A disturbing story comes out on Twitter involving Harvest Christian Academy. James MacDonald’s son, Luke MacDonald allegedly threatened the family of Dan Haskell. Luke was allegedly enraged over a prayer that Dan left on The Elephant’s Debt blog. This happened in April of 2018 after the Haskells felt nudged by the Holy Spirit to leave Harvest Bible Chapel two months prior. Dan raised the threat with the Harvest Bible Chapel elders who didn’t address the situation. Talbott Behnken allegedly made Dan Haskell the issue and participated in gaslighting. Dan wanted to make sure that the safety and wellbeing of his children were guaranteed by the head of Harvest Christian Academy. Talbott Behnken allegedly would not do that.
“Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one.”
“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.”
“Bullying is for people who have no confidence at all. So everyone being bullied, please remember they are scared of you. You have something they don’t, and that’s what makes them bully you. Don’t let their words affect you because they are the ones needing confidence, not you. “
2 Make room for us in your hearts. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have exploited no one. 3 I do not say this to condemn you; I have said before that you have such a place in our hearts that we would live or die with you. 4 I have spoken to you with great frankness; I take great pride in you. I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds.
2 Corinthians 7:2-4 NIV
***Note- Much of this post is based on a series of Tweets that came out on Twitter the other day from Dan Haskell. It describes a situation between Dan Haskell and Luke MacDonald.***
***Note Correction made at 1/14/2019 Dan Haskell contacted me and asked me to make a correction. The lunch money was probably under $10.00***
Video of Harvest Christian Academy and Talbott Behnken speaking.
The other day there was a story that came out on Twitter involving Luke MacDonald, Talbott Behnken, Dan Haskell and Harvest Christian Academy. This post was pretty much created by using the tweets that Dan Haskell sent out. I have part of the Twitter thread in, “On Twitter Dan Haskell Explains Why he Left Harvest Bible Chapel.” This post is a summary of what happened. Some of the information was retyped to fit into this post and not be added as a picture. But let’s start by looking at Dan Haskell. In the Harvest Bible Chapel culture Dan was known as a lifer. He was involved in Harvest Bible Chapel for 14 years. For much of that time Dan loved Harvest Bible Chapel as it held a special place for him for years. It was at Harvest that he met his wife, and where he reared and raised his family. But Dan was growing frustrated with the leadership of James MacDonald. These were the issues that Dan Haskell had with James MacDonald and Harvest Bible Chapel.
There was too much chaos and turn over at Harvest. It seemed like another person was leaving the organization in the elder and ministry staff updates. Harvest was feeling oppressive, like there was ongoing spiritual warfare and Dan was disheartened. The place was feeling off. James MacDonald’s sermons seemed to be angry and reveal his anger issues. Dan felt like the dissolution of Harvest Bible Fellowship was off. Something was not correct about the situation. Today Dan believes this is the Holy Spirit at work within him. Dan was also disappointed and bothered by how Harvest Bible Chapel had treated the families of the Maldaners and Teesdale. It stood out in contrast to how the Higbees, Drews and Kents left Harvest. Dan was bothered by James MacDonald’s deception on his house, especially when Dan learned that it was being built not far from where he lived. Why couldn’t MacDonald be open about the finances surrounding the house? Finally the last issue Dan had is with the finances with Harvest. He didn’t want to give money to a ministry that could not handle it in a responsible manner. Dan had heard that $500,000 was allegedly missing and the disappearance of Fred Adams only led to that concern. By Dan believes the Holy Spirit was telling him that Harvest Bible Chapel is not where he was to be, and that the Holy Spirit wanted him to resign. There were too many red flags. Dan became close to RT Maldaner and again after he and his wife resigned he felt the nudge of the Holy Spirit which directed him to servant lead at the City of Joy. Dan wanted to be obedient to the Lord and serve Him. He had decided to go quietly and not tip the cart at Harvest, after all his children were in Harvest Christian Academy. Dan resigned from Harvest Bible Chapel on February 25, 2018. Afterward two more elders had left Harvest Bible Chapel and Dan believes this was the Holy Spirit at work in him. But sadly Dan would not leave peacefully. Luke MacDonald would see to that after a comment was left on The Elephant’s Debt blog.
