"Empty pews" by Jason Scott / CC BY 2.0

IL Megachurch Founder Accused of Wanting to Hire Hitman to Murder Son-in-Law

May 21, 2019

By Hemant Mehta

A megachurch pastor allegedly asked his personal bodyguard to murder his former son-in-law during a motorcycle trip to the Creation Museum.

That’s both a winning Fundamentalist Christian Bingo card and the allegation made by the bodyguard, Emmanuel “Manny” Bucur, against the founder of Illinois’ Harvest Bible Chapel church, James MacDonald.

MacDonald was a prominent preacher, a member of Donald Trump‘s just-for-show evangelical “advisory board,” and a signer of the anti-LGBTQ Nashville Statement.

Then his empire crashed down last year following a devastating article by journalist Julie Royssubsequent details from Chicago shock jock Mancow Muller, and an exposure of his mismanagement by independent bloggers. MacDonald later sued Roys and the bloggers for defamation. The lawsuit was dropped months later in part because the church didn’t want to produce documents that would make their way into the public sphere. MacDonald was fired from the church in February.

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