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47of74

Megachurch founder James MacDonald allegedly sought murder for hire, police investigating

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luv2laugh
Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, 47of74 said:

At a previous job I worked with a couple people who consumed plenty of HBC flavored koolaid.  

Of course there's lots of fundie activity going on in the Chicago area.  Not only churches but there's also Wheaton College which is basically the Midwest clone of Liberty University.

Also, IBLP’s HQ was in Oak Brook, IL.

Edited by luv2laugh

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47of74
4 minutes ago, luv2laugh said:

Also, IBLP’s HQ was in Oak Brook, IL.

Good point.  Also there was Reformers Unanimous over in Rockford (about 1.5 hours east of me) where a young Joshley Madison went after his extra-curricular activities were exposed. 

 

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PennySycamore
Posted (edited)
On 5/23/2019 at 5:29 PM, clueliss said:

By the way - back in the 80's a Pastor and his mistress (from the Emporia KS area) conspired to murder her husband and his wife.  I believe they made a tv movie about it.   He succeeded in killing his wife.  The link below is the result of a google search - Sandy Bird was the Pastor's wife

https://www.latimes.com/local/la-tm-kansas18may02-story.html

The movie was Murder Ordained and Keith Carridine played the Kansas state trooper who investigated the crash of Sandra Bird's car while Terry Kinney played her minister husband and JoBeth Williams his parishioner mistress.   It is excellent.

Neither the Pastor Bird not his mistress served enough time in prison.  Pastor Bird was thinking of becoming a marriage counselor after his release from prison.  Just the kind of marriage counselor you want -a guy who served time for murdering his wife!

ETA:  I'm another one who loves Joe Kenda, but I don't care much for See No Evil or Web of Lies.  (I can take individual episodes of those though.)  I also like some of the crime shows on Oxygen like Cold Justice and Buries in the Backyard.  Recently, they did a two-parter about the disappearance of Susan Cox Powell and Discovery ID repeated their program right before the Oxygen one came on.  

They are also both doing programs in June about the death of Rebecca Zahau.  It's weird to me, though, that ID Discovery is doing another one.  They did a show about her death last year that said there was no foul play.  That's bullshit, of course.  The Oxygen show is "The Murder of Rebecca Zahau".  There is no way that Miss Zahau committed suicide.  

Edited by PennySycamore
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apple1

Cold Justice is one of my favorites.

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smittykins
21 hours ago, JermajestyDuggar said:

I’ve seen all the forensic files episodes at least 3 times each. I started watching it way back when it had new episodes in the early 2000s. When I was in college my roommates always made fun of me for watching murder shows all the time. They said I watched the same stuff their parents and grandparents watched! 

For several years, I worked with the sister of Stacey Castor’s first husband(who appeared on numerous TV shows on the case).  She told me that they ultimately decided not to prosecute Stacey for his death in order to spare Ashley from another trial.

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JermajestyDuggar
11 minutes ago, smittykins said:

For several years, I worked with the sister of Stacey Castor’s first husband(who appeared on numerous TV shows on the case).  She told me that they ultimately decided not to prosecute Stacey for his death in order to spare Ashley from another trial.

Stacey Castor is an absolute piece of garbage. She is where she needs to be. She would have gone on to kill more people if she had gotten away with her husbands’ murders. 

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smittykins

She died in 2016, so I’m guessing she’s in Hell.(I’m not normally one to say “Rot in Hell,” but in this case, I’ll make an exception.)

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PennySycamore

Stacy Castor's story reminds me of Marie Hilley, the Anniston Alabama woman who poisoned her husband Frank with arsenic to get his life insurance money and attempted to murder her daughter with arsenic, but she was caught in time.  I think that Marie may have been suspected or murdering her first husband, but I might be mixing her up with Blanche Taylor Moore, the NC woman who did kill two husbands and was suspected of killing several other family members with arsenic.

