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Reporting the Truth.
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IHOPKC Disputes Allegation Its Director Covered Up Rape

By Rebecca Hopkins and Julie Roys
ihopkc stuart greaves abuse allegations cover-up
Stuart Greaves, executive director of International House of Prayer Kansas City, located in Grandview, Mo. (Photos via social)

The International House of Prayer Kansas City (IHOPKC) is disputing an allegation that IHOPKC Executive Director Stuart Greaves pressured a woman not to go to police about an alleged rape.

The allegation, dating from 2014, was included in an article The Roys Report (TRR) published last month. TRR reported a woman claimed that Greaves questioned her account in several meetings with her and didn’t provide care. The woman also said Greaves pressured her not to report the matter to police, saying police wouldn’t believe her, and it would only result in bad press for IHOPKC.

TRR’s policy is not to identify alleged victims of sexual assault unless they request it. For this article, the woman asked that we refer to her as “Veronica.”

To dispute Veronica’s story, IHOPKC released screenshots of portions of an email thread from 2018—four years after the alleged rape.

TRR asked for the complete thread, but a statement from IHOPKC’s Executive Leadership Team (ELT) indicated “Internal organization emails are confidential.” IHOPKC sent the excerpts to show that the woman was threatening to go to the media “to twist arms,” as the statement provided by spokesman Lenny LaGuardia put it. The screenshots also purportedly showed that senior leaders “had documented a version of the facts” that contradicted Veronica’s.

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Based on the emails, LaGuardia, an ELT member, asked TRR “to retract (Veronica’s) story and to cease and desist from any reprinting of these baseless allegations.”

lenny laguardia
Lenny LaGuardia (Photo: Facebook)

TRR did not find that the incomplete email thread disproved Veronica’s claims and did not retract the story.

LaGuardia also gave TRR an affidavit from longtime IHOPKC staff member Donna Edwards, calling parts of Veronica’s account into question.

In response, Veronica disputed some of the affidavit. TRR also spoke with Veronica’s former roommate and her ex-husband who corroborated portions of Veronica’s story.

TRR has also learned that Edwards has several potential conflicts of interest.

Edwards’ husband, Robert Edwards, also works for IHOPKC. And former IHOPKC COO Jonathan Hall told TRR that Robert Edwards participated in meetings with Greaves and Veronica about the alleged rape, according to emails Hall received.

Veronica previously told TRR that those meetings were so oppressive, she recanted her allegation to make them stop.

Robert and Donna Edwards also have two children employed by IHOPKC.

misty edwards
Misty Edwards (Photo: Facebook)

One of them, Misty Edwards, is a well-known IHOPKC worship leader. She also serves on IHOPKC’s Executive Leadership Team and as Mike Bickle products director, according to an IHOPKC employee list published in October.

Misty Edwards was one of two women who reportedly were named by an advocate group as victims of Bickle’s clergy sexual abuse, but she has publicly denied any abuse.

Bickle, IHOPKC’s founder, is facing allegations that he sexually abused multiple women over several decades. One of these “Jane Does” told her story exclusively to TRR, saying Bickle used prophecy to abuse her from 1996-1999.

Bickle has admitted “inappropriate behavior” with Jane Doe, but denied abuse or the “more intense sexual activities that some are suggesting.”

mike bickle confess inappropriate
On Dec. 12, 2023, Mike Bickle, founder of International House of Prayer Kansas City, confessesd to “inappropriate behavior” 20 years ago. (Photo: Mike Bickle App)

TRR also discovered that IHOPKC fired Veronica’s alleged rapist for alleged sexual harassment and insubordination in 2013—the year before the alleged rape.

Former IHOPKC media department head Carolyn Marischler, the man’s boss at that time, confirmed to TRR that IHOPKC had fired him. “I just know that at least one of the women that worked at the same time as him was uncomfortable around him,” Marischler said.

Despite this, IHOPKC rehired the man months later to work in the bookstore. Marischler said she didn’t know it until later.