A Comment at The Elephant’s Debt on April 13, 2018
The Elephant’s Debt blog deals with the issues and problems with James MacDonald. On April 13, 2018 Dan Haskell left a comment calling for prayer and his hope that James MacDonald would repent and change his ways. The comment was in “HBC Chairman of the Executive Elder Committee Resigns in Protest.” Dan had resigned due to the issues at Harvest Bible Chapel and he felt like he was being led away from the organization. This was the comment that was left by Dan. It was basically a prayer.
“Our hearts are grieved all the day long 2 Cor 7. We are burdened, and filled with tears for the body of Jesus Christ and sheep of Harvest Matthew 9:36-38. God will not be mocked Gal 6:7. We are united and praying in love for God to move mountains and bring James and leadership to the end of themselves and surrender to JESUS CHRIST as LORD and Savior 2 Timothy 3, and for the Elders to obey their calling and qualification Acts 20:28, 1 Timothy 3:1-14, James 3:13-18, Titus 2. Jesus we trust you. Jesus we love you. Come LORD Jesus. Holy Spirit move in power. God manifest your presence and may your will be done for your glory. In Jesus name alone, by faith alone we trust you Jesus. In Jesus Name, Amen.”
However at The Elephant’s Debt blog Dan’s named was accidentally posted. The MacDonalds scan the blog for their enemies, and Luke saw Dan’s name posted. When Luke MacDonald saw the comment he had decided that Dan’s time in Harvest was over.
An Incident at Harvest Christian Academy
On April 16, 2018 Dan waited outside his son’s school room at Harvest Christian Academy. What had happened, and it should be noted that this was corroborated by witnesses, is that Luke walked by Dan very coldly. Luke MacDonald was incensed over the prayer that Dan left at The Elephant’s Debt. Dan, who is very intentional and friendly person noticed that Luke did not say hello like he usually did. Dan tapped Luke on the shoulder and said “love you bro!” and quoted Hebrews 12:2. Luke walks down the hallway but he then decides to make a scene. He turned around and walked toward Dan and asked him why did he hit him with a Bible. Dan was stunned and said that he didn’t but that God was hitting him with the word. In a rage Luke explodes and allegedly screams at Dan with others present and in front of his bride Kate. In the process Luke says that he saw what Dan wrote at The Elephant’s Debt about his father James MacDonald. Despite it being a prayer Luke interpreted the comment by Dan as a threat toward the MacDonald family. One must remember that for the MacDonald’s Harvest Bible Chapel is a family business. Then Luke tells Dan that he is going to tell him the same thing he told RT Maldaner. Stop stealing people from Harvest Bible Chapel. Dan responds that he is not stealing people from Harvest but that they need to put their eyes on Jesus where they belong. Luke allegedly told Dan to get his kids out of the school. Luke MacDonald had allegedly threatened Dan Haskell’s children.
With his children allegedly threatened by Luke MacDonald, Dan sought advice as to what to do. He was told to approach the elders and bring it to their attention. Dan named the email “A Call to Action” and sent it to a large number of Harvest Bible Chapel elders. Included are Sam Booras, Mike Lankford, Randy Williams, Rock Donald and others. The day after the incident on April 17, 2018 Dan Haskell emailed Harvest elder Mark Hopwood, and Harvest Christian Superintendent Talbott Behnken, Bob Young the principal from pre-school to grade 8 and Shelby Naugle who is the Harvest Director of Early Education. Below is the email that was sent out at 12:30 in the morning of Tuesday April 17, 2018. Dan wanted a response by 3:00 CST and a guarantee that his children were safe.