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JermajestyDuggar
1 hour ago, smittykins said:

She died in 2016, so I’m guessing she’s in Hell.(I’m not normally one to say “Rot in Hell,” but in this case, I’ll make an exception.)

I didn’t realize she had died. She wasn’t old. 

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JermajestyDuggar

Now I’m sitting here thinking about Stacey Castor’s mother and getting pissed. Her mother, Ashley and Bree’s grandmother, actually BELIEVED Stacey and not Ashley. She believed that Ashley killed her own father at the age of 11, got away with it and kept it a secret for 10 years, and then killed her step dad at the age of 21 and then tried to kill herself out of guilt. It just showed me what kind of person Stacey’s mother was and it was easier for me to understand how Stacey turned out the way she did. If her mother was constantly reaching to excuse her daughter’s behavior, what else had she excused? 

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SilverBeach
Posted (edited)
On 5/24/2019 at 4:12 PM, luv2laugh said:

Also, IBLP’s HQ was in Oak Brook, IL.

I was mortified to discover this, and that Bill Gothard  lived in my town, which had morphed into a trendy sort of place just a few miles away from IBLP headquarters.  I do recall seeing groups of long jean skirt wearing women with ponytails at Oakbrook Mall and thinking they looked a tad peculiar. I only found out about this because of FJ. It makes me wonder if I had ever stood next to that creep at Walgreens or something. UGH. 

You true crime fans should check out For My Man, Fatal Attraction, and ATL Homicide.

Edited by SilverBeach
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Chocolate Lover

Back to the original post for a moment.  (Can't quote from the quote box for some reason).  Why does a preacher need a bodyguard?   Does he not trust G-d to keep him safe?

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47of74
21 hours ago, SilverBeach said:

I was mortified to discover this, and that Bill Gothard  lived in my town, which had morphed into a trendy sort of place just a few miles away from IBLP headquarters.  I do recall seeing groups of long jean skirt wearing women with ponytails at Oakbrook Mall and thinking they looked a tad peculiar. I only found out about this because of FJ. It makes me wonder if I had ever stood next to that creep at Walgreens or something. UGH.

Back in my Catholic days I remember one time I was at the local equivalent of the Walgreens and I saw a guy  who  looked really familiar and he seemed to recognize me.  I still honestly wonder if the guy was the Archbishop of Dubuque and he happened to be "out of uniform" as it was and out shopping.  He didn't have on any clerical garb and just looked like any other guy in his late 60s. 

23 minutes ago, Chocolate Lover said:

Back to the original post for a moment.  (Can't quote from the quote box for some reason).  Why does a preacher need a bodyguard?   Does he not trust G-d to keep him safe?

Clergy having bodyguards is nothing new.  Especially high up in the ranks or if the clergy is the subject of controversy.  Bishop Eugene Robinson had  to have bodyguards provide him with 24 hour protection after he was named Bishop of New Hampshire.  Bishop Harris required protection from all the racists who couldn't stand the thought of a black woman as a Bishop in the Episcopal Church.

Back to MacDonald for a minute - it seems to me that his bodyguards were more of a way of saying that he was such a big wig that he had to have them rather than providing actual protection.  But what do I know.

 

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feministxtian

My husband got me hooked on Kenda. 

Preachers & bodyguards...I honestly don't think anyone would recognize my pastor if they saw him in town. He's not a "bigwig". He's written some pretty good books and speaks at various churches, but he's not terribly well known. That's just fine with me. The assistant pastor might get recognized more, he's a football coach at a local high school. The joy of going to a relatively small church where everybody knows each other but aren't "well known" to the general public. No, we're not a cult, we just don't brag about stuff. The best way to recognize someone who goes to our church is to look for the window sticker. 

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nokidsmom
On 5/25/2019 at 5:59 PM, SilverBeach said:

I was mortified to discover this, and that Bill Gothard  lived in my town, which had morphed into a trendy sort of place just a few miles away from IBLP headquarters.  I do recall seeing groups of long jean skirt wearing women with ponytails at Oakbrook Mall and thinking they looked a tad peculiar. I only found out about this because of FJ. It makes me wonder if I had ever stood next to that creep at Walgreens or something. UGH. 