“There’s no communication between departments,” she said. “At least when I was there—and I was a department head—I never had any clue about someone’s previous history in IHOP. . . . If something happened, there’s no reporting of any of that.”

Marischler said the man served in NightWatch, the overnight prayer ministry, when he worked for her and also following his firing.

The emails

Among the screenshots IHOPKC gave TRR was a 2018 email written by former Forerunner Church Pastor Dale Anderson. Anderson wrote that Veronica was speaking to the Kansas City Star. He said she was “going to tell her story that she was raped by an IHOPKC staff member and that she had a couple of meetings in which she felt the goal was to cover up the assault.”

jonathan hall
Jonathan Hall (Photo via Facebook)

Bickle responded, asking Greaves and former IHOPKC COO Jonathan Hall if they had more information about what had happened with Veronica.

Greaves responded via email, “(Veronica) was advised to press charges and she wouldn’t. (The alleged perpetrator) was put on administrative leave, didn’t follow through on parameters and left staff.”

Hall wrote in an email that he couldn’t “recall what order things happened in terms of investigation” but remembered that the man claimed the sex was consensual. Hall said he encouraged Veronica to go to police, but by the time he met with her, she was saying it was consensual.

In another email, Tracey Bickle, Mike Bickle’s sister and an IHOPKC pastor, wrote that she had reached out to Veronica and “went soft with her.” She said the woman told her she didn’t feel well loved when she worked at the media department.

tracey bickle
Tracey Bickle (Photo: Facebook)

“I will hear her on Media issue and move over to the newspaper issue,” Tracey Bickle wrote.

Hall told TRR that he was cc’ed on emails with Greaves about Veronica’s alleged rape starting in early May 2014. Hall said he put the alleged perpetrator on administrative leave. But Hall said when he talked to Greaves, Greaves said he’d be the one to handle the situation.

Hall said he didn’t meet with Veronica until June 25. By that time, she didn’t want to go to police, he said.

Hall’s account is consistent with what Veronica previously told TRR. In multiple meetings, she said, IHOPKC leaders questioned whether she was really raped to the point that the meetings were more painful than the rape itself.

When she asked what she had to do to make the meetings stop, she said the leaders told her she could retract her claim, so she did and said the sex was consensual.

The affidavit

The affidavit from Donna Edwards states that Veronica called Edwards one day, saying she had been raped that afternoon. Edwards wrote that Veronica “was upset but calm and not hysterical” when she picked her up soon after. Edwards thought that was odd for someone who had just been raped, Edwards added.

Veronica told Edwards that her boyfriend had brought groceries to her house, the affidavit indicates. Edwards wrote that she didn’t remember exactly what Veronica said happened after that, only that at some point Veronica’s boyfriend realized he didn’t have a condom. He left for 15-20 minutes to buy one, Edwards wrote, “and when he returned, they proceeded to have sexual intercourse.”

Edwards continued: “During sexual intercourse, she said that she told him to stop but he did not. Then after he left, she immediately called me.”

Edwards stated that she and Veronica met with Greaves the same day. In that meeting, Greaves “suggested that (Veronica) go to the authorities,” Edwards wrote.

Edwards also claimed in her affidavit that she did not know the alleged rapist was Veronica’s boyfriend “until this incident occurred” in late spring or summer 2014.

donna edwards ihopkc
Donna Edwards (Video screengrab)

However, TRR has obtained an email from Veronica to her former IHOPKC internship leader, Tiffany Johnson. In the email, Veronica wrote that she talked to Donna Edwards about her relationship with her boyfriend and had decided to break up with him. The date on that email is Feb. 28, 2014—about two months before the alleged rape.

When TRR asked Veronica about Edwards’ affidavit, Veronica responded, “After reviewing the affidavit, I am saddened to see so many inaccuracies throughout it. I no longer wish to publicly discuss the details of my trauma nor do I feel the need to debate its accuracy. I will continue to stand by the truth I have told.”

