Apprising Ministries has been covering a series of disturbing and ongoing stories concerning Elephant Room curator James MacDonald, e.g. in Elephant Room Curator James MacDonald And The Elephant’s Debt as well as James MacDonald And Allgegations Of Gambling.
The information has been coming from a website called The Elephant’s Debt: From Exodus To Jubilee (TED), which was put up Scott Bryant and Ryan Mahoney, two former members of his Harvest Bible Chapel. The latter article referenced above is disconcerting considering the 65 million dollar debt incurred by HBC.
Within that piece you saw two photos of James MacDonald with men some readers of TED commented were professional Texas Hold’Em players. TED readers said this was quite likely Jesse Rockowitz (click to enlarge):
In addition I showed you further evidence that this does appear to be Rockowitz with MacDonald. Bryant and Mahoney then point out in Recent Developments (7 November 2012):
A Google search under that name has likely provided photographic confirmation of the individual in question. Without being certain, it appears that the man in the photo is Jesse Rockowitz, a professional online gambling personality, who has won the World Series of Poker Tournament in 2010. According to globalpokerindex.com,
Mr. Rockowitz travels the world as a gambler; and has lifetime earnings of $930,648. (source)
Now it appears that MacDonald may not be the only one allegedly gambling at HBC:
The Elephant’s Debt has been advised to look into Dallas Jenkins, the Director of Media for Harvest Bible Chapel. According to the internetmoviedatabase, and according to Jenkin’s own blog site, Dallas Jenkins “is an avid poker player and has several tournament results listed online.” According to pokerpages.com, the only listing for Dallas Jenkins suggests that Mr. Jenkins has lifetime earnings of $58,961.
It must be stated that the imbd.com page does not link directly to the pokerpages.com site, which means that this is not conclusive evidence that this is the same Dallas Jenkins. This merely serves to raise the question as to whether a culture of gambling exists at Harvest. (source)
Which would be odd considering that James MacDonald himself has actually preached against gambling:
Did you know that 90 million Americans go to casinos every year. They spend $300 billion on gambling. That’s 1/3 more than we spend on education. That’s 4 times the amount given to religious institutions.
Why, why why all the gambling? Dishonest gain. Trying to make money and looking for an easy way. A shortcut. Now, gambling and lotteries to get rich quick is dishonest. (source)
It would seem it’s even more dishonest if one is gambling themselves privately all the while condemning the practice publicly. Then in Recent Developments (8 November 2012) it seems a close associate of MacDonald has now gone on record in this matter:
Bob Arosen, a close of friend of James MacDonald and one-time Director of Walk in the Word ministry, sought to shed light on many of the questions we have raised. According to Mr. Arosen:
- James MacDonald played poker for money with Bob Arosen and his friends in a “home setting.”
- James MacDonald has attended a poker tournament in a casino; and subsequently promised his elders that he would not do so again.
- Fred Adams has “offered that he will never enter a casino again for the sake of the ministry.” (source)
And finally, there continues to be other serious concerns raised about James MacDonald as we see in Recent Developments (9 November 2012) where we’re told:
Another former staff member/elder assistant asks to have his name added to “The Void.”
Last night, Mike Mahoney, father of author Ryan Mahoney, reached out to The Elephant’s Debt and asked to have his name added to “The Void.” Mike and Heather have been members of Harvest Bible Chapel since 1988. Mike served on staff in a variety of capacities, most recently as a counselor in the Biblical Soul Care Ministry.
After three years of paid service to HBC, Mike voluntarily elected to resign his position in 2012. (source)
If you weren’t aware, “The Void” at TED concerns:
many long-standing elders and highly influential staff members have departed Harvest Bible Chapel. While the circumstances of their departures are unique to each of them, each has his own story to tell.
Pastors and elders who have publicly spoken through this website are highlighted in red; and their stories can be found under “Your Story.” (source)