The Wondering Eagle Exclusive: Dean Butters Statement

The Wondering Eagle acquired Dean Butters statement that he wrote on January 29, 2019. In it Dean explains James MacDonald and his time at Harvest Bible Chapel in the Chicago, Illinois area. This post consists of Dean’s statement alone.

“I am compelled to speak the truth about my experience now with the hope that it will help to prevent others from being spiritually manipulated and brutalized by James MacDonald and others at Harvest Bible Chapel who carry out his commands.”

Dean Butters 

“I mourn the loss of pastors who have left the ministry after their time at HBC with James. I am weighed down and distracted daily by the embarrassment that I was duped for 18 years and may have wasted the most productive years of my life.”

Dean Butters

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good[b] is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

James 2:14-17 ESV 

The Wondering Eagle acquired Dean Butters statement that was written on January 29, 2019. This post is going to be a stand alone of just Dean Butters statement. You can access Dean’s statement below. 

DButters HBC Story


20 thoughts on “The Wondering Eagle Exclusive: Dean Butters Statement

  1. Pingback: Why Publish the Dean Butters Statement in Its Entirety? | Wondering Eagle

  2. James Macdonald is a maniac. He is mentally ill. How could all these people surround him and not see it?? The guy was a fraud on every level. He had research assistants write him weekly 10 page papers for him to write a sermon from, he used a woman to write for him but vehemently preached women can’t be elders. He lives exact opposite of what the Bible teaches and he bore zero fruit! But he was allowed to prosper by Christians. And sooo many Christian evangelicals stayed silent. And Greg Laurie laughed at the porno vid??? He needs to be called out but I’m sure he will deny it! The celebrity worship in Christianity needs to stop!!


    • James Macdonald is a maniac. He is mentally ill. How could all these people surround him and not see it??

      Because this has become The New Normal for God’s Anointed.
      The more he acts like this, the more Godly he must be.

      But he was allowed to prosper by Christians. And sooo many Christian evangelicals stayed silent.

      “One Hand Washes the Other…”

      And Greg Laurie laughed at the porno vid???

      That’s PASTORGregLaurieVineyard!

      In the Eighties, PASTORGregLaurie was on local Christianese AM Radio almost as much as PASTORChuckSmithCalvaryChapelCostaMesa. And just last year I saw ad space at all the Metrolink stations I use plastered over with Greg Laurie ads. Don’t know if Vineyard was/is affiliated with Calvary Chapel, but locally “Christian” is de facto defined as “Calvary Chapel or Calvary Chapel Clone”. ANd Vineyard definitely used the Moses Model of Anointed PASTOR/Dictator.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I am so grieved by all the damage that has been caused to so many people. I am shocked of the people who stay and refuse to hear about the truth. That is the result of cult type treatment and is their downfall. Where did you hear about Greg Laurie from? That shocks me to hear about his behavior since I considered him to be a Godly man. Praying that God will heal us and bring all this evil to light!


  3. Don’t have words to convey how disturbing this is. My question is , where are the men in Harvest. Those who would stand up to him and call him out. If a man, Pastor or not screamed and mocked me this way or ridiculed my wife as Ive heard him do or scream at my wife or daughter because he was impatient or They hadn’t followed his directions to the letter, he would be picking himself up off the floor. And that goes for Luke as well, bullies like these need to be dealt with. Tired of hearing, Oh I was powerless or, intimidated, or there was a culture of fear. Give me a break. Men of Harvest need to grow a pair.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I said the same thing a couple weeks ago! I know we’re supposed to turn the other cheek and the meek inherit the earth, etc., BUT, at what point do you call out a bully publicly and make him aware of the fact that they should bully you at their own risk? Reading these accounts of bullying and how the men in this church allowed him to get away with it is sickening!


