ChurchLeaders has reported extensively on MacDonald’s fall from grace, which involves accusations of financial mismanagement, bullying and even death threats. After Harvest elders fired MacDonald, he took legal action against them and others. He also has lashed out against independent journalist Julie Roys, one of his critics.
In February 2020, MacDonald launched a new ministry, Home Church Network. Its website includes words of apology from MacDonald, featured under the subhead “Repentance.” That post is dated November 26, 2019, less than a month before MacDonald filed the defamation lawsuit against Muller:
I was, am, and will remain very sorry for the careless and hurtful words that were illegally recorded and publicized. I immediately sent written apologies where appropriate, grieving what it revealed about the state of my heart at the time, as well as the hurt caused to those who trusted us to be a more consistent example of Christlikeness. I have no excuse and am truly sorry.
ChurchLeaders has reached out to the attorneys of both James MacDonald and Mancow Muller for comment. MacDonald’s lawyer responded by sending a summary and copy of Judge Reilly’s order, saying, “We look forward to proving the falsity of the multiple repugnant statements Mr. Muller made about Pastor MacDonald in the course of his radio and podcast episodes.”
Editor’s note: This story was corrected to reflect the number of counts more accurately instead of stating that there were four total. It has been updated with the name of the Daily Herald and with information from Judge Reilly’s order.