Tim Stoner’s Trail of Deception

Note – ‘FALSE’ denotes factually incorrect or intentionally giving a false impression.


1) Current Elder Tim Stoner maligned my character when he attested that the donor hunting trips ‘may have raised more in the end.’

FALSE: He knew the hunts raised far more, and he intentionally advanced the false narrative of self-indulgent spending.


2) Tim Stoner referenced the spending for my home security/internet as though I had smuggled the money out of HBC after church on a Sunday.

FALSE: Approved spending for security (substantive death threats were on file) was based on recommendations due to high profile on TV.


3) According to Stoner, $1.9 million was used for other spending “frequently at MacDonald’s discretion.”

FALSE: When HBC’s CFO and COO finally sat down with me on September 24, 2020, they brought only $104k of expense questions — resolved to their satisfaction in less than 2 hours.


4) Per Stoner, the purported $1.9 million supposedly includes:

*HBC is released and encouraged to publish all unedited deposition testimonies and a transcript of the entire August 3–14,  2020 hearing.


5) Tim Stoner told HBC in his statement that “MacDonald appears to have extensively misused HBC’s financial resources for improper financial benefit.”

FALSE: When I confronted Tim about this in our only in-person meeting (October 19, 2020), laying out documented refutation as I am here, he stared blankly, then blamed the people who told him it was true.

I told him, “The Harvest congregation knows you are the church’s treasurer – do you think they believe you’re just reading what was given to you, with no idea of whether it is true or not?” Again Stoner just stared, refusing to answer.

“Don’t you owe me an apology for these false statements?” I asked. No response.


6) “Many of these payments may have been well intended or may have been part of a strategy of donor development that in the end raised more funds than were spent [FALSE – above], but too often there is insufficient documentation or no documentation at all to confirm the intent of the payment,” per Stoner.

FALSE: Not only did I not keep the ledger, neither I nor my Senior Administrator ever saw it until early 2019 – which Stoner knew. Diane Birkenstock kept the ledger, with Fred Adams from 2013-2017  and Scott Milholland in 2018. Yet Laird Elders apparently agreed with Wagenmaker their October 22, 2019, Elder discussion: “Sally… suggestion to do the overview holding James accountable and not others.” This they did, knowing it would maximize injury to my reputation.


7) “And it appears the decisions to spend these funds were made unilaterally, without proper budget procedures, oversight or approvals,” Stoner said.

FALSE: See Financial Oversight and Interview with former Elder Chairman


8) “The bottom line: too few people controlled too much money without adequate checks and balances,” Stoner stated.

FALSE: HBC never approached me to resolve financial questions until almost a year later, and brought so few questions as to easily resolve it all. Not one of the above accusations was even mentioned. More on this in the days ahead.


9) Stoner announced, “Harvest plans to approach MacDonald for reimbursement of items that shouldn’t have been purchased with the church’s money by the end of the year.” He continued, “the Elders want to give the former pastor… every opportunity to make right what has been done wrong and to make restitution to the church.”

FALSE: HBC never approached me to resolve financial questions until almost a year later, and brought so few questions as to easily resolve it all. Not one of the above accusations was even mentioned. More on this in the days ahead. 


Suffice to say, a reputable Elder would never have stated what Stoner did – or when confronted as on October 19, 2020, would have owned it. Instead, the Elders rallied around him like Musketeers saying “We are all responsible. What we did we did together.” I replied, “Okay, that’s great. Will you all own it together publicly?” In response, only silence…

False lips [outright lies] are detestable Proverbs 12:22 and a false balance [intentional false impressions] are an abomination to the Lord.” (Proverbs 11:1)