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Reporting the Truth.
Restoring the Church.

Main Alleged Victim of Mike Bickle Won’t Participate in IHOPKC’s Investigation

By Julie Roys
greaves refuse bickle boz refuse
International House of Prayer Kansas City Executive Director Stuart Greaves (left); IHOPKC Founder Mike Bickle; and attoreny Boz Tchividjian (Courtesy Photos)

The attorney representing the main alleged victim of Mike Bickle and an advocate group said his clients will not participate in the new investigation announced Sunday by the International House of Prayer Kansas City (IHOPKC).

The attorney, Boz Tchividjian, told The Roys Report (TRR) that the firm IHOPKC had hired for the investigation—the Lathrop Group in Kansas City, Mo.—boasts about its successes defending church groups against sex abuse allegations.

As a result, Tchividjian said he did not believe Lathrop would conduct an independent investigation.

The development comes as the 24/7 prayer ministry is struggling to deal with allegations that surfaced in October that Bickle sexually abused multiple women over several decades. Today, Bickle released a statement, confessing to “inappropriate behavior” 20+ years ago, but denying “more intense sexual activities that some are suggesting.”

On Lathrop Group’s website, the firm states that it obtained a “complete dismissal of a Texas lawsuit against a California diocese and its bishop” for alleged sexual abuse of a minor by a seminary student.

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The firm also boasts that it obtained another “complete dismissal” of a church-affiliated school where a coach sexually assaulted a member of the girls’ softball team. And Lathrop says it represented a Catholic diocese in a group settlement that resulted in “per-claimant awards of less than one-third the national average.”

boz tchividjian
Attorney Boz Tchividjian (Courtesy image)

“Why would reported victims of sexual abuse and misconduct sit down with an attorney from a law firm who represents churches and then brags about their successes?” Tchividjian wrote in a statement to TRR.

“I have no doubt this firm well-represents organizational defendants in sexual abuse litigation. However, it cannot be all things to all people. It cannot represent and defend institutional clients in such cases and then turn around and invite reported sexual abuse victims to meet with you and trust you.  It simply doesn’t work that way.”

However, on Sunday at IHOPKC’s Forerunner Church, IHOPKC’s new spokesman, Eric Volz, argued that the firm IHOPKC had engaged would conduct an “independent and impartial investigation.”

He added that IHOPKC would “not control the investigation, meaning it has no ability to dictate the process or the outcome” and “investigators will operate completely independently.”

Volz also claimed the firm was “trauma-informed.” And he said the firm’s attorneys have “extensive experience” conducting investigations, “including cases of clergy abuse allegations.”

Volz did not specify, however, whether the firm’s clergy sex abuse investigations were conducted on behalf of alleged abusers or on behalf of alleged victims.

Volz also would not name the firm IHOPKC had hired “to avoid any interference with their ability to conduct the investigation.”

Rosalee McNamara of Lathrop Group
Rosalee McNamara of Lathrop Group

However, in a video posted online Monday night, Volz said someone associated with the advocate group had “leaked” the name and phone number of the lead investigator to the public. “(T)o avoid confusion,” Volz confirmed on Monday that Rosalee McNamara of the Lathrop Group is the lead investigator.

IHOPKC’s hiring of Lathrop marks the second time IHOPKC has commissioned an allegedly “independent” investigation into the allegations against Bickle.

In November, IHOPKC hired Stinson LLC to conduct an investigation. But less than a week later, IHOPKC decided not to continue with Stinson and hired a lawyer who attends IHOPKC, Audrey Manito, to interview alleged victims.

On Sunday, Volz blamed an “ill-informed” social media post, claiming Stinson was a “threat to the alleged victims,” for dooming the Stinson investigation.

“One social media post had that effect,” Volz said. “Stinson is a national law firm who’s recognized for their work representing victims of sexual abuse. But that fact seemed to be overlooked.”

volz greaves
On Dec. 10, 2023, International House of Prayer Kansas City Executive Director Stuart Greaves (right) and spokesperson Eric Volz of The David House Agency address services at Forerunner Church in Grandview, Mo. (Video screengrab)

The objections raised when IHOPKC first hired Stinson focused not just on IHOPKC’s selection of a particular law firm but on the fact that law firms have a fiduciary responsibility to their clients.

