This is a post that looks at James MacDonald’s Walk in the Word Ministry. It appears in 2013 that it was folded into Harvest Bible Chapel. The question to be asked is if James’ Walk in the Word salary was added to his Harvest Bible Chapel salary. In addition sources provided The Wondering Eagle with the salary information for the MacDonald clan in the 2015 timeframe. Plus there is also the issue of the “black budget” which allegedly has been used by the XLT to pay off people and buy their silence. In studying and writing about the financials of Harvest Bible Chapel the question to be asked is the following. Why are the financials reminiscent of a criminal syndicate? Why can’t James MacDonald be transparent?
“The best defence against mafia business is full declaration of assets and incomes.”
“Nothing personal, it’s just business.”
Mafia Accountant Otto Berman
“You weren’t supposed to walk away no more. You fucked me, and that was the worst thing you ever did.”
Thomas Agro, Gambino Crime Family gangster in New York
“This life of ours, this is a wonderful life. If you can get through life like this and get away with it, hey, that’s great. But its very, very unpredictable. There’s so many ways you can screw it up.”
Paul Castellano of the Gambino Crime Family
“I can’t stand squealers, hit that guy!”
Gangster Albert Anastasia
This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.
John 3:19-20 NIV
“The Godfather” James MacDonald
For this post make sure you turn on the music from The Godfather. After all in order to thrive in Harvest Bible Chapel one must get on their knee and kiss the ring on James MacDonald’s finger.
In this post we are going to look at more of the finances of not just Walk in the Word but also Harvest Bible Chapel. There is a lot of ground to cover in this post so let’s start in Walk in the Word.
Walk in the Word and Financial Questions
Walk in the Word began in 1997 according to the Evangelical Council of Financial Accountability (ECFA) website. By the way it is still ECFA certified. I find that odd and would like to know why. Walk in the Word is James MacDonald’s Bible teaching ministry. The mission of Walk in the Word is “igniting passion in the people of God through the proclamation of truth.” The medium that Walk in the Word started out was radio. In time it expanded, it appears, to a daily television program. In or about 2013 James MacDonald asserted more control over Walk in the Word and worked at rolling it under the Harvest Bible Chapel name. This allegedly was James MacDonald’s desire for a long time. The financial statements for Walk in the Word ceased at about 2013. Below you can see the financial statement for Walk in the Word from 2006 until 2013 in the audits for Harvest Bible Chapel that were done by Capin Crouse. Capin Crouse does financial services for non-profits, churches, religious organizations and colleges universities
- Walk in the Word 2006 – 2007 HBC-December-31-2007-and-2006
- Walk in the Word 2007 – 2008 HBC-December-31-2008-and-2007
- Walk in the Word 2008 – 2009 HBC-December-31-2009-and-2008
- Walk in the Word 2009 – 2010 HBC-December-31-2010-and-2009
- Walk in the Word 2010 – 2011 HBC-December-31-2011-and-2010
- Walk in the Word 2011 – 2012 HBC-2012-FS-Final
- Walk in the Word 2012 – 2013 HBC-2013-FS-Final1
At the time Walk in the Word was separate from Harvest Bible Chapel I believe James MacDonald made $165,000 from the ministry. These are the questions The Wondering Eagle would like to get an answer to in the course of time.
- When Walk in the Word was folded into Harvest Bible Chapel was the salary from Walk in the Word also folded into James MacDonald’s salary at Harvest Bible Chapel?
- What programs was Walk in the Word working on before it was folded into Harvest Bible Chapel? Did those programs continue after they were folded into Harvest Bible Chapel? Or did they become a part of the “Black Budget” which I will get into below.
What the MacDonald Family Clan Made in 2015 Timeframe
The Wondering Eagle obtained the compensation information for the MacDonald family clan in the 2015 time-frame. These numbers that I am going to post are what I believe James MacDonald and his family made in one year alone. Its also important to note that these numbers below are an estimated general salary plus benefits. Now before we proceed I want to stress that James MacDonald’s salary information is just from Harvest Bible alone. This does not include honorariums, publishing, or other financial means. That information I believe would greatly inflate James MacDonald’s salary.
- James MacDonald made $400K to $600K. In addition there was a travel and entertainment budget for James MacDonald that was $80K to $100K.