Messrs. Mark Hopwood & ALL Elders of Harvest Bible Chapel,
On Monday, April 16th at 3pm CST, within the hallway of Harvest Christian Academy and outside of Mrs. Beth Jarvis’ classroom, Luke MacDonald approached me Dan Haskell and Kate in a confrontational and ungodly manner as a Leader in the church at HBC, and threatened “you [Dan & Kate Haskell] should just take your kids [Josiah & Micah] out of this school today”. As parents, this threatening statement alarms and concerns us for the safety, and spiritual well being of our children and we do not accept this.
I encouraged in God’s word, as I had with others at HCA on Monday, Luke MacDonald with Hebrews 12:2. Luke yelled at me in a fit of rage and anger, not himself as we have known him personally for 15 years. He made baseless and unfounded accusations beyond the ‘threat’ toward me and my bride Kate, and in front of several witnesses including our 7 year old son.
Leaders to Hold Accountable:
Luke MacDonald, Talbot Behnken
After seeking Biblical council…
-Dan sent Mark Hopwood a text requesting an immediate phone call at 9:35pm CST on 4.16, this was after multiple phone calls were attempted and no message left
-Dan contacted Superintendent Behnken regarding this threat at 9:50pm CST on 4.16. After providing a detailed explanation of the confrontation and threat from Luke MacDonald, I asked for Talbott’s full assurance that our kids would be safe at HCA. Talbott stated his job is to protect the safety of the children at HCA. But then Talbot stated that “If you don’t feel your kids are safe, then you should take them out of school.” Talbot had no intention of investigating this threat from a Leader at HBC to a fellow parent of HCA nor did Talbott assure me of my kids safety at the conclusion of the conversation.
Call to Action:
The “Elders” of Harvest Bible Chapel have until Tuesday, April 17th at 3pm CST to fully and exhaustively investigate this ‘threat’ and confrontation with Luke and conversation with Talbott AND will comply in full Biblical authority* with a written AND verbal response to Dan & Kate Haskell.
*Acts 20:28, 1 Timothy 3:1-14, James 3:13-18, Titus 2
In Jesus Name,
Dan & Kate Haskell
Talbott Behnken the Superintendent of Harvest Christian Academy Responds
The Superintendent of Harvest Christian Academy sent a text to Dan Haskell. Talbott worked around the issue by trying to engage Dan in conversation. He didn’t want to leave a papertrail in this situation. For Dan that was not good enough.
Above is the first communication by Luke MacDonald after the alleged threat was made, and the following day.
Luke MacDonald sent out a text to Dan Haskell and copied Talbott Behnken. It was the first time Luke MacDonald engaged Dan since the incident the previous day. Talbott Behnken then wrote an email back. Talbott allegedly accused Dan Haskell of engaging in slander and he was not going to address the issues that Luke had allegedly threatened Dan’s children. Plus Talbott had embellished and created a situation by claiming that Dan had an issue with a Harvest Bible Chapel pastor earlier the previous day. What had happened is that Dan and his wife Kate went to breakfast at the Buttermilk restaurant in Geneva, Illinois. The Haskells had bumped into Jeff Donaldson and his wife Bethany. Dan had encouraged Jeff Donaldson with 1 Thessalonians 5:11, Hebrews 12:1-2, Psalm 127, and Ezekiel 37. The Holy Spirit told Dan that he needed to speak with Jeff Donaldson about Hebrews 12:1-2. This was the “threat” that the head of Harvest Christian Academy had raised. The email by Talbott Behnken was sent out at 4:05 p.m.
I attempted to contact Dan Haskell personally twice prior to sending this email, but he did not answer.
After examination of the incident Dan describes, as well as a similar incident he created with another one of our pastors on the same day, along with conversations with school personnel who observed the matters in dispute, we have come to the conclusion that Dan Haskell’s version of events does not correspond to the facts. Had it remained a matter between two people and school administration, it could have been resolved. Dan’s decision to circulate broadly his distorted viewpoint was reckless and indifferent to his impact upon others. His accusations are offensive and spurious. For that reason, we have communicated to Dan that he and his family will be welcome at Harvest Christian Academy again when he has aplogized and made things right with those he has maligned.