“An investigator who has a fiduciary duty to the institution being investigated is also not independent,” Tchividjian wrote in an article posted on the website of GRACE, an organization he founded to empower Christian groups to respond to abuse. “A fiduciary duty is a legal duty to act solely in another party’s interests.”

A petition posted online last month by former staff, students, and “dedicated members” of IHOPKC urged IHOPKC to “cease the use of a law firm and instead invite an organization like GUIDEPOSTS to conduct a true third-party investigation.” The petition also asked IHOPKC to allow the investigating firm to publish its findings “without restriction by IHOPKC or its leadership.”

That petition has more than 3,700 signatures. And it was emailed last Thursday to top IHOPKC leaders.

Volz has not stated whether IHOPKC plans to publish the final report of Lathrop’s investigation should it go forward.

TRR reached out to IHOPKC for clarity on this and other issues. The Executive Leadership Team (ELT) responded that TRR should contact Lathrop directly, adding, “I am sure they will be happy to talk with you.”

TRR contacted Attorney McNamara at Lathrop for more information but did not receive a response.

“Civil war” rages

In the video posted Monday, Volz blamed the advocate group for the current stalemate between IHOPKC and alleged victims.

Eric Volz IHOPKC
IHOPKC Spokesman Eric Volz in a video posted online on Monday

“This is the third time that IHOPKC has introduced a third party to investigate,” Volz said, presumably counting not just IHOPKC’s hiring of Stinson and Lathrop, but also its hiring of Attorney Manito. “And this is the third time that the advocate group has rejected the investigation. We sincerely appeal to them to reconsider. These investigators are professional. They are honest. And they are bound by ethics.”

Volz added that IHOPKC is at a “crossroads until the advocate group either presents evidence, or alleged victims are willing to participate.” Volz said any “further delays are on the advocate group.”

But Allen Hood, a member of the advocate group who served on IHOPKC’s leadership team from its inception until 2020, blames IHOPKC’s current leadership for what he termed a “civil war.” He also called Volz’s video announcement Monday night a “PR move” that was not “sincere” or “quite honest.”

allen hood
Allen Hood (Courtesy Photo)

“The advocacy group is not the resister,” Hood told TRR. “It’s not rocket science what they need to do to get a neutral third-party investigation. You can look it up on any website: What should a church do when their founder is accused of clergy sex abuse?”

Hood said IHOPKC should have contacted the main alleged victim so both parties could agree on who should conduct the investigation. Instead, IHOPKC has not even talked the alleged victim, Hood said.

“Let’s get an independent, neutral third party with the right scope and the right transparency that the survivor agrees on,” Hood said. “And then, let’s let them do their job. And as brothers and sisters, we can sit at a table and discuss what we need to discuss in the spirit of love and repentance and contrition.”

Hood also criticized IHOPKC’s lack of transparency about the firm it hired, saying, “No one should have had to leak it.”

Who’s on the board?

Complicating matters between IHOPKC, the advocacy group, and the public is uncertainty about who is providing oversight at the 24/7 prayer ministry.

On Sunday, Greaves announced that he’s handing over management of the current crisis “to the executive committee of our board . . . which we do have, by the way.”

Greaves said the new arrangement would free up the Executive Leadership Team (ELT), which includes himself, IHOP University President David Sliker, Forerunner Church Pastor Isaac Bennett, and Vice President of Ministries Lenny LaGuardia, to focus on pastoring.

However, Greaves did not identify who’s on IHOPKC’s board.

International House of Prayer Kansas City IHOPKC
The International House of Prayer in Kansas City (Source: Wikipedia)

IHOPKC does not list its board members on its website. But according to its latest registration filing with the state of Missouri in May, IHOPKC has four directors—Stuart Greaves, Cindy Dodd, Anne House, and Ed Hackett.

Yet on Sunday, Greaves introduced Kurt Fuller to Forerunner’s congregation as the vice-chairman of IHOPKC’s board. Fuller is not named anywhere on IHOPKC’s May filing.

