The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability has released a statement explaining its board “voted today to update the membership status for Harvest Bible Chapel (Elgin, IL) from suspension to termination due to significant violations of four of ECFA’s Seven Standards of Responsible Stewardship.”
The ECFA statement insinuates that church leadership misled them by omission last year. They wrote, “ECFA’s investigation of Harvest Bible Chapel began on November 28, 2018. After a thorough review of documents made available at that time as well as an on-site visit with church officials, ECFA reported on December 10, 2018 that the church was in good standing. This statement would not have been made if Harvest Bible Chapel had shared all crucial information with ECFA.”
However, the statement went on to explain:, “As part of the ongoing review of the church’s compliance with ECFA’s standards, on March 11, 2019, the church shared new information that indicated possible violations of ECFA standards.”
The ECFA is an organization that helps hold large Christian organizations to accountability standards.
The Chicago megachurch has faced scrutiny for months amid various controversies surrounding its founder and former pastor James MacDonald. He was fired earlier this year, and has been accused of mishandling finances, inappropriately touching a female worship leader, bullying church members and leaders and other serious misdeeds.
The church has since installed new leadership to oversee the ministry’s operations.
It’s the first time the ECFA has terminated an organization’s membership in nearly four years.