The McDonald family and their ministry have been targeted by a handful of prolific bloggers whose goal is to defame James and Stacy’s integrity and reputations. As part of that campaign, James McDonald’s position as an elder in Christ’s church has been questioned.
James was indeed licensed to preach and ordained in a small Baptist church in the mid 1980’s. While overseas on business in the early 1990’s, his ordination certificate was lost, along with numerous other important documents, cherished photos, and keepsakes. This does not negate the fact that James McDonald was indeed ordained.
That being said, a Baptist ordination would not be valid in Presbyterian circles anyway, and has absolutely nothing to do with James’s current ordination.
James was informed by the RPCGA that to be ordained he would be required to complete the Master of Divinity degree from an approved seminary (which could happen after ordination), as well as pass the multi-hour theological and ecclesiastical exam given by the RPCGA (standard requirements for transferring ministers into this denomination). James agreed to the requirements, passed the exam, and was ordained as a teaching elder.
Unlike what has been reported on the gossip chain, James was never required to produce proof of his old (Baptist) ordination papers and licensure documents when examined by the RPCGA. No documents of any kind were required. Furthermore, the RPCGA determined that James McDonald's divorce was according to the requirements of Scripture.
James McDonald has his ordination certificate from the RPCGA, which proves he was ordained, as well as a current status letter from Ken Talbot, the former moderator of the RPCGA. Those who have a legitimate need to see such documentation are free to contact Pastor McDonald at 309- 389-3316.
Also, charges that James McDonald started his own denomination are a mischaracterization of the facts. Four churches left the RPCGA over polity disagreements. Two churches appealed to leave together, seeking to leave in peace. James McDonald served as the teaching elder of one of these four churches. The RPCGA released all four churches.
Again, James McDonald has all the documentation concerning the appeal to leave and the RPCGA approval. After the four churches were released, and after time in prayer, eleven elders from four churches worked together to form the denomination where James now serves. Nevertheless, to this day, James maintains good personal relations with pastors in the RPCGA, including the former moderator of the denomination.
James McDonald was also ordained in the Covenant Presbyterian Church, the denomination where he now serves. Questions of James McDonald’s ordination are not the business of ad hoc internet tribunals. It is the business of the elders to whom he is accountable, and the church where he serves.
The allegations that James McDonald misrepresented the facts of his ordination are absolutely false.
Updated April 27, 2009