You true crime fans should check out For My Man, Fatal Attraction, and ATL Homicide.

Mr. No and I lived not too far from Gothard's home and we passed by the headquarters many times not knowing what it was.  Mr. No briefly worked in a print shop that did some printing for IBLP but never mentioned it until after I joined FJ and learned just how close we lived to this guy.  We were there long enough that we probably did pass by him on the street or in a store at some point. 

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47of74

I also wonder if Jimmy asked people to donate so he could get his buddies classic cars.

https://www.wthrockmorton.com/2019/04/06/james-macdonald-uses-non-profit-funds-for-that-perfect-gift/

Former HBC pastor James MacDonald gave Ed Stetzer a vintage 1971 Volkswagon Beetle. Then, Ed Stetzer found out the money for the gift came from MacDonald’s non-profit Walk in the Word. Stetzer did the honorable thing and reimbursed the ministry. Joe Thorn is a minister friend of Stetzer’s. You have to click on Stetzer’s note twice to read the whole story.

I seriously doubt any donor to Walk in the Word gave with the intent to buy Ed Stetzer a VW. Given the questions about finances at HBC and this story about WITW, donors should consider asking the Illinois Attorney General to investigate the use of funds and/or file a complaint with the IRS.

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47of74
Mr. No and I lived not too far from Gothard's home and we passed by the headquarters many times not knowing what it was.  Mr. No briefly worked in a print shop that did some printing for IBLP but never mentioned it until after I joined FJ and learned just how close we lived to this guy.  We were there long enough that we probably did pass by him on the street or in a store at some point. 


Sounds like a lot of people didn’t know much about the HQ at the time.

https://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/July-2016/Institute-in-Basic-Life-Principles-Hinsdale/

For decades, the people of Hinsdale
gave little thought to the mysterious brick
building in town. Then came a scandal.

The building, red bricked, colonnaded, crowned with a white cupola, sits on a grassy knoll in northwest Hinsdale. Unmarked, unremarkable, it barely registers as anything more than a garden-variety administrative headquarters of unknown provenance.

“I think that the community at large didn’t even really realize that it was there,” says Don Veinot, president of Midwest Christian Outreach, an evangelical group based in Wonder Lake, Illinois, that investigates cults and spiritually oppressive groups. “Unless you have some sort of direct interaction with someone there, you’re not going to think very much about it.”

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smittykins
Posted (edited)
Quote

Former HBC pastor James MacDonald gave Ed Stetzer a vintage 1971 Volkswagen Beetle.

FIFY.

(I get irrationally perturbed when it’s spelled wrong. 😛)

Edited by smittykins

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Grimalkin

      dunt, dunt, dunt another one bites the dust.........    I was stunned when the news of this broke, especially since the dust hadn't yet settled with Willow Creek and Bill Hybels. 

@luv2laugh I don't know if it was referring to Hybels but I always thought of them as competing churches. I grew up in the epi- center of both these churches and while Willow is much larger, it always seems that wherever there is a Willow branch; around the corner you will find a warehouse with a Harvest branch. I have met MacDonald briefly and used to listen to Mancow's morning radio show on my way to class or work depending on the day. I vaguely recall him becoming Christian and becoming extra douchey.

        I don't know what it says about me but I cackle with glee whenever I read about these two churches. I feel bad for some of the Willow people I know who are devastated by learning about Hybels. There is a relatively new third mega church that has recently sprung up in the area that is "more Christian" than Willow. I want to say its called The Chapel but I might have it confused with something else.

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refugee
On 5/26/2019 at 12:42 PM, Chocolate Lover said:

Back to the original post for a moment.  (Can't quote from the quote box for some reason).  Why does a preacher need a bodyguard?   Does he not trust G-d to keep him safe?

