James MacDonald, founder and former senior pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, is currently under investigation by Illinois police for allegedly seeking a hit man for hire. In a report by Christian Post, Chicago radio personality Mancow Muller and Emmanuel “Manny” Bucur, a deacon at the church and former bodyguard to James MacDonald made separate claims.
MacDonald, who was fired as pastor of Harvest Chapel in February for “engaging in conduct … contrary and harmful to the best interests of the church”, allegedly asked Muller twice in 2018 if he knew of a hitman for hire. Though Muller thought it was a joke, it eventually became clear that MacDonald was serious about it.
Bucur alleges that in 2015, MacDonald, the father of four girls, wanted his former son-in-law Tony Groves murdered. MacDonald offered to help dispose of the body after the hit. Bucur dismissed the request as a moment of weakness by MacDonald. According to Bucur, a second request was made, during a motorcycle trip from July 31 to August 2, 2015. Bucur claims that MacDonald again asked him to kill his son-in-law because he feared Groves may have posted potentially damaging material of his daughter Abby on pornography websites.
Bucur said that he responded in disbelief, but MacDonald attempted to convince him otherwise because his background as a Marine combat veteran would make it easy for him to kill Grove. Bucur replied, “Absolutely not! We’re not having this conversation and we’re not talking about this ever again.” He believes MacDonald is a dangerous man that may be targeting him. He has hired private security as a precaution.
MacDonald faces 15-30 years imprisonment under Illinois law if convicted of the felony of soliciting murder.