Harvest Bible Chapel: Did Garrett Higbee Violate Confidentiality at Harvest? Plus How Kent Shaw Covered for James MacDonald and a Backroom Deal Between the Southern Baptist Convention and Harvest Bible Chapel

Recently this blog came into some sensitive information about Garrett Higbee who ran Harvest Bible Chapel’s Biblical Soul Care Ministry. According to what this writer learned Higbee allegedly violated counseling confidentiality rules in sharing information at least once with James MacDonald. Another aspect to the Harvest Bible Chapel story is how Kent Shaw enabled James MacDonald. According to what this writer learned the SBC made a deal with James MacDonald in that if Elgin became affiliated with the SBC, James MacDonald could have access to SBC church planting money.  

“We want to plant 1,000 churches in our lifetime.”

Kent Shaw to Ed Stetzer in Christianity Today

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

Abraham Lincoln

And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;
    for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,
77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation
    through the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the tender mercy of our God,
    by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven.

Luke 1:76-78 NIV

Garrett Higbee interviews James MacDonald

There is more news about Harvest Bible Chapel that needs to be shared with former members and those caught up in the movement.

 

Who is Garrett Higbee?

Garrett Higbee did his undergrad at Purdue from 1978 until 1982 where he picked up a degree in psychology. He then picked up a doctorate at the Virginia Consortium of Professional Psychology. He attend that school from 1986 until 1990. In time he got involved in the Biblical counseling movement. At College Park Church in Indianapolis he developed the counseling department which he led from January 1999 until January of 2005. Gary supervised staff and volunteers who counseled others. The program he oversaw counseled about 100 people from the church each week.  In 2004 he then co-founded a Biblical counseling ministry called Twelve Stones in Helmsburg, Indiana. At Twelve Stones he was the executive director.

Harvest Bible Chapel learned of Twelve Stones in time and asked Garrett Higbee to get involved. Garrett built a program called Biblical Soul Care that was involved in all campuses of Harvest Bible Chapel. He was the executive director of this program until December of 2017. You can read his resignation letter here.  Also in 2015 Garrett joined the Biblical Counseling Coalition. He helps govern as he sits on the Board of Directors and still is in this position as of December 19,  2018. After resigning from Harvest Bible Chapel Garrett went back to Twelve Stones Ministries where he serves as president of the organization. Garrett also directs pastoral care for the Great Commission Collective (GCC). He has served at GCC from January 2018 to present. Garett authored this article for The Gospel Coalition in July of 2011.

Did Garrett Higbee Violate Confidentially at Harvest Bible Chapel?

Recently this blog came in the possession of some sensitive information that leads me to ask the following question. As the Executive Director of Soul Care Ministries inside Harvest Bible Chapel did Garrett Higbee violate the confidentiality rules? Was there information that was shared in the counseling session that Garett Higbee shared with James MacDonald? This blog recently learned of one incident and the question needs to be asked. Did Garrett Higbee do this with other people as well? This leads to another question that also needs to be asked. Was confidential information that was shared inside Soul Care then shared with Harvest Bible Chapel, and used by Harvest leadership against the people who shared it in counseling? This blog is putting out a call for information. If you had an experience with Garrett Higbee at Harvest Bible Chapel please contact me and let’s explore this area. To my understanding Garrett is not licensed as a psychologist in either Illinois or Indiana. If he was licensed people could approach the regulatory agency and his license could be pulled. This is a vulnerability of “Biblical Counseling.” It is not confidential nor is it professional. If you have any stories or issues to share about Garrett Higbee and Harvest Bible Chapel Soul Care this blog is eager to write, research and publish them.    

Who is Kent Shaw?

I did some research and I could not find much background on Kent Shaw. If anyone does know his background, education, and more can you leave a detailed comment on it below? That is the good aspect to blogging, is that it creates a forum to share information. Kent Shaw was an elder at Harvest Bible Chapel and then he also was the Executive Director of Harvest Bible Fellowship. He was with Harvest for 13 years and you can read his resignation letter here. Kent gave an interview to Ed Stetzer in Christianity Today a while back. Kent resigned from Harvest in May of 2017 went out to Denver, Colorado to oversee Harvest Bible Chapel Denver. The church in Denver in time, changed its name to Brave Church where Kent serves as the executive pastor.