- Luke MacDonald made $200K and was on the XLT
- Landon MacDonald made $100K. The reason why Landon’s salary and Luke’s were different is because Luke was not on the XLT team yet. At the time he was the youth pastor.
- Abby MacDonald made $60K part time and worked only two days a week. I believe Abby worked in HR at Harvest Bible Chapel.
- Kathy MacDonald is James MacDonald’s wife. Kathy worked in a part time capacity and made $100K
So over the timespan of the 2015 timeframe the MacDonald clan made over a $1,000,000. Its this writers belief that Harvest Bible Chapel is a family business of the MacDonalds. Honestly I wonder what James MacDonald’s salary is today. Its safe to conclude that it has probably risen due to the entitlement James has about money and how he views Harvest Bible Chapel.
The Infamous Black Budget of the XLT
There is another aspect to the financial situation with Harvest Bible Chapel and its this fact. Apparently there is a “Black Budget” at Harvest Bible Chapel from what I am hearing from my sources. So what is a “Black Budget?” A black budget is a money that is allocated for secret expenses. It is often not listed in the regular budget for an organization. It is allegedly a slush budget. When I first heard of this it reminded and sounded like how the military or intelligence community can allegedly operate. You can read more about the concept of a “black budget” in this Federation of American Scientists article. So why would a church network have a “black budget?” Is Harvest Bible Chapel running covert ops and competing with the Central Intelligence Agency? Are critics of Harvest Bible Chapel disappearing into Lake Michigan? Why would a church have a “black budget” and not a line item budget? The person at Harvest Bible who would know the most about this financial situation is that of Scott Milholland who is the Senior Executive Pastor and Chief Operating Officer. According to what I have Scott Milholland allegedly reveres James MacDonald. To challenge James MacDonald is like challenging God, according Scott Milholland. People have asked why Milholland has operated like that, and I think its due to the non-disclosure agreement (NDA) he most likely had to sign. You can read that NDA in, “Harvest Bible Chapel’s Non Disclosure Agreement.”
While no one exactly knows what the “Black Budget” is used for at Harvest Bible Chapel the one aspect I have heard is that James MacDonald has allegedly used it to buy people’s silence. For example, according to what I have heard James MacDonald has quite an anger problem. Allegedly a while back James got into an altercation with a body guard at Harvest. It is believed by a number of people that James used the “black budget” to buy that body guard’s silence. I have to tell you when I heard of this “black budget” I was baffled and troubled by its existence. The alleged “black budget” is used by the XLT. The more I thought about it the more the “black budget” and the shady finances remind me more of the mafia or a criminal syndicate. Maybe Whitey Bulger who was on the FBI’s most wanted list, alongside Osama Bin Ladan should have worked for Harvest Bible Chapel. Instead of competing for power within the Gambino crime family in New York City, maybe John Gotti should have led the Elgin campus of Harvest Bible Chapel. All of those people would be solid contenders for the Harvest Bible Chapel empire. After all why try and infiltrate labor unions when you can guilt people into participating in the closer campaign?
Will James MacDonald make you an offer you can’t refuse?
Questions that Need to be Asked of James MacDonald
When you do analysis the important aspect is knowing how to ask the right questions. One needs to be willing to follow the truth wherever it goes. In the New York Times Marshall Allen wrote an op-ed on September 1, 2018 that talks about how their faith influences his reporting. The key is to follow the truth. You can read that article in, “The Biblical Guide to Reporting.”
So in the interest of truth, whether it be on this blog, World magazine or the Chicago Tribune these are the questions that I want to see answered.
- When Walk in the Word was folded into Harvest Bible Chapel was the salary from Walk in the Word also folded into James MacDonald’s salary into Harvest Bible Chapel?
- What programs was Walk in the Word working on before it was folded into Harvest Bible Chapel? Did those programs continue after they were folded into Harvest Bible Chapel? Or did they become a part of the “Black Budget?”
- How big is the “Black Budget?”
- How has the “Black Budget” been used?
- Has James MacDonald used the “Black Budget” for personal or family reasons?
- Which people in the XLT use the “Black Budget” the most?
- Was the “Black Budget” part of what Julie Roys was going to write about?
- Was the “Black Budget” used to cover up allegations of child sex abuse, sexual harassment or more?
That is it for the day, please take care of yourself.