Harvest Christian Academy
At Harvest Bible Chapel there was an elder meeting that night and Dan Haskell wanted Luke’s behavior and how his children were allegedly threatened to be on the agenda. Dan and his wife after talking it over wanted his children to be able to finish out the school year. Dan sent a second email asking for a response in writing. This is what Dan sent to Mike Lankford at 5:07 p.m.
Mike, please confirm receipt and please include below email communication response from Mr Behnken in the agenda for 7pm Elder meeting tonight. Our kids need to complete this school year at HCA.
Talbott then emailed his official response to Dan Haskell at 7:18 p.m. Dan was to repent for what happened and his family was banned from Elgin. Talbott also dragged Dan’s kids into the conflict and held this situation against them. Meanwhile Luke MacDonald was given a pass and did no wrong. Remember it was Luke MacDonald who blew up at Dan and who made an alleged threat against Dan Haskell, all for a prayer he left on The Elephant’s Debt blog.
Dan Responds to Luke MacDonald’s Alleged Threat to his Children and Manipulation By Harvest
Dan’s family including his children were barred from Harvest Christian Academy. They wanted Dan to apologize but they made it an elder issue as well. What Dan was in the process of learning is that since the issue involved Luke MacDonald, then Dan was going to hit a brick wall. Due to the nepotism issues at Harvest, and the protection of the MacDonald clan no one was going to challenge Luke MacDonald and run the risk of provoking James MacDonald. The Haskells were upset over what had happened and they had faced shunning. Dan’s kids were confused and asked what happened and why they were banned from contacting friends from Harvest? Dan’s kids often cried in the ordeal.
Dan tried to engage MacDonald’s church and his email address was blacklisted by Harvest Bible Chapel and Harvest Christian Academy. Dan, along with his wife was able to engage other staff such as Laurie Manusos who responded with the following email on April 17, 2018 at 12:40 p.m.
Talbott Behnken held the official line that Dan Haskell had slandered and attacked Luke MacDonald’s character. It was a bind for Dan because he was still trying to disengage from Harvest Christian Academy and prevent his children from being caught in this situation. When it wasn’t possible for Dan’s kids to finish Harvest, the situation changed. Dan wanted to be able to transfer them, and get reimbursed for tuition credits, and more. He wanted a letter so that another school could take them. The Haskells sent a certified letter to Talbott Behnken. During this stage Talbott and Scott Milholland then sent the following email to Dan Haskell.
Dan still tried to get a guarantee for his children’s safety. Harvest had dragged them into the situation. Dan wanted to meet with Harvest and resolve the conflict. Harvest had made him the problem while downplaying Luke MacDonald’s behavior. Dan was being gaslighted and Harvest had taken out their anger on Dan’s children. On April 25, 2018 Dan tried calling Luke MacDonald to discuss this situation. He then sent him an email asking if they could meet one on one and discuss the situation. This is what Dan Haskell sent.
Luke refused and this is the response that he sent.
Since the Haskells had decided to withdraw their children from Harvest Christian Academy. The Haskells wanted to be reimbursed for the difference of the semester which was pre-paid. The amount of money in question was about $1,500. He was trying to get the school to sign off on the curriculum for his children so that the previous academic year would not be wasted. The lunch money was minor and under $10.00. RT Maldonner from City of Joy was to be a witness on behalf of Dan Haskell. At Harvest Bible Chapel, RT Maldaner was being attacked by the MacDonalds. Julie Roys wrote about this in her World magazine article. The MacDonalds who ruled Harvest like a banana republic in Central America believed that Maldaner was stealing people from Harvest and competing against him. Remember James MacDonald believes that ministry is to be won at all costs. Talbott then sent the following message to Dan regarding his son from Harvest Christian Academy. Talbott supported the campaign against RT Maldaner.