TRR reached out to IHOPKC for clarification about who’s on the board and who’s on the executive committee but did not receive answers to these questions.

According to Elizabeth Herder, a member of the advocate team who served on IHOPKC’s board from 2012—2015, IHOPKC has been operating without a functional board for several years.

Herder said Dodd, Hackett, and House are beautiful people, but lack the qualifications one would expect of a board member for a multi-million-dollar, worldwide ministry.

Dodd has served in the prayer room for the past 20 years, Herder said, but has no other leadership qualifications. House is Mike Bickle’s personal assistant, Herder added. And Hackett leads the prophetic ministry, Herder said, but doesn’t have executive management experience that she’s aware of.

For all practical purposes, the ELT runs IHOPKC, said Herder, who now owns a consulting business for nonprofit organizations.

On October 29, 2023, leaders of the International House of Prayer-Kansas City — left to right, Lenny LaGuardia, David Sliker, Stuart Greaves, and Isaac Bennett — address recent allegations against IHOP-KC founder Mike Bickle. (Video screengrab)

According to Allen Hood, who served on IHOPKC’s board for decades, the board essentially disbanded in 2020 when all the board members resigned. Hood said Bickle wanted IHOPKC to function more like a church led by local elders (the ELT) than a nonprofit group led by a board of trustees. So, the board members complied by resigning. 

Yet, Hood noted that IHOPKC gets the majority of its funding from outside sources, not from local members. This reality is what motivated IHOPKC to become a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) in 2016, Hood said.

ECFA Logo

According to a 2016 financial statement posted on ECFA’s website, IHOPKC had a total revenue that year of $23 million.

Since 2015, IHOPKC has been classified as a church by the IRS, Hood said. This means IHOPKC doesn’t have to comply with certain IRS requirements, like filing an annual 990 form, which includes names of board members and salaries of top employees.

After moving to the new ELT-led governance model in 2020, IHOPKC withdrew its membership from ECFA.

ECFA requires that at least 50% of the board of its member organizations be independent, meaning they can’t be employees of the organization, or related to any of the board members.

Hood said he’s concerned that IHOPKC may have no functional accountability and is suffering from “founderism”—an unhealthy reverence for its founder.

“When powerful founders found an organization, there usually is a consolidation of power,” Hood said. “And there is a fear, that if the chairman becomes somebody (other than the founder), and the outside board is predominantly governing, then that founder can be removed.”

Hood said there have been scenarios where founders have been removed unjustly. But he said the opposite is also true, “which seems to be the Lord shining the light on the misuse of power. Who makes the decisions? What are the appeal processes? Who can fire who(m) when somebody has a moral issue?”

Hood said that as he reflects on his time at IHOPKC, he thinks a weakness of the 24/7 model is that leaders were so busy, they didn’t take the time to think deeply about governance issues.

“Hopefully this crisis will cause every leader . . . past and present, to ask the question, ‘Were we godly in our government? Were we accountable? Were we open and transparent, or did we Lord our authority?’”

Note: This article has been changed to note that Bickle did not disband the board in 2020. Rather, the board members resigned to comply with Bickle’s desire to change IHOPKC’s governance.

Julie Roys is a veteran investigative reporter and founder of The Roys Report. She also previously hosted a national talk show on the Moody Radio Network, called Up for Debate, and has worked as a TV reporter for a CBS affiliate. Her articles have appeared in numerous periodicals. 

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21 Responses

  1. This is also very disgusting. The church is a hot mess. I have no problem believing that Mike and probably many other people in the church including major leaders, have participated in abusive or sexual misconduct in the church. But the most disgusting part is that leaders and people of integrity lie on both sides of this making different claims, the claims are so vastly different, that the church, the laity, we are the ones left in confusion and disarray. The church is suffering a parallel war just like the ones going on in the world right now. this is the most disgusting part! What ever has or hasn’t happened we are left to side up with one or the other and be counted. I will not set up with anyone. I will say that all too often broad accusations are quite often out and corroborated by the masses, though they be unsubstantiated and/or blatantly false. Or there true. we have no way to know, but it’s bringing us to division and destruction of lives. It needs to stop and be dealt with in a biblical Is not the way to deal with this. it is well known that media, news groups, news organizations, journalist, newscasters are in factor the views, the popularity… This all needs to quit whether or not Mike did the specific things that have been accused of, it needs to stay out of the media and be dealt on a church level, in a biblical way and not broadcast to millions through Med. It’s destroying lives it’s destroying the church. Stop it!

