What Role Will Naples, Florida Play in the Harvest Bible Chapel Scandal?

What is the role of John Secrest’s Harvest Bible Naples? Why did Harvest Bible Chapel in Chicago shift from the hub and spoke model to plant in SW Florida? Is that how James MacDonald is going to escape Harvest Bible Chapel Chicago? It is this blogs belief that John Secrest’s days are numbered as the Senior Pastor of Naples. This blog would also like to ask how is Harvest Naples financially structured? Is it in the same 501(c)(3) as Harvest Bible Chapel Chicago or is it separate? This is important to know as Dan Busby’s Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability is drilling down into Harvest Bible Chapel’s financials in Elgin today.

“The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets.”

John D Rockefeller

“Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones.”

Benjamin Franklin

10 For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.

1 Timothy 6:10 NLT

The Senior Pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel Naples with his family.


John Secrest and Travis Doucette announce the new facility at Harvest Bible Chapel Naples

Today’s post focuses on Harvest Bible Naples which is led by John Secrest. There was news that came forward as I was researching, and preparing this blog post. So let’s explore Naples and think of its possible role in the bigger picture today.


The History of Harvest Bible Chapel Naples

Harvest Naples is a plant by Vertical Church.  John Secrest was trained at Harvest Chicago in anticipation of the eventual church plant in Naples. John Secrest was coached by Harvest Bible Church North Phoenix in Arizona. After building a group of 100 people Harvest Bible Chapel Naples launched on November 19, 2016 with its first worship service. The new church met in the Greater Naples YMCA.

Travis Douchette who was involved in Harvest Bible Chapel Canada would also became a part of the Naples church. Travis comes from Canada. It appears as if Travis is from Barrie, Ontario. He then went to Emmanuel Bible College from 2000 until 2005. Afterward Travis spent close to eight years with Liberty University where he was until 2014. At Liberty he picked up a B.S. in Music and Worship Leadership, M.A. in Worship Studies, Masters of Divinity in Worship Studies, and a Doctor of Ministry in Worship Studies. He was an adjunct professor at Liberty before taking a position at Georgian College in Barrie, Ontario in 2015. Afterward Travis worked in a vinyl record store and owned Retrobox Media Transfers. One personal note that made me smile is that he worked with the Barrie Historical Archieves. I studied graduate history and deeply appreciate history. Here is how Travis announced on his blog on July 1, 2017 that he was moving to Florida.  “Many of you know my educational background and calling is in music ministry. I am elated to announce that I have accepted a full time position as Associate Pastor of Music and Leadership Development at Harvest Bible Chapel in Naples, Florida.In the post Travis discussed the challenges he had getting a work visa to come to Florida from Canada. You can read his post called, “BIG NEWS :: I’m Moving to Florida.” He officially assumed responsibility for the formal role when he became the Worship and Leadership Development Pastor at Harvest Bible Naples. In late 2017 Harvest Bible Naples leased a new worship center. You can watch that in an announcement from Facebook that is up above the beginning of this post.


An Overview of Senior Pastor John Secrest

John Secrest originally comes from Wichita, Kansas. He attended the University of Kansas in Lawrence where he graduated with a degree in geology in 1986. It was at Campus Crusade at the University of Kansas at Lawrence that he found faith. Afterward he served on staff at Campus Crusade for Christ at the University of Illinois. After a couple of years he then attended Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and was credentialed in the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA). This blog writes heavily about the EFCA as it attempts to fill a void and analyze the organization. John became an associate pastor at Arlington Heights Evangelical Free for seven years. In time that EFCA church changed its name to The Orchard. John and his wife then moved oversees and lived in Budapest, Hungary and did church planting. In 2003 he came back to the United States and ended up at owning and operating a real estate development company and was a residential general contractor in Knoxville, Tennessee. In 2009 he became the associate pastor at Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena, California.  You can listen to a few of his sermons here, here, here and here. In the fall of 2015 John Secrest left Lake Avenue Church and attended the Harvest Training Center in Elgin, Illinois. His goal was to plant a Harvest Bible Chapel in SW Florida. The Secrests moved to Naples in December of 2015 and he is the senior pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel Naples. John has been married to his wife since 1989 and they have several children.


A Night of Worship with James and Kathy MacDonald

On December 7, 2018 James MacDonald and his wife Kathy came down to Harvest Naples for a night of worship and the word. This blog would like to know if this is the first time that James has been to Harvest Naples? Luke MacDonald came down and preached on April 22, 2018.   In checking the website there is no sermon, or message that has been recorded from the December 7 event. Even if it were recorded I would listen to it cautiously. What some churches do is edit out of sermons or upload a different one. This happens often in mega church environments. But as to what was said by James MacDonald at Naples this blog has an intelligence gap. If anyone is in the know please comment or let other people know below.


Why John Secrest’s Days are Numbered, Plus Long Term Analysis by The Wondering Eagle on the Role Naples Will Play in the Growing Harvest Bible Chapel Scandal

There is a lot to say about Harvest Naples. Inside Harvest Bible Chapel in the Chicago area people are dumb founded as to why Harvest planted a church in Florida. For many people is makes no sense and violates what James MacDonald has advocated. MacDonald is a promoter of the hub and spoke model in Illinois. Naples was a radical departure from what MacDonald has believed.

There is also disturbing news that should cause concern to John Secrest and his family. According to well placed sources inside Harvest Bible Chapel James MacDonald wants to purge John Secrest from Harvest Bible Naples. The way it was quoted to me is as follows. “Warn the pastor down in Naples, James has been shooting his mouth off that he doesn’t like the guy and he’ll be getting rid of him shortly. I think its his plan to exit up here and be in Florida and avoid the noise up here.”