After Edwards and Veronica met with Greaves, Edwards said in the affidavit that she recalled asking Veronica “whether she had considered calling someone or leaving her house during the 15-20 minutes her boyfriend had gone to the store.” Veronica replied that she hadn’t, Edwards’ affidavit indicated. Edwards wrote that she wondered why not, but kept her thoughts to herself.

Then, Edwards wrote, Veronica told her, “Maybe rape is too strong a word for what happened.”

Edwards said that a few hours later, she and Veronica called Veronica’s parents to say Veronica was no longer saying she was raped.

Edwards also claimed Veronica initiated a meeting with her “boyfriend,” so she could tell him that she “was sorry.” Edwards adds, “I also thought it would be good for them to clear the air.”

stuart greaves
IHOPKC Executive Director Stuart Greaves (Video screengrab)

According to the affidavit, Robert and Donna Edwards, Veronica’s boyfriend, and Veronica were at the meeting. Edwards wrote that at the meeting, Veronica and her boyfriend “in tears, asked each other for forgiveness.” Edwards added they called Veronica’s parents afterward.

However, Veronica previously told TRR a different story. She said Greaves, not Edwards, used Veronica’s phone to call Veronica’s mother to say Veronica was making up the rape.

Veronica also previously told TRR that Greaves had initiated the meeting between her and her alleged rapist.

“I had to sit there through the entire thing and anytime I tried to say anything, they’d silence me, and they’re like, ‘You need to listen. You need to show respect. You need to hear his side of the story,’” Veronica told TRR.

Edwards noted in her affidavit that she and Veronica remained “in relationship for years afterward, but she never brought this situation up to me again.”

Former roommate, Veronica’s ex-husband corroborate her story

Sophia DeCanio, who grew up at IHOPKC and was on NightWatch with Veronica, said Veronica told her about the alleged rape not long after it had happened. DeCanio said Veronica described it as “rape” and was scared to stay where she was living.

“She was pretty panicked,” DeCanio said. “I tried to work her through things as much as possible.”

DeCanio said she offered to let Veronica live in her spare room. She said that summer, Veronica would come home crying after meetings with Greaves and others at IHOPKC.

“She would come home falling apart and I would hold her,” DeCanio said. “I remember it being something along the lines of typical stuff you tell a woman who’s been assaulted when you’re a church leader and you’re a man and you don’t believe a woman. The kind of stuff like, ‘Be better. Be careful-er. Repent. Maybe you shouldn’t be putting yourself in those type of situations.’”

ihopkc nightwatch
Congregants and students participate in a NightWatch prayer meeting at International House of Prayer Kansas City in Grandview, Mo. (Photo: Facebook)

TRR also spoke with Veronica’s ex-husband, Kevin, who began dating Veronica the year after the alleged sexual assault. TRR is not using his full name to protect the woman’s identity.

Kevin said he had worked with Veronica’s alleged assailant and remembers IHOPKC firing the man. Kevin said his manager told Kevin about the sexual harassment allegation, and Kevin knew that the man wasn’t supposed to work unsupervised with women for a time.

Kevin also said Veronica told him about the alleged assault while they were dating, calling it “rape” and “sexual assault.” Kevin noted many of the same details that Veronica had told TRR. He also said that Veronica said her assailant pushed his way into the house when she told him no.

Kevin said Veronica also described how IHOPKC leaders, including Donna Edwards and Greaves, said it would be too hard for her to go to the police. Kevin added that Edwards and Greaves reportedly told Veronica that reporting the rape could result in public shaming.

Kevin added that Veronica said she didn’t feel believed.

Kevin said Veronica had panic attacks because of the trauma of the sexual assault. He said he and Veronica stayed close to the Edwardses for a while. He said the Edwardses were sometimes kind and helpful, but when Kevin and Veronica mentioned their marriage struggles, the Edwardses would give a “stern rebuke.”

Over the years, Kevin said Veronica never changed her story of what happened. He added that she’s spent years trying to forgive her alleged abuser.

