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Harvest Bible Chapel Fires Florida Campus Pastor for Asking Elders Not to Let James MacDonald Preach During His Sabbatical

  • Kayla Koslosky

    Kayla Koslosky has been the Editor of since 2018. She has B.A. degrees in English and History and previously wrote for and was the managing editor of the Yellow Jacket …

  • 2019 Jan 22

Harvest Bible Chapel fired a Florida campus Pastor this week after he asked them not to allow James MacDonald to preach at his church during his sabbatical.

As Christian Headlines previously reported, founder and lead pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel, James MacDonald announced last week following the end of a defamation lawsuit and accusations of financial and administrative misconduct, that he would be taking “an indefinite sabbatical.” The Elders wrote in a letter to the church, that MacDonald would be stepping back from all responsibilities at the megachurch’s Chicago campus, but he would be allowed to preach at the Harvest Naples campus in Florida through the winter months. 

Pastor John Secrest who heads up Naples location was less than pleased with this decision and according to Relevant Magazine, he asked the Elders to rescind this decision. 

The Christian Post reports that “The Naples site was originally planted in 2016 as an independent church but partnered with Harvest Chicago in February of 2018, becoming its eighth location.” According to Secrest, information about the misconduct, investigative reporting and the lawsuit were not disclosed to him before the two churches merged. 

Secrest told the Christian Post, “The good intentions of our ministry partnership with Harvest Chicago have been overshadowed by these developments. Furthermore, when we entered into this agreement there was not a disclosure of the investigative reporting which led to a lawsuit and the resulting fallout.”

As a result of his request, Relevant Magazine reports that Harvest Elders fired Secrest. In a statement to the Naples location church the Elders wrote, “Despite great efforts and reasoning, John has chosen not to yield to the consensus of our local leadership team or the elders of Harvest Bible Chapel.”

The statement continues, “Conversations with John over the last few months, culminating this week, have made it clear that he no longer desires to work for Harvest Bible Chapel. Because of his continued unwillingness to yield to the direction of the elders and the insubordinate email he recently sent counter to the elder direction, it became clear that he should not continue in his role.”

Secrest has since been removed from the Harvest Naples website.

Photo courtesy: Ben White/Unsplash