There has also been other interesting news and some questions that must be asked. Apparently James MacDonald likes to use the students at Harvest Christian Academy as his own personal indentured servants. Harvest Christian Academy is based in Elgin, Illinois. For winter break Harvest allegedly sent some students to Naples to paint, clean and work on the campus. If this is true that is quite a system. To send people from northern Illinois in the upper Midwest to southwest Florida in the south for work is stunning for me. But in addition to that the question has to be raised. What is James MacDonald’s goal with Harvest Naples? MacDonald, I believe has only two things he expects. And that is blind loyalty and his personal love of money. So what is the role of Naples? It is my belief that when Harvest Bible Chapel implodes because of its financial recklessness that James MacDonald will run and flee to Naples, Florida. After all what does it mean to “Act Like Men?” For MacDonald it means to run with his tail between his legs from the problem he created in Chicago. MacDonald will be in good company with his friend Mark Driscoll and also C.J. Mahaney. Driscoll fled Seattle as Mars Hill imploded and ended up in Scottsdale, Arizona. C.J. Mahaney fled Gaithersburg, Maryland and hid behind Mark Dever’s “Gospel Centered” read end at Capitol Hill Baptist. Then he fled to Louisville, Kentucky to plant Sovereign Grace Louisville.  What is hyper-masculinity for someone like James MacDonald, well its to be aggressive, have a loud bark, be a bully, and then be a coward in fleeing.

But there is another aspect to consider as well. The question this blog would like to ask if how is Harvest Naples financially structured? Is it in the same 501(c)(3) as Harvest Bible Chapel in Chicago? Or when Harvest Bible Chapel Naples was established was it done in a separate 501(c)(3)? If the former is how its done that it is believed that James MacDonald can take all the loose cash and other assets and transfer them to Harvest Naples. Was Harvest Naples established in anticipation of Harvest Bible Chapel’s eventual financial collapse? I wish I would have known that information before the Closer campaign. Because what could be happening is that many people could think that they are giving to Elgin, Rolling Meadows or elsewhere. They are believing its for their “local church.” Instead their hard earned money can end up in Florida. This is also important to know as this blog has also learned that Dan Busby’s Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) is investigating Harvest Bible Chapel. Today ECFA is on site at the Elgin campus. My sources are hoping that Harvest Bible loses is ECFA accreditation.

Its this blog’s belief that James MacDonald will end up in Florida. And that is the risk that exists to John Secrest. John is going to be forced out. When MacDonald comes to Naples Secrest will be out of the picture. That for me is tragic as its also abusive. But its not as if James MacDonald cares about abusing pastors. Harvest is a machine that regularly chews and spits people out on a regular basis. Its their modus operandi. But in John Secrest’s case his days are going to be numbered. Perhaps as an EFCA credentialed pastor John should look into the EFCA in Florida. That is all there is to say today.


13 thoughts on “What Role Will Naples, Florida Play in the Harvest Bible Chapel Scandal?

  1. Pingback: An Open Letter to Harvest Naples Senior Pastor John Secrest (Its Time to go Back to the EFCA) | Wondering Eagle

  2. Was Harvest Naples established in anticipation of Harvest Bible Chapel’s eventual financial collapse?

    “Politicians always keep their Escape Route open and ready.”
    — one of the Casca novels (I think the one set in 1945 Berlin)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Because what could be happening is that many people could think that they are giving to Elgin, Rolling Meadows or elsewhere. They are believing its for their “local church.” Instead their hard earned money can end up in Florida.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. If you research and find James announcement of the new partnership with Naples you can glean a few things from it. First he specifically say he was looking for a place to retire to he didn’t say for himslef he claimed for others in the church that are retiring, he names Cabo makes a joke people don’t want to go to Mexico he names Phoenix but claims that made that church an independent church, then said they realized they had a campus in Naples. But if this was their campus then why did papers ned to be signed? He talked about the 3 million dollar building that was leased to harvest Naples for 10 dollars a month, yet the owner had to make sure harvest Chicago met his ministry objectives before he would agree to finalizing the lease and James asks for prayer. Again it shows harvest Naples must be separate entity entirely from Chicago harvest. It’s oretty obvious that this partnership was for the benefit of McDonald simply wanting a winter retreat for his retirement age. All of this was said on a Sunday morning service at Chicago harvest it was oct I believe you can find the clip if you google it

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  5. I can tell you one thing for sure that harvest Naples was not established with harveat Chicago in consideration at all! John Secrest did all the work to establish this church 100% on his own. He did make one mistake that gave JMaC an inroad.

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  6. James MacDonald is listed as Senior Pastor on Naples HBC website…hmmmm? He wasn’t named as one a week or so ago. Yet when you click link for Naples on HBC site..you don’t see that.

    If RUMOR is true, he/?HBC is buying ~$1.9 mil home in Naples. Reportedly it will be for elders’ families, EC to use when in town etc…–who wouldn’t want to be an elder, for a little, ugh, blind or near-sighted loyalty? Boy, Ezekiel 34:3-4 seems noteworthy when I think of my friends who still attend HBC and struggle to pay bills, pay rent, all just so they could contribute to the CL-OS-ER (to Naples paradise) campaign…


  7. Pingback: The Tragic Story Involving John Seacrest and the Coup that Occurred in Harvest Naples | Wondering Eagle

  8. Pingback: John Secrest Launches Compass Bible Church in Naples, Florida. And a Unique Case of Evangelical Transparency | Wondering Eagle

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