    • For starters Daniel, most of the the Godly leaders at Harvest did stand up to him. And most of the Godly men, being Godly men, would not resort to violence like you would. Clearly, you believe that standing up to somebody means to attack them. Just because luke, James or Landon were not assaulted does not mean nobody stood up to them. James was a very powerful and ruthless man. He could reach far beyond the walls of Harvest. Many very good leaders at Harvest stood up to him over the years. They got destroyed and moved on, as most would do.


      • I’m going to assume your a women. Sometimes men like this don’t understand anything else. And your assumption that most of the Godly men at Harvest did stand up to James is not accurate or verifiable. Powerful and ruthless, sorry but I work in an industry with men, not church people, if another man spoke to my wife or daughter in the ways I have heard him, my reaction would not go well for him. Too many Beta males in this world allowing bullies and pretend alphas get away with abusing others. I don’t condone violence but there is a time for everything.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Don’t have words to convey how disturbing this is. My question is , where are the men in Harvest.

      Singing the Praises of PASTOR Mac, of course.
      Lest he turn on them.
      In-between backstabbing each other to be PASTOR’s Court Favorite of the Week.


  4. I believe that because of all that has been written,just in this couple year window, that Pastor Jeff wasn’t doing well. He was struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts. His conscious was being seared I believe. I am thankful that he has resigned for his own sake. Maybe someday he will come to his senses and realize how abused he really was and how he liked dean struggled to do the right thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • His conscience was seared my you know what… He was fake depressed and fake suicidal because he knew the ma$$ive and fraudulent gravy train might be coming into the station for a final stop. You were joking right??…


  5. Dean, if you are reading this thank you for sharing transparently what James did and what you did. You give valuable insight into how a bully works and how good people get sucked in.

    You fear the best years of your life were wasted. Maybe. That depends on what you do next. Chuck Colson screwed up and went to jail but he allowed God to turn his shame into great good for prisoners worldwide. God can work all things together for good but it requires a courageous cooperation on our part as well.

    I think you have that kind of courage- you have an opportunity now to stand up and be the leader you weren’t in the past.

    Go to everyone you hurt personally and apologize face to face. Did you join in criticism of former staff? Find each one and apologize. Did you personally misappropriate money? Return it to the church. Did you turn away while James destroyed someone? Ask that person privately for their forgiveness. Accept consequences with unflinching steadfastness to the truth. In AA this is called “making amends.” It’s hard but incredibly freeing.

    Seek healing for the spiritual and emotional manipulation/abuse you suffered. Solicit Christians outside the “Harvest world” for resources and resource people to help.

    As God leads, you can also rally together former elders. You can help them confess fully and make amends. Gather wounded former/current Harvest members and invite them to share their hurts. Cry out to God together in grief and repentance. Ask for His redemption.

    As you do any or all of these things remember God redeems people for eternity, but never institutions. Please Dean, don’t build into anyone’s earthly kingdom ever again. Be Jesus disciple today. Help someone else be Jesus disciple today. Do this and God will redeem whatever shameful, wasted past was yours; the best years of your life could actually be ahead.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Here’s a minor aside in the statement that stood out to me:

    Led various hunting trips throughout the U.S.and Africa for his friends and couched them as business expenses. These hunts include the shooting of highly valuable trophy animals.

    Must keep up with that other Great White Hunter Wannabe, Paige Patterson.

    Pastor shooting big game on canned hunts in Africa must be today’s version of Pastor claiming to be a Navy SEAL. “ME MAN! RAWR!”


  7. Pingback: Analysis of the Dean Butters Statement. What are the Lessons Learned? | Wondering Eagle

  8. Pingback: How was Information From Soul Care Collected for James MacDonald? What Does this Scandal Mean for Garrett Higbee and the Great Commission Collective? Plus Some Advice as Higbee is Trying to Reconcile | Wondering Eagle

  9. Pingback: When the EFCA is Tone Deaf to Evangelical Scandals? Why is Ed Stetzer Speaking at EFCA One in Chicago? | Wondering Eagle

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