses upon his own local church ministry.”

MacDonald and his church have been the focus of renewed critical social media attention since the church filed a defamation suit against two bloggers and their wives and journalist Julie Roys. Roys recently filed an article on the church with WORLD magazine. MacDonald has asserted that the bloggers at the blog The Elephant’s Debt and Roys have not portrayed the church honestly and the legal action is justified to bring legal sanctions against the illegal actions of the defendants.

I recently asked the church why the bloggers’ wives were included in the suit since they haven’t written anything about the church. The church through a spokesperson declined to add anything to what is posted on the church website. Currently, there is no mention of the wives on the church website.

11 thoughts on “James MacDonald Declares Break from Public Speaking for a Season”

  1. The rumor is that former SBC President and Prestonwood Senior Pastor Jack Graham made the call to Pastor MacStabby suggesting that he step down on this engagement. Graham is a close friend of James and is also the genius who helped recruit MacDonald to the SBC after his blow-out with The Gospel Coalition. The SBC welcomed James and his $45M in annual revenue with open arms.

    The SBC tides have since changed. On the SBC This Week podcast https://sbcthisweek.com/fire-at-fbc-bossier-city-sbts-releases-report-on-slavery-and-racism/ the hosts recapped some of the highlights from the long read article. They seemed to give Julie Roys a lot of credit for the way she carefully chronicled and documented the events covered and offered no defense or support for JM or HBC.

    That was the first public sign that the SBC might not stand by their new celebrity pastor. As noted by this blogger here https://sbcvoices.com/breaking-news-james-mcdonald-and-harvest-church-are-southern-baptist/ not all of the other SBC pastors welcomed Harvest Bible Chapel like the National SBC did when they allowed James to speak at their annual meeting in June 2015 where he announced that he was now joining their denomination despite not being a Southern Baptist.

    The remaining articles in this series will be covering far more serious, egregious behavior. The rumor is that the next article is dropping this week – possibly tomorrow. Before this series is over, the world will see exactly why James MacDonald was desperate enough to terrorize three families to stop the reporting of this information. The next question is, why were wealthy HBC elders Ron Duitsman and Bill Sperling willing to foot this bill? It’s one thing to be one of the current 31 elders feeling too impotent to stop the MacStabby runaway freight train. It’s another thing to be the ones funding the suit and bearing the deep pocket risks of a nasty counter-suit.

    1. I have been active here since the summer of 2014 when the Mars Hills scandals were going full bore. I see a lot of similarities between the two and suspect that the revelations about MacDonald are just beginning. As I wrote on the previous blog post, I found the stories about stabbing photos of employees with a knife and shooting at them after assigning point values to be deeply disturbing. I would consider this to be psychotic behavior for any boss doing things like this in front of current employees. If there are more stories like that out there, then what truly devilish behavior! I find absolutely nothing Christian about this. This sounds like the kind of thing a violent zealot like Judas would do…

  2. wait wait – lemme do this with my eyes closed:

    “attacks from the enemy”
    “new insights about a bold future plan”

  3. Warren,

    Do you think that by folks focusing on the lawsuit, which is a very small, minor issue in the whole MacDonald saga, that if he pulls the plug on the suit, it could be a smoke screen to the real issues here? “MacDonald removes lawsuit”…….which becomes the headline and people will think he’s growing, etc, when long ago he disqualified himself from running a church…..?

    1. Possibly. Might be a good strategy to consider even if that wasn’t what was first envisioned. The lawsuit is a loser on many levels.

    2. Although the lawsuit seeking to maliciously silence those raising legitimate concerns may seem small, compared to some of the stuff that has yet to come out in the Roys’ series, this issue is by no means small to the evangelical world.

      Some of the pastors inside the largest megachurches in DFW, like Prestonwood, Fellowship and Gateway, are eager to see how this plays out and are quietly rooting for Pastor MacStabby to be able to simply outspend his opponents. If James is able to walk away unscathed over this lawsuit, he will likely become a folk hero among the corrupt megapastor set. They have access to millions of unreported dollars which can be used to pay for legal fees to bury anyone asking questions.

      This is probably one of the reasons we haven’t heard anything from the big evangelical leaders, including MacDonald’s best friends like Greg Laurie. They want him to prevail so that they too can justify crushing any dissent, but they are unwilling to take a side until they see which way the wind is blowing in terms of public sentiment.

      Thd outcome of this lawsuit will affect how American churches deal with criticism going forward. Anyone supporting truth and free speech needs to pay attention to how this shakes out.

Comments are closed.