Three weeks ago, on June 27th, I published an article under the title: Harvest Bible Chapel: Is Dissent the Same as Rebellion? Since that time, the article has amassed nearly 3000 “page views” with over 100 comments continuing to address all manner of differing concerns [Editor: Page views now over 5000. Comment count now over 170.]. Amongst these concerns, however, appears to be a growing interest in the general whereabouts and circumstances related to the departure of several long-term and/or founding elders. Now, today, Twitter brings us this news from one-time elder, Gordon Zwirkoski, and Grace Community Bible Church, formerly known as Harvest Bible Chapel – Grayslake.
As you can see from the tweet above, Gordon Zwirkoski, a man who “invested 20 years at Harvest Bible Chapel in RollingMeadows, Illinois as a small group leader, deacon, teacher and elder,” had apparently been invited by Pastor Bryant (no relation) to preach at Grace Community Bible Church, which only months ago was kicked out of the Harvest Bible Fellowship. This, of course, raises several interesting questions.
Zwirkoski describes the church as “strong and sweet, faithful and true,” while at the same time describing Mike Bryant as a “faithful man both in season and out of season.” If that is the case, how is it that the current leadership of Harvest Bible Chapel saw fit to remove Mike Bryant and his church, especially when a former elder and co-founder of Harvest’s church planting ministry had such a radically different assessment of Pastor Bryant’s ministry?
Secondly, why is it that after 20 years in the Harvest system, Gordon Zwirkoski left Harvest Bible Chapel, only to launch a new church planting ministry less than 15 miles from Harvest? According to the fivestonechurches.org, Zwirkoski was directly responsible for overseeing 35 church plants and church renewals in his 8-year tenure as the co-founder and teacher-elder of the Harvest Bible Fellowship. So what would motivate a man to leave such a “successful” organization, only to attempt the arduous task of launching a start-up ministry dedicated to the same basic mission?
Finally, why did Zwirkoski leave Harvest during the same 2007-2010 season that also saw the departures of other prominent elders such as Chairman David Corning, Dr. Ronald Allchin, Joe Stowell, III (former President of Moody Bible Institute) and Joe Stowell, IV?