Two days after being confronted publicly for an unacceptable “level of transparency,” International House of Prayer Kansas City (IHOPKC) Leadership Team today announced that the allegations against founder Mike Bickle included “sexual immorality.”
“We are heartbroken to share that we have recently become aware of serious allegations including sexual immorality directed against Mike Bickle . . .” stated Executive Director of IHOPKC Stuart Greaves in an announcement read during an 11 a.m. service at IHOPKC’s Forerunner Church in Grandview, Mo. “Our leadership team takes these allegations very seriously and we are laboring for truth, light, redemption, and righteousness.”
The earlier confrontation with IHOPKC leadership occurred at a staff meeting Friday night at Forerunner Church.
After IHOPKC’s leadership team declined to describe the nature of the allegations against Bickle, former IHOPKC senior leader Dean Briggs, who resigned in September, stated from the main floor: “I do not consider this an acceptable level of transparency. . . . There is more to be said, and what they just shared is well-intended, righteous bullshit. And I think that you need to address this in a different way with a right degree of transparency or this is not going to be a trustworthy process.”
On Saturday, a statement signed by three, former top IHOPKC leaders was posted online, revealing that several “credible, trustworthy” women had accused Bickle of clergy sexual abuse, “spanning several decades.”
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In today’s IHOPKC announcement, which was also emailed to supporters, Greaves revealed that IHOPKC is “engaging with outside parties to assess and arbitrate these allegations.”
Greaves did not name the outside parties. And the only email the ministrry has provided in its announcements was on Friday night, an internal email—[email protected].
Greaves then announced that Bickle had agreed to remove himself from the ministry for the time being and appeared to become overcome with emotion.
“On October 26, the IHOPKC Executive Leadership Team asked Mike Bickle, and he agreed not to preach or teach from the IHOPKC platform—,” Greaves said and then paused 10 seconds. He continued, “—attend our 24-hour prayer room, or engage his social media channels while we work with others to assess this situation.”
Though Bickle has gotten off social media, his sister, Tracey Bickle, has remained active. On Friday, she posted on X/Twitter and Facebook, “God is our refuge and strength . . . He has not forgotten you. #StandSteady.”
Reading the statement, Greaves also encouraged people to pray for all involved, including “those who have experienced trauma” and “the Bickle family.”
He asked for patience as the church works through “this complex and difficult situation.” And he urged congregants to “refrain from using prophetic spiritual language that can be interpreted as dismissive of the pain of the traumatized.”
Similarly, on Friday, Greaves urged staff not to refer to the current situation as a “black horse.” This was a reference to a metaphor used by Bickle in an Oct. 20 sermon to describe an attack that would come against him.
That sermon was apparently removed from Forerunner’s YouTube channel. However, it remains posted on SermonIndex.net’s YouTube channel.
Isaac Bennett, lead pastor of Forerunner Church, acknowledged during this morning’s service that people are “hurting and angry.” He added, “I’m personally distressed by the nature of these allegations and where we find ourself (sic) in the midst of this.”
Bennett added that the leadership is aware that some in the congregation have experienced “things that resemble the allegations (against Bickle).”
“They carry pain. They carry trauma in their hearts,” Bennett said. “And we are very aware of that and sensitive to that. . . . And we want to urge you to come to a leader, to go to a counselor, to come to a pastor, especially those that maybe never disclosed former traumatic events that are of this nature.”
David Sliker, president of International House of Prayer University (IHOPU), also spoke, acknowledging that some may disagree with how things are handled.
“You’re not going to like the decisions we make,” he said. “I get it. I really get it.”
He continued: “I’m appealing to you to disarm where possible. Just stay out of it where possible. I’m not talking about with us. I’m talking about with one another, where you’re not processing, you’re arguing . . .”
Congregants then broke into groups of three to five people and prayed, as Greaves urged them—for “clarity, healing, restoration, fullness, purpose.”
The service ended with a benediction from Bennett: “Bless you. We’re with you. We love you. We appreciate your time and investment to even come here this morning to be with us.”
This story has been updated.
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.