Exposing Julie Roys’ Deception | Part 4

What becomes clearer as you get closer…

Is that Harvest leaders were using Julie Roys to publish uncritically the gossip and deceit they constructed.

HBC used JuLiar’s known bias and hunger for anything that would confirm what she admits she was trying to affect – e.g. as much destruction of my ministry as possible.

So just to get us started, here is a quick list of what Julie parroted as fact from Tim Stoner (current HBC treasurer) in her post published on November 22, 2019; in red is the documented evidence or explanation that each is FALSE.

Stoner stated and Julie parroted:

“$286,000: Direct payments for James MacDonald and his family members for known personal expenses, including . . .”

  • “$20,000: Accounting, tax, and pension services”
    Since 2010, the finance committee required me to use their accountant for taxes; the church CFO oversaw my tax filings. I was given no choice in this matter.
  • “$5,000: Car repair bill”
    Vehicle was damaged by church staff (not me) and church insurance deductible was $25k; CFO testified to this under oath at arbitration. 
  • “$11,000: Internet tower at MacDonald’s house”
    Internet service was part of Elder-approved home security, based on extensive review of security needs related to a world-wide television ministry.
  • “$33,000: Two motorcycles”
    Approved gifts to long-standing pastoral staff, typically on their 10th or 20th anniversary or at a significant milestone. Other staff chose differently, e.g. Greg Bradshaw took his wife on a free trip to Israel, Matt Stowell took his wife on a cruise. HBC Laird Elders knew all of this, as did Wagenmaker; they gossiped to Julie Roys and she reported it as fact, slanted to damage my reputation. 
  • “$100,000: Counseling services”
    The counseling involved multiple staff, was Elder mandated, and combined with other medical expenses. Stoner’s public disclosure of these matters is a violation of HIPAA law, which grants to an employee the right to control disclosure of their private health information.

“Just under $250,000: Gifts or donations, including . . .”

  • “Vehicles to friends or ministry supporters, spending up to $27,000 at a time for a vehicle.”
    Mo Zachariah’s motorcycle, which he paid a portion of personally from the start. In many instances such as this, HBC distorted the accuracy, and generous gifts to someone outside of HBC were funded by WITW reserve, not HBC.
  • “$25,000: Donation to Museum of the Bible”
    A reasonable thank you to the Green (Hobby Lobby) family, given that HBC received more than $100 million in donated property from them. 
  • “$18,000: “Benevolence” checks to one individual that was outside of church’s benevolence policy”
    These gifts did not come from the church’s benevolence funds, but from the WITW reserve, to assist an unemployed man who gave full time effort to help a dying church in the northwest suburbs successfully merge with another congregation – both unrelated to HBC and consistent with the mission of WITW as expressed to its donors.
  • “$140,000: Meals, entertainment, sporting events, concert tickets, & club dues”
    Expenses either approved compensation or donor development, etc. I seldom attended these games, etc., other staff brokered the tickets. I had no role in budgeting or administering those expenses. They were not private or secretive in any way.
  • “$94,000: Clothing and eyewear, mostly for James, though sometimes gifts for others (Some gift recipients have reimbursed Harvest.)”
    How is it possible that Bradshaw, Sharda, Smith, and Wagenmaker entirely concealed from the congregation the truth about how many of these items we fully reimbursed? Click here for a sample of checks written to reimburse the church, but covered up to inflate the numbers made public.
  • “$71,000: Deer farm expenses (at Camp Harvest)”
    Paid for by WITW; prior to Camp Harvest, the property was a hunting preserve, and NFP law allows development of a property’s “highest and best usage” without imperiling 501c3 status. Many evangelical ministries take high-capacity donors on hunting or other “manly” trips. By employing unused portions of the camp property, we were lowering fundraising expense and increasing net revenue to all of the ministries. Again, WITW not Harvest, underwrote these efforts.
  • “$36,000: Private investigator (The church is not sure of the purpose of this expense.)”
    EC Elders knew exactly which individuals we investigated and why, as the expense was approved in advance. HBC covers what protects them and distorts/leaks what they can use to damage me. The Elders played Julie like a fiddle, knowing she would report without critical analysis anything matching her bias.