    1. Donna please read the story a few days ago about the FAI leader. The directors of FAI announced that they have made contact with a 3rd party organization (NOT lawyers whose job it is to defend their clients) that will do a thorough independent investigation. Nothing more is being said because we are awaiting the results. We want to know the truth and that those not qualified to lead won’t lead. The problem that occurs over and over again is cover up when these things happen. We should be grateful for people like Julie Roys who bring these things to our attention so that those who love Jesus have the opportunity to withdraw all support of ungodly Christian leaders who engage in cover up. For the glory of God we cannot tolerate the cover up that occurs so often in these situations. And don’t think unbelievers don’t notice these things or even need Julie Roy’s reporting to notice and to speak. I used to read a widely read atheist blog and these kinds of stories always get out, unbelievers love them, and we who love Jesus must say a loud NO to all Christian leaders who engage in cover up. That is what makes things ugly before the world. We cannot tolerate cover up. Healing and restoration by the God of grace is always possible when there is truth. And that is what brings glory to God.

      1. It doesn’t take an atheist* to notice the abuse, corruption and cover-ups in churches and ministries. It just takes rational thought, clarity about the law, a recognition of the historical propensity for powerful people who say a lot of things to use and abuse vulnerable followers, and knowledge that the human tendency is to never admit being wrong.
        It is not that hard.
        No one is above the law.
        No organization is above the law.
        Abuse should be reported and dealt with by the proper authorities.
        I know from being raised in it–when you are in the church it feels like the church should get special treatment, define its own response to abuse, do its own ‘restoration’ thing. But, this is the problem. The church is in way over its head in this. It should never, ever, be hiding perpetrators of abuse or absolving them because of some belief in ‘forgiveness’. Have the belief, if you will, but do not think it replaces the laws we all live under and are held to.

        (*a-theist: simply means holds no belief in any god man has ever created)

        1. Why does the accuser who has had a lawyer from the start get to dictates how the investigation is done? 3 law firms proposed and rejected. Advocate groups wants accusers lawyer law firm to do investigation. Oh that seems fair. Advocate group made up of people who left the ministry?

          1. The victim wants a non biased third party investigation. Not the lawyers/ law firm that represents the abuser.. Because all three of the “investigations” has been the law firms representing bickel.. Definetly not non biased. Someone like Grace.. Which they hired in the past but didnt like the outcome and ignored the advice, causing several leaders to leave because they kept a pedophile on staff…

    2. Do you suppose fraudulent and willfully sinful leaders would do anything other than continue to be fraudulent and willfully sinful if someone didn’t expose them?

    3. No Donna. We need the media to expose abuse and crimes committed by anyone whether they be Christian or non-Christian, Church, politics or entertainment related.

      And yes that reporting needs to be responsible and facts driven.

      What needs to be done now is a thorough investigation by the church as well as an outside investigator. Those on the outside need to know about these people and what they do so they can be prepared.

  2. Excellent report. The “investigation” was launched by IHOPKC and it tried to keep the investigator’s name secret. This would prevent anyone with relevant information from contacting the “investigator”. Ridiculous and a cover-up by IHOPKC.

  3. The fact that IHOPKC will not hire a neutral third party investigator proves that they are corrupt. If they had nothing to hide they would hire a company like Guideposts so the truth could be revealed. Instead, likely due to many skeletons in their closet, they’re doing everything in their power to ensure the truth doesn’t come to light. Shameful! I really wish people would wake up, pray to the Lord for discernment, and run as far away as possible from these “prophetic”, charismatic churches.

  4. This looks like par for the course for Christian leaders who expect people to believe them if they put out the message with a sincere sounding voice and stick to it. I have tremendous respect for Boz Tchividjian. As far as IHOPKC, like RZIM and Willow Creek, the problem may not be with a single leader, but with the entire leadership.