 

How Kent Shaw Covered Up for James MacDonald, Plus a Deal with the Southern Baptist Convention

According to sensitive information that this blog has obtained Kent Shaw allegedly frequently and regularly covered up for James MacDonald. Kent Shaw was the Executive Director of Harvest Bible Fellowship. When James MacDonald misused some of the funding from Harvest Bible Fellowship, Kent Shaw allegedly knew and did nothing. Another disturbing development is how Harvest Bible Chapel developed a relationship with the Southern Baptist Convention. This too, was allegedly done behind Kent Shaw’s back. This is what transpired. The Southern Baptists were having difficulty doing church planting and saw Harvest Bible Chapel as  a possible model. In 2015 the SBC approached James MacDonald and made him an offer. If Harvest Bible Chapel Elgin affiliated with the SBC, the convention in turn would give James MacDonald access to millions in SBC church planting money. MacDonald as we know is addicted to money and power and he agreed to the deal. This occurred before James MacDonald spoke about cooperating with the SBC at the Pastors Conference in 2015. This information was done behind Kent’s back as James MacDonald can be compulsive in making decisions.  Kent learned of the decision from MacDonald and the Pastors Conference in 2015. Part of the reason why Harvest Bible Chapel is like this is because people like Kent Shaw enabled and allowed James MacDonald to do whatever he desired. Kent Shaw and others offered no check on James MacDonald. There was no accountability.

There is another aspect to church planting and growth that this blog learned. In training programs and meetings Kent Shaw allegedly claimed that the best way to grow a church is to steal members from other churches. How do you do that? You start Saturday night services at your church and you get other people to attend and then commit to Harvest Bible Chapel. Kent believed this was a legitimate strategy.

11 thoughts on “Harvest Bible Chapel: Did Garrett Higbee Violate Confidentiality at Harvest? Plus How Kent Shaw Covered for James MacDonald and a Backroom Deal Between the Southern Baptist Convention and Harvest Bible Chapel

  1. The money thing with SBC was never a secret. I knew about it for a long time. It was very clear that HBC joined the SBC to get HBF church planting money.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. One other thing, Garrett Higbee is a good man. He’s done nothing but try to fix this mess. He might not be perfect, but he’s extremely genuine is his heart for God and for true health in local churches.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Was confidential information that was shared inside Soul Care then shared with Harvest Bible Chapel, and used by Harvest leadership against the people who shared it in counseling?

    You mean just like Scientology Auditing Records?

    Makes you wonder if the only difference is in Biblical Counseling you’re holding a Bible and in Dianetic Auditing you’re holding the cans of an E-meter.

    According to sensitive information that this blog has obtained Kent Shaw allegedly frequently and regularly covered up for James MacDonald.

    Isn’t this called a “Fixer”?
    As in “The Fix is In”?

    Part of the reason why Harvest Bible Chapel is like this is because people like Kent Shaw enabled and allowed James MacDonald to do whatever he desired. Kent Shaw and others offered no check on James MacDonald. There was no accountability.

    FEATURE, NOT BUG.

    In training programs and meetings Kent Shaw allegedly claimed that the best way to grow a church is to steal members from other churches.

    Commonly called “Sheep Rustling”.

    Seems HBC’s clergy had quite an appetite for fresh roast mutton.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: “I Won’t Slander the Bride of Christ” Addressing Evangelical Cultural Issues on Speaking Up and Challenging James MacDonald. Will Garrett Higbee, Dean Plantz, Kent Shaw, Dean Butters or Fred Adams Have the Courage to Speak Up? | Wonderin

  5. This issue of disclosure and accountability cuts both ways for good and bad. Biblical Counseling/Soul Care never described itself as bound by psychological counseling standards. Mental health counselors avoid triangulation at all costs. However, many counseling cases benefit from a community of people all working together.

    For instance, a young addict who has disclosed he is addicted to pain medicine and cheating on his wife. He is serving in AWANA. Ideally, he would have courage to self-disclose and seek help from a variety of professionals/pastors/friends.If not, who do you tell for his good?

    A mental health counselor can tell no one. To tell “no one” is typically the first instinct of an addict. This isolating instinct destroys them. They need help from a variety of sources, most often including professionals to make progress. Full Confidentiality often hurts too.

    Biblical Counselors should not disclose against the will of those they counsel but terminate counseling when self-disclosure is necessary and those they counsel refuse to do what is right. In BC, a discipline procedure to disclose serious sin is laid out in intake agreement.

    To say, Garett Higbee violated confidentiality, you would have to know what people thought they were signing up for. Was total confidentiality promised or was the need to disclose serious sin discussed in intake process. I am fairly certain that these issues were discussed.

    Like

    • Tim, I have been reading some of these blog post and the comments. I really appreciate your input and balanced responses. I wish there were more Former leaders and people with knowledge that were willing to come forward and share as you have. More and more we see this as with Matt S and Lyndsey. I left HBC RM 7 years ago after trying for years to get elders to put some safeguards in place and improve communication and transparency. I really really appreciate people like you coming forward who might be able to help unravel some of what has gone on at harvest Bible Chapel. HBC had been my first real church home in my life and I raised my children there. Nothing hurt more than being shown the door because of my concern for the church and the name of Jesus Christ.Now as then, I only seek the truth. Nothing more, nothing less.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Not All Churches are That Bad. The Cognitive Dissonance of Tim Allchin and a Response to a Blog Post at the Website of Biblical Counseling Center | Wondering Eagle

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