Recently information came forward that Garrett Higbee spied on a person for James MacDonald. He did this while leading Soul Care Counseling at Harvest Bible Chapel. This blog would like to ask Brian White, if the Great Commission Collective is going to investigate its Director of Pastoral Care Garrett Higbee for ethical misconduct. This also raises questions if the Biblical Counseling Coalition and the Christian Counseling and Education Foundation will also investigate Garrett Higbee based on his involvement in those organizations.
“Ethics must begin at the top of an organization. It is a leadership issue and the chief executive must set the example.”
“Live one day at a time emphasizing ethics rather than rules.”
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,”[a] and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[b] 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
Romans 13:8-10 NIV
The information coming out about Garrett Higbee raises more questions which is the point of this post. Let’s look into some of what needs to be probed in several organizations.
Garrett Higbee in the Great Commission Collective
According to Linked-In Garrett Higbee became the Director of Pastoral Care for the Great Commission Collective (GCC) in January of 2018. Garrett who is based in Indianapolis, Indiana has been in that role for the past year and five months. According to the GCC website you can see Garrett Higbee on the staff page here. Higbee does a lot of work and speaking from what I have heard inside GCC churches and has many connections to pastors. Here are some examples.
Will Higbee Be Investigated by the Great Commission Collective for Spying and Ethical Issues?
On Twitter the Executive Director of the GCC Brian White praises Garrett Higbee’s 12 Stones Ministry and Soul Care Counseling. You can see that in the Tweet up above. In addition to being the Executive Director, Brian White also leads Harvest Bible Chapel North Indy. The other day on Julie Roys blog information emerged that revealed Garrett Higbee, as the Director of Soul Care Counseling had engaged in spying on behalf of James MacDonald. You can read the details in, “Chicago Radio Host & a Former Bodyguard Say James MacDonald Asked Them to Arrange Murders.” That information confirmed what this blog has been learning and asking. That was written about the other day in, “The Wondering Eagle is Validated as Independent Reporting Confirms Garrett Higbee Spied as Director of Soul Care Counseling at Harvest Bible Chapel.”
In light of this new information concerning Garrett Higbee, this blog would like to know if the GCC is going to conduct an investigation to see if Higbee is fit to remain as the Director of Pastoral Care. But there are other questions to be asked. If Higbee spied for James MacDonald when he led Soul Care Counseling, what about pastors in the GCC? Did Higbee also spy on them? Does Higbee know which pastor or staff member might have had an affair? Which one is struggling with alcoholism or looking at pornography at work? These are questions that are quite serious and they come to the forefront as new information emerges. Another question to ask is the following. Are there GCC pastors who know more about Higbee, but are they embarrassed or frightened that if they come forward Higbee could retaliate and weaponize information that was shared in “counseling sessions.” This, in the opinion of The Wondering Eagle, is what happens when you have a Christian counseling program that doesn’t believe in oversight. Ethics issues like this would be investigated immediately if Garrett Higbee was licensed by the states of Indiana or Illinois.
What About 12 Stones, David Powlison’s Christian Counseling and Education Foundation, or the Biblical Counseling Coalition?
Garrett Higbee also has connections with David Powlison’s Christian Counseling and Education Foundation (CCEF) CCEF is a ministry based out of Glenside, Pennsylvania that has close ties to C.J. Mahaney Sovereign Grace Ministries. In the case of Sovereign Grace they actually partnered with many churches in that network. But what is Garrett Higbee’s connections with David Powlison? Is CCEF okay with working with someone why spied on behalf of someone like James MacDonald? Have they vetted and investigated Garrett Higbee? What about the Biblical Counseling Coalition that is based in Louisville, Kentucky? Garrett Higbee is in the leadership team of the organization. Here is how Garrett Higbee is described at the Biblical Counseling Coalition:
Dr. Higbee is Director of Pastoral Care for the Great Commission Collective, a church planting movement with over 100 churches worldwide. He is also the President and founder of Twelve Stones Ministries in Brown County, Indiana. Garrett is a seasoned counselor, teacher, and trainer with over 30 years of experience. He was trained as a clinical psychologist with a specialty in marriage and family counseling but had a radical conversion in 1992, which led him to trust in Christ and His Word for all things related to life and counseling. In the last decade he has developed a highly effective church-based model of discipleship and soul care engaging every believer based on Ephesians chapter 4. He is dedicated to helping churches thrive both in leadership and as an authentic culture of soul care. Garrett is a founding board member of the Biblical Counseling Coalition and is a sought-after consultant, frequent conference speaker and a contributing author for several Christian counseling books. He loves to equip church members and leaders by conducting training which spans from intentional to intensive discipleship. He has been married to Tammy for over 20 years and they have three children, Rachel, Zach and Sarah. They live in Indianapolis, Indiana, where he has recently started Soul Care Consulting, a ministry that helps leaders and their churches get healthy and stay healthy.
This situation with Garrett Higbee touches on other churches. For example another individual in leadership at the Biblical Counseling Coalition is Deepak Reju. Reju is the Pastor of Biblical Counseling and Families at Mark Dever’s Capitol Hill Baptist Church here in Washington, D.C. Is Deepak Reju okay with ethical violations in counseling? Will the Biblical Counseling Coalition push for a deep dive looking into the allegations? If the Biblical Counseling Coalition ignores this issue then there are deep systemic problems that exist in that organization. And that leads us to 12 Stones which is Garrett Higbee’s personal ministry. If my memory serves me correct he left Harvest Bible Chapel to focus on 12 Stones. In 12 Stones they have some people stay for two to three days. If Garrett leads a ministry and he has spied on others why would people want to go there and talk about their alcoholism, drug addiction, affairs that they have or more? Why would you volunteer sensitive information only to run the risk of it being weaponized? Why share information with people who are barely trained and unlicensed? In my view this is like having a brain tumor and walking across the street and asking if your neighbor can surgically remove it. In researching this post I learned that Garrett Higbee is speaking about PTSD. Has he caused PTSD in any of his subjects?
The Wondering Eagle is Going to Follow Up with the GCC and Biblical Counseling Coalition and Request a Statement
This blog is going to follow up and request statements. It will inquire to Brian White if the GCC is going to investigate Garrett Higbee. Sadly this blog has interacted with CCEF previously. As I write heavily about the Evangelical Free Church of America I broke and reported a story involving an EFCA pastor Steve Estes whose church practiced church discipline on alleged rape and domestic abuse victim who knows she could be dead. Steve Estes sits on the Board of CCEF and they turned away a domestic abuse victim likely on Steve Estes orders. You can read more in, “What do David Powlison, Cecilia Bernhardt and Christian Counseling and Education Foundation Believe on Domestic Abuse? Why is Julie Lowe and CCEF Holding an Abuse Event at a Church that Excommunicated an Alleged Rape and Domestic Abuse Victim?” and “Community Evangelical Free Church Update: Should Christians Respond to David Powlison’s Fundraising Campaign in Light of how CCEF Treated an Alleged Domestic Abuse Victim? Plus a Congregation Meeting and Brock Estes Proudly Displays his Gun Collection on Facebook.” Since we are talking about a “counselor” who doesn’t know what ethics is and who has engaged in spying I will leave you with a song from Kingsman: The Secret Service.