  5. It is vital that ALL people everywhere abstain from salacious details about intimacy between two consenting adults. Always. Each one will live with his or her own shame and remorse and regret (if it is present). We do NOT need to know any more about this. Discernment of spirits when walking in to any house or church building is required at all times. We must ask to be filled with YHWH’s Seven Spirits of Isaiah 11:2: Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, YHWH, Strength, Knowledge and Reverence (which correlate with all Seven Feasts of YHWH and NOT the false father’s feasts of the beast) and then subsequently upon this Spirit filling exhibit the 9 Fruit of the Spirit which correlate with the 9 Beatitudes of Matthew 5 and the 9 Gifts of the Spirit in 1Corinthians 12: Love, Joy, Peace, Longsuffering, Gentleness, Goodness, Faith, Meekness, Self Control

    1. When a clergy member behaves inappropriately toward any person who views said minister as a spiritual authority, the relationship is not between two consenting adults, regardless of the ages of those involved. It’s called clergy sexual abuse because the pastor leverages a position of power to take advantage of another.

      Agreed, every salacious detail need not be disclosed to the general public. That’s voyeurism. When a minister of the gospel is credibly accused of injuring members of the flock under his care, however, the congregation deserves an accounting of the facts about their paid employee.

  6. Remember Watergate? What if only the White House had investigated the break-in? I admired Nixon back then. I believed he was too smart to be involved with such a stupid thing. When I heard about the taping system I figured, “Ah-hah! Now we’ll get to the bottom of things.” Nixon knew that would be the case and fought to keep the tapes private. Eventually the truth came out.

    Very few people that do wrong want investigators they cannot control to look into alleged misbehavior and worse. Their insisting that the rest of us trust them to root out the truth is a bad sign – isn’t it?

    1. Yes, it is a bad sign, Richard. The fact they continue to resist the obvious way to get to the truth – hiring a third party investigator – demonstrates that there are a lot of secrets they don’t want coming out.

  7. OH my. Close the thing. Close it. No one needs this nonsense. Realizing when it is time to pack up, lock the doors and deal with accountability is the height of wisdom. If people want to attend a church there are plenty all around. IHOP (not the pancake place) has played itself completely out. It is, in fact, not God’s gift to the world. It is not bringing about some great end time fulfillment thing. Mike Bickle is not a prophet. And no one, in fact, is really all that special, despite their narcissistic spin and self-absorption. Stop believing these guys. Comes a time to stop the madness and realize a simple, decent life well-lived is far better than constant drama. Good grief. Leave it, people, and let law enforcement deal with law breakers.

  8. What is being revealed of IHOPKC’s structure and behavior exposes how messed up this organization is… and has been for a long time. Reading Mike Bickle’s private email to the Does, and his “apology”, I think this should be permanently removed from preaching, teaching or mentoring anyone. Retire or “get a lunch pail, and sit in traffic” as someone said. I hope there is a complete turnover of leadership at IHOPKC and Forerunner Church. Maybe they should go get secular jobs too, for a while. I pray for all the hurt and hurting, from the Jane Does to the Bickle family and everyone in-between.

  9. I’m proud of the main victim for not participating in this “investigation”. It only serves to protect the abuser and re-traumatize the victim.

    Excellent and very thorough reporting, Julie!

  10. Ethics for Christian Ministry by Trull and Creech lays out the problem and the solution in Chapter 7 and Addendum to investigate CSA incidents/allegations. Thanks Julie, very sad scene.

  11. I am surprised at how naïve and gullible people can be. Mike Bickle has a questionable past going all the way back to his days in St. Louis before he came to Kansas City and formed his so-called school of prophets, with other men who had no integrity or spiritual gifts. There was controversy stemming back all the way to the early 1990’s when he was at KC Fellowship. His doctrine is not founded on Scripture or the historic confessions of the Christian faith, but from a source of strange teachings, which not even many Pentecostals would embrace. There has never been accountability or form of church government to guard against these things. The warning of the Apostle Paul to Timothy to watch your life and doctrine is missing in this so-called church.

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