Despite Dan’s desires to meet, he kept being brushed off in his messages. You can see those below.
Monday, April 30th 2018
In Apology To:
ALL Harvest Bible Chapel Elders, Luke MacDonald, and Talbott Behnken & Other Individuals,
Please accept our (Dan & Kate) apology first for emailing parties/individuals that should not have been included in the 4.17.18 “Call to Action” email [Enclosed], as it should have been addressed ONLY to HBC Elders and Talbott Behnken.
Secondly, we/Dan apologize to both Luke & Talbott for stating in a verbal communication on 4.16.18 with Talbott that Luke was “demon-possessed”. We have personally known Luke for over 14 years (having been in each others weddings), and seek Luke’s forgiveness for making this statement. In addition, we apologize for the verbal communication with Talbott that was not from a place of seeking to understand one another and came across as demanding as it related to the safety of our children and their spiritual well being at HCA.
Kate and I have decided that our children will not return to Harvest Christian Academy for the balance of the 2018 school year and moving forward. Please remove our registration for the 2018-2019 school year. It is our understanding, per communication received from Talbott Behnken 4.26, that Josiah Haskell has met ALL Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) schooling requirements as mandated by law. Please send confirmation and all school correspondence to our home address (curriculum, report card, cafeteria balance, etc.). Many factors went into this decision, but the wise counsel received from Elder Ken Mariotti [Elder meeting occurring 2.25.18 with Ken & Mark Hopwood] primarily influenced our decision so as to not subject ourselves to questioning by fellow parents and HCA staff we would encounter in the halls of HCA regarding our absence and departure as members of HBC after 14 years.
Lastly, Kate and I would please like to request, in lieu of tuition reimbursement, that the majority of/or most applicable classroom curriculum be provided from Mrs. Jarvis (Josiah) and Miss McCormick (Micah) to us for at home school study purposes to finish the year. Effective date of request beginning 4.17.2018 through the last day of the 2018 school year. Please advise and continue all correspondence with these requested resources to
Please acknowledge receipt of this letter.
In Peace – Ephesians 4:3,
Dan & Kate Haskell
Analysis of the Situation of Luke MacDonald and Dan Haskell.
It is this blog’s belief that Dan Haskell was gaslighted. It also appears that RT Maldener is still being gaslighted as well by Harvest. One of the issues that people will run into in Harvest Bible Chapel is that of nepotism. The nepotism is one of the issues that makes Harvest deeply unhealthy. The MacDonald’s are going to be protected at all costs. No elder or employee will stand up and call them out. Individuals like Talbott Behnken are going to be tools of the system. In order for people like thrive in that culture people like Talbott are going to be doing a lot of kissing of James’ rear end. It is this blog’s belief that this is why Luke MacDonald can get away with what he did. The system is designed to protect him. None of the MacDonald’s will ever face church discipline or action. For James MacDonald Harvest Bible Chapel is a business. Its about money. Dan Haskell was a threat because of a blog comment he made on The Elephant’s Debt. As a threat he had to be neutralized and mitigated and that is what Luke MacDonald did. The disturbing aspect of this is that children at Harvest Christian Academy are not going to be guaranteed safety. And this explains why some people who are upset about the MacDonald’s will stay silent. They don’t want the system to go after their children. James MacDonald uses Harvest Christian Academy to enforce his personality cult. if you read Ryan Mahoney’s open letter to James MacDonald at The Elephant’s Debt, James MacDonald wanted all employees of Harvest Christian Academy to be members of Harvest Bible Chapel. Its a way to control the system and create a totalitarian state. In the end Harvest Bible Chapel is a mini version of North Korea. With the “Dear Leader” being James MacDonald. What people need to do is to withdraw their children from Harvest Christian Academy. This blog is concerned about the health of the Academy and doesn’t believe that Talbott Behnken is up to the job.