James MacDonald Takes 'Indefinite Sabbatical' From Harvest Bible Chapel

1/16/2019 -- Chicago-area multisite megachurch Harvest Bible Chapel announced today that its founder and lead pastor James MacDonald has taken an "indefinite sabbatical from all preaching and leadership" while the church undergoes a "peacemaking process" in the midst of mounting criticism over allegations of dysfunctional leadership and financial mismanagement.

In a statement sent to Harvest members, MacDonald said "I am grieved that people I love have been hurt by me in ways they felt they could not express to me directly and have not been able to resolve. I blame only myself for this and want to devote my entire energy to understanding and addressing these recurring patterns."

MacDonald had recently brought, and then dropped a lawsuit against church critics.

Harvest Bible Chapel is one of the biggest churches in Illinois, with about 13,000 attendees across seven locations.

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