“That’s one thing I’ve always been impressed with (Veronica) is she has continually over the years been like, ‘I forgive the person who did this to me,’” Kevin said. “The part that’s been the most difficult to get past is the way the situation was handled.”

Rebecca Hopkins is a journalist based in Colorado. Julie Roys is a veteran investigative reporter and founder of The Roys Report. 

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10 Responses

  1. Snakes will be snakes. As Jesus said, “You will know them by their fruit.” An old pastor of mine used to say repeatedly, “Satan does his best (most evil) work inside of churches.” He is an angel of light and his servants also appear so. But Jesus did not lie when he talked about judging by, not the false image put up, but by the fruit. And that takes time. But so many are too proud to admit how thoroughly they have been deceived. There is absolutely nothing “Christian” at all about this org and its leaders.

  2. No woman or man should be coerced, forced, or harmed sexually. That said, it seems that this began as a consensual sexual encounter, so here’s my question: Why does it seem in story after story of the modern church that young (and maybe not so young) people have no hesitation about sex outside of marriage? Is this even taught against–biblically–any more?

    1. Sex outside marriage has always happened. The only difference is that it’s no longer the taboo it once was, so people are less inclined to stay silent about having had sex.

      There exists a survey of elderly Americans who were asked about their sexual activity when they were young, in the 1930s and 40s, and it revealed that sex outside marriage was commonplace back then too, it’s just that social norms meant you didn’t talk about it.

      It’s also the case that the vast majority of Americans have had sex by the time they get married – i.e. somewhere around 85-90% according to studies – which must mean the vast majority of Christians are doing it too. So if the church is preaching against it, then it’s a case of “Do as I say, not do as I do” and young people are seeing through the hypocrisy.

  3. She must have been terrified. Seems that many woman have been touched inappropriately while at IHOPKC. Instead of a house of prayer it’s become a den of theives. Tearing away these young ladies purity and ELT hard at work covering it up.

  4. my ex-wife was sexually victimized/assaulted in her younger years, so I am NOT unaware of the issues involved; NOR am I sympathetic in any way, towards those who perpetrate sexual crimes; nor am I, in any way, an advocate for such a religious circus, as IHOP; but, wow, this, “he-said/she-said/they-said/we-said/I don’t know what I said/did I say that?/I might have said….wow, what a MESS, and not easy to settle properly…. to balance the rights of those who are truly victims, not only of sexual assault/rape, but also of false accusation……

  5. The affidavit from Donna Edwards states that Veronica called Edwards one day, saying she had been raped that afternoon. Edwards wrote that Veronica “was upset but calm and not hysterical” when she picked her up soon after. Edwards thought that was odd for someone who had just been raped, Edwards added.

    Maybe its me, but that seems to be one of the most ignorant responses to a woman reporting a rape. Women (and men) have various personalities and various reactions to trauma.

    A woman is not believed if she is hysterically emotional. And she is doubted if she is too subdued.

    This is why churches should insist on professional counseling in situations like this, then step out.

    1. Get rid of paid clergy.
      If a pastor needs sustenance, comes out of a church fund. You don’t give him a check.

      That will eliminate church dishonesty.

      As always money corrupts.
      There is saying everyone has a price.
      So don’t evil false church or Christian s

      1. This has nothing to do with money. People like Bickle probably start out with the best of intentions but fame is like an aphrodisiac. The money you get from it is just a perk. This seems to be especially prevalent in Charismatic circles where no matter how heretical or aberant something is it’s claimed to “come from God.” And when something as heinous as this is exposed, there is more than one person involved and the organization starts circling the wagons to protect their own. Bickle has been whack for decades. But when it comes to something like this, you can’t fly under the radar forever.

    2. I know many victims who are so traumatized by their abusers that it can take years to unravel the hairballs of the abuse. Professional therapists have many techniques to bring to the table so truth can get revealed sooner and the healing effected before deeper damage is done. Hiding reports does no one any good.

  6. After my wife told me of the abuse she suffered, I had a dream about a guillotine being used on the offender. Not a full sized guillotine. No, a much smaller guillotine!

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