Former Megachurch Pastor James MacDonald Arrested for Assault

(Screenshot James MacDonald Facebook)

Without repentance, the life of a Christian who experienced severe punishment by God can quickly spiral out of control, much like what happened to King Saul.

Such is the case for the former Senior Pastor at Harvest Bible Chapel James MacDonald.

As reported by The Roys Report, "Disgraced megachurch pastor James MacDonald has been arrested and charged with felony assault and battery in California, after authorities say he attacked a 59-year-old woman, resulting in 'serious injuries.'"

A criminal complaint was filed by the San Diego County District Attorney's office saying "James MacDonald personally inflicted great bodily injury upon Barbara Bass," and continued saying MacDonald "did willfully and unlawfully use force and violence" against Bass.

If convicted, he faces up to seven years in prison.

Michael Pancer, the attorney representing MacDonald, released a statement saying:

"James MacDonald would never intentionally harm another human being. The charges as written are not accurate as to what took place. We believe the evidence will show Dr. MacDonald's intent and conduct was neither malicious nor correctly assigned in the charges filed. We look to the legal process to establish what did happen and remedy the situation lawfully."

MacDonald was not initially identified by the Coronado Police Department in their Facebook post detailing the events. It simply listed the accused as a 62-year-old man, whom police spokesperson Lea Corbin later confirmed was James MacDonald.

A gun was found in MacDonald's vehicle which was initially thought to be stolen, but that statement was later recanted by police. The handgun does not appear to play a role in the charges against MacDonald.

The incident occurred when, according to the police statement, MacDonald was parallel parking his truck and struck the vehicle containing a 59-year-old woman.

When Bass exited her vehicle to talk to MacDonald, he reportedly "jumped out of his truck and attacked the victim."

As reported by the Christian Post, MacDonald was, "a prominent preacher who founded the multi-campus Chicago-area megachurch Harvest Bible Chapel. MacDonald was fired from his position as lead pastor in 2019. Church elders cited 'highly inappropriate recorded comments' he had made that were played by a local radio program."

Since the initial arrest, MacDonald was released from San Diego Central Jail on Mar. 22, after posting $35,000 bail.

According to Tanya Sierra, assistant director of communications for the San Diego County District Attorney's office, MacDonald was arraigned on assault and battery charges a week later on Mar. 29.

This chapter continues the sad decline of leadership from Chicago's Harvest Bible Chapel. Earlier this year, former worship pastor Andi Rozier was fired from New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado, upon their discovery of his extramarital affair. Rozier served as a worship pastor for nearly two decades at Harvest Bible Chapel in the Chicago area and was a member of its worship band, Vertical Worship. In the early stages of his employment at Harvest, the church removed him from ministry for "moral reasons" before being reinstated following counseling, discipleship and confession.

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James Lasher is Staff Writer for Charisma Media.

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