There's this thing I experienced as a churchgoer where I'd listen to a sermon and something would resonate. I'd want to go up to the preacher and give feedback. I know I'm not alone because I've seen lines form, both at church and at christian conferences, people wanting to say a few words to a speaker/preacher at the end of the service/session.

Some of the high and mighty have bodyguards for the express purpose of keeping the peons away. They can speak eloquently to a crowd, but seem to despise people on a one-to-one basis.

17 hours ago, Grimalkin said:

I want to say its called The Chapel but I might have it confused with something else.

Yikes. "The Chapel" sounds very cultish to me...

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47of74

A stray memory just clicked for me.  Illinois as a whole can be very fundie-ish.  Much more so than either Iowa or Wisconsin.  Even the mainline denominations there can be a fundie streak to tthem.  The former Episcopal Diocese of Quincy had the majority of its people and parishes leave the diocese to form their own diocese under the supervision of African churches not known for their tolerance of others.  The remaining Episcopal Diocese tried to make a go of it but soon figured out it was better to reunify with the Diocese of Chicago.  Prior to the split it was one of the last Dioceses that did not ordain women to the priesthood and only had two female deacons.   Wasn't just the Episcopalians either.  Several ELCA churches left their denomination over the direction of the church.  Even the Catholics in Illinois can be an extra nasty flavor of conservatism.  For example Bishop Jenky of Peoria who compared President Obama to Hitler and Stalin.  (That was the final push that got me to leave the Catholic church).  Or Bishop Paprocki of Springfield who is not known for his compassion towards LGBTQ folks.

 

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PennySycamore

@47of74,  it's my understanding that those churches who left the Episcopal Church USA and affiliated with African dioceses are not recognized by the Church of England.  That may have changed, but that was the case a few years ago.

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nokidsmom
Posted (edited)
On 6/1/2019 at 12:22 AM, Grimalkin said:

I grew up in the epi- center of both these churches and while Willow is much larger, it always seems that wherever there is a Willow branch; around the corner you will find a warehouse with a Harvest branch.

Yep, I am from the same general area and noticed the same thing. 

On 6/1/2019 at 12:22 AM, Grimalkin said:

There is a relatively new third mega church that has recently sprung up in the area that is "more Christian" than Willow. I want to say its called The Chapel but I might have it confused with something else.

You are correct, it's called The Chapel and they seem to be growing.  A former Lutheran church building in the area turned into one of The Chapel's locations a few years ago and I just learned they have another location in my town.  I see a lot of car with The Chapel bumper stickers driving around. 

On 6/1/2019 at 12:22 AM, Grimalkin said:

I don't know what it says about me but I cackle with glee whenever I read about these two churches. I feel bad for some of the Willow people I know who are devastated by learning about Hybels.

Well, you are not alone.   Both Mr. No and I have worked with people who attended Willow and were really into it.  However, I always had a somewhat negative impression of it, mainly because I worked with a boss who was one of their ministers.   I have mentioned this guy here before and he was very much into prosperity gospel (which always put me off) and he definitely had his ideas about women's roles, especially in the workplace, (which was one reason why I quit) which was another thing that put me off.   I realize that it's a large church and will have many kinds of people but I wondered that if this is what the church really promoted behind their happy, shiny exterior. 

@47of74 you are right that Illinois can be fundie-ish, even in mainline denominations.    

ETA: I never listened to Mancow's radio show but the fact that our local shock jock finds MacDonald scary is really saying something here.   

Edited by nokidsmom

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47of74
[mention=21952]47of74[/mention],  it's my understanding that those churches who left the Episcopal Church USA and affiliated with African dioceses are not recognized by the Church of England.  That may have changed, but that was the case a few years ago.


Yeah that’s right. None of the dioceses are recognized by the Anglican Communion. I think the Archbishop of Canterbury is trying to kiss up to conservatives instead of telling them off and allowing the ACNA to observe communion events.

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