“Stoner said an additional expense not noted in the report because it occurred in 2014 was more than $250,000 in improvements for home security at the MacDonald’s home.”  False and misleading – see security study and Elder approval letter.

“According to Stoner, some of the $1.9 million may have been legitimate church expenses. “But too often, there is insufficient documentation or no documentation at all to confirm the intent of the payment,” he said. “And it appears the decisions to spend these funds were too often made unilaterally without proper budget procedures, oversight, or approvals.” False – I had clear boundaries of how much needed advance approval and what size expenditure could be accounted for after the fact. The Finance Committee also knew and reviewed these boundaries. Not once was I reprimanded or even corrected for acting outside or even against the guardrails HBC financial leadership placed upon me. Not once in my annual review (presented in writing to the entire Elder board, and including anonymous surveying of many staff who worked with me) was my financial integrity called into question or even brought up as a point of concern.  

“According to the report, the private accounts were ‘controlled indirectly by MacDonald and directly by HBC’s former CFO, COO, and an executive assistant.’

The only former CFO who worked during the time period examined was XXXXXXX, who now runs XXXXXXX, a nonprofit that helps churches acquire new facilities…” Similarly, the only former COO who worked during that time was XXXXXXX, who now is vice president of business and operations at XXXXXXX. MacDonald’s executive assistant from 2015—2019 was XXXXXXX, who left Harvest earlier this year.” 10 days after I was fired, my EA was terminated for refusing to give Carl Barkow access to my social media accounts, so HBC could steal those as well. Then XXXXXXX spent most of March/April 2019 supplying extensive detail and documentation to the pertinent financial matters at HBC’s request. However, that documentation was ignored by the church and Wagenmaker, as it would have eliminated their financial accusations against me, which of course Julie embraced as fact.

“Stoner said that while the private expenditures are troubling, $1.9 million is less than 1.5 percent of total church revenues during the period. ‘The remaining 98 percent that went through the main accounts of the church did have proper oversight and controls and met the requirements of our accountants.’” So is 20% “black budget” OR 1.5%? They can’t even keep their lies straight. And of course, Juliar gives these numbers the same scrutiny a high school harlot gives football player number 10.

“Harvest also will seek reimbursement from MacDonald for expenses that never should have been paid with church funds. Stoner said that some legitimate expenses were never reported on MacDonald’s W-2s. Those will be noted on amended W-2s so MacDonald will have to claim the expenses as taxable income.” But then Elders DID NOT amend my w-2s – not even a penny, zero since he made this statement, November 22, 2019. They also brought only $104k of questions to our financial review meeting on September 24, 2020 (note the countle$$ million$ in accusations, but actually only $104k needing clarification – just wow) and all easily resolved. All of their accusations melted into questions I offered to clarify then – now answered and resolved to under $11k in less than two hours with CFO Sharda and COO McCoy. The amounts HBC had refused to reimburse me for were greater ($64k) and I agreed to let it be a wash. Harvest admits these realities in a deceptive announcement in the Elder update October 14, 2020, now removed from HBC website. 

“In the early stages of the arbitration process, we indicated that we would review certain financial expenditures with MacDonald.” No, they said, “Harvest planned to approach [me] for reimbursement of the items that shouldn’t have been spent by the end of the year.” But they never approached me, instead leaking that false accusation to Juliar, and posting it on HBC website.

I could say a lot more

But this is more than enough to show who is distorting the truth to create discrediting gossip, and who is reporting it uncritically. 

In the end, the greatest consequences are not the impact on me or my family, but the thousands in our church family and millions around the world who previously benefited from our efforts to be faithful in the unapologetic preaching of God’s Word.

 If only this were the end of exposing the lies, and not the beginning…

1 When asked why he mislead the congregation, Tim Stoner, current HBC treasurer, blamed Sally Wagenmaker saying “I only read what she gave to me.”