A Third Church Leaves Harvest Bible Fellowship

The shadow cast off by the Elephant Room 2 is beginning to expand as Harvest Bible Chapel – New Lenox has just announced its decision to publicly become the third church to officially separate from the Harvest Bible Fellowship.  As you may recall, back in January of 2012, Pastor James MacDonald of Harvest Bible Chapel and Pastor Mark Driscoll of  Mars Hill Church hosted a gathering of pastors that included the well-known and controversial Bishop T.D. Jakes.  While some have applauded the efforts of the two hosts, others seem to be deeply concerned by their failure to fully and publicly address Bishop Jakes’ unconventional theology.  To date the following churches have left the hosts’ respective church planting ministries:

Acts 29 Network:

Sovereign Grace Church of Bakersfield

Harvest Bible Fellowship:

Harvest Bible Church  (formerly Harvest Bible Chapel – Detroit, MI)
Harvest Bible Chapel – Prescott, AZ
Harvest Bible Chapel – New Lenox, IL (soon to revert back to its intial name, Cornerstone Church)

So the question we must now begin to ask is this: are we looking at a few statistical outliers amongst the 70+ churches planted by Harvest Bible Fellowship, or are we witnessing a snowball near the top of a mountain as it is starting to pick up speed?

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Additional resources on James MacDonald, Harvest Bible Chapel and the Elephant Room 2 can be found at:

The Descent: James MacDonald, Harvest Bible Chapel and the Blurry Road to a Prosperity Gospel

How Steep the Decline: James MacDonald, Bryan Loritts, and Sycophantic Uncle Toms

James MacDonald, the Elephant Room and the “Spinning” of the Truth

Harvest Bible Fellowship Takes Second Hit

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5 Responses to A Third Church Leaves Harvest Bible Fellowship

  1. John Thomas says:

    It is not just the Fellowships…

    Where is Joe Stowell, Joe Stowell Jr., Matt Stowell, David Jones, Ty Gooch, Gordon Zwirkoski, Ron Allchin, David Corning, Sam Jindoyan,

    • ss pierce says:


      All the founding elders and elders who see what James has become have left because the godly men follow Jesus not men. You have to listen to your elders and not just preach Gods word but to obey it.1John 2:4-6

    • Waldo says:

      And John Thomas, don’t forget to add Jim Jodry and Josh Caterer to that list!

  2. Mark Notestine says:

    After reading the New Lenox statement here is my reaction…

    The whole situation makes me sad; I think the New Lennox church did the right thing. I pray this would be a wake up call for the HBC / Harvest Fellowship that reexamination / reform is needed.

    I am ironically more bothered by Furtick than Jakes because of his apparent disdain for doctrine and his “rock star” attitude in service videos I have seen. His “haters” video I saw on YouTube after he preached at HBC really, really bothered me; it seemed almost demonic to me.

    I didn’t agree with the implicit endorcement of Furtick and Jakes through ER/ER2 but to me this pales in comparison with who is allowed to preach in a official weekend service. It could be argued that ER/ER2 don’t necessarily endorce the participants, but allowing someone to preach at a weekend service is certainly an endorsement. So allowing Furtick to preach on a Sunday morning to me is far more serious than any of the ER/ER2 controversy over Jakes.

    (FYI, this is the same comment that I posted on Ryan’s blog.)

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