It is not every day a landlord evicts a church. But that is what is happening in Collier County. It turns out this is the latest controversy for Harvest Bibles Chapel. The congregation recently split with its founding pastor over a scandal in Chicago.
A landlord, BLC Naples, sent an eviction notice to a church, Harvest Bible Chapel Naples, last month.
The document said the church put up interior walls and electrical outlets without getting permission from the landlords, along with not having the correct permits from Collier County.
Jeff Donaldson, a pastor at Harvest Bible Chapel Naples, said it is unfortunate what is happening with the building. “But it’s not going to stop our church from moving forward,” he said.
The church has until March of next year to move out. Donaldson told WINK News they want to find a new building by the end of the year and the landlords used to be members at the church.
The eviction notice comes the same year Harvest Bible Chapel Naples took its independence back from its Megachurch and Pastor James MacDonald in Chicago.
“The church was maybe looking at Fort Myers or a place to go where Pastor James could preach in some of the winter months and that would get shown back to our folks in Chicago,” he said. “And a place for people, if they were retiring, could still be part of the church.”
So the megachurch took control over Harvest Bible Chapel Naples. But only a few months later, Harvest Naples cut ties with the control.
John Secrest, a former pastor, said there were difficulties in Chicago well documented in the media. “I think that deeply impacted what they were hoping to do here,” he said.
The current pastor tells us they are hoping to move on in the same general area they are at now.