Big Ministry, Small House

June 20, 2006

I was looking at this site on tele-evangelist lifestyles. Most of the names were no surprise. There are a number of tele-evangelists who treat religion as a business and they spare no expense in ensuring that they live the “good life”.

One surprise though. James MacDonald of Harvest Bible Chapel in Chicago just bought a $2 million house. Not too bad for a kid born in London, Ontario.

I guess ministry work can pay really, really well. The attached is from chicagomag.com:

Farewell, Fitz
With a home—and a banking business—in Virginia, former senator Peter Fitzgerald sells his house here and says goodbye to Chicago

The former U.S. senator Peter Fitzgerald has sold his house in Inverness, severing his lifelong ties with that northwest suburb. He now lives with his wife, Nina, and their 13-year-old son, Jake, in McLean, Virginia, where he is busy investing in new banks—much as his father did years ago.

Letting go of the house “broke my heart,? Fitzgerald says. “We just weren’t using it enough anymore to justify the considerable expense of keeping it up.?

Fitzgerald and his wife paid $452,500 for the place in 1994, when he was a state senator. It has a designer kitchen commissioned by the Fitzgeralds, a two-story family room, and five bedrooms, each with its own bathroom. The backyard has a pool and a multilevel series of decks overlooking a private lake.

Fitzgerald says that when he and his wife decided to sell the house last year, they did not state an asking price. Instead, their agent, Sheila Morgan of ReMax Unlimited Northwest, showed the property to five prospective buyers. James MacDonald, who is the senior pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel in Rolling Meadows and who also delivers a weekly sermon on a Christian radio broadcast, offered $1.9 million—“My minimum,? says Fitzgerald—and the deal closed this past October. “It’s a very exciting house,? says the Rev. MacDonald, “and it’s even better in the backyard.?

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