In response to accusations of clergy sexual abuse against International House of Prayer Kansas City (IHOPKC) founder Mike Bickle, the Missouri-based ministry released a four-page “Report On Initial Findings” last week Wednesday, asserting that the presented evidence lacks credibility.
The document addresses allegations put forth by a founding member and two former leaders, Dwayne Roberts, Brian Kim, and Wes Martin, which involve eight women.
According to the Executive Leadership Team of IHOPKC, they treated the allegations as credible when first confronted by a group of men claiming to represent the women on October 24. The team initiated consultation with external legal experts to conduct a thorough examination of the facts while maintaining a victim-centered approach. However, after review by outside legal counsel, it was determined that the allegations lacked reliability and due process.
The report identifies five of the eight women alleged to be victims of Bickle. Three of them labeled the accusations as “lies,” and one refused communication with the ministry’s attorneys. Only one case predating IHOPKC’s founding was found to have some credibility, with the individual currently being represented by attorney Boz Tchividjian, founder of the G.R.A.C.E. (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) organization.
The document prepared by the group presenting the allegations on October 24 is criticized for lacking actual evidence, such as statements from the alleged victims, emails, texts, or exhibits between Bickle and the accusers. The report notes the inclusion of pre-prepared demands by the Complaint Group, generating concern about their true objectives.
The first alleged victim, identified by initials, is said to have been emotionally and “prophetically manipulated” by Bickle over 25 years ago, with a non-sexual nature to the allegation. The second victim’s case includes an allegation of physical contact, insinuating a possible crime, though IHOPKC was unable to determine its credibility.
Victims 3-5 issued public statements refuting the allegations, and victim No. 6 reportedly told the Executive Leadership Team that the rumors were untrue. IHOPKC emphasizes its openness to third-party examination and encourages alleged victims to come forward through various channels.
The founding member and former leaders, Roberts, Kim, and Martin, maintain that the allegations of clergy sexual abuse against Bickle are credible and longstanding, involving several victims. They claim to have attempted to address the issue directly with Bickle, following the principles of Matthew 18:15-17, but were rebuffed. Allegations include attempts by Bickle to intimidate, isolate, manipulate, and discredit victims.
IHOPKC recently replaced the national law firm Stinson LLP, originally hired to investigate the allegations against Bickle, with a local law firm to avoid potential biases. Despite a Change.org petition calling for G.R.A.C.E. to be the third-party reviewer, IHOPKC declined, citing a conflict of interest involving G.R.A.C.E.’s founder serving as the private attorney for a main alleged victim.
Acknowledging the need for improvement, IHOPKC leaders plan to review and enhance organizational operations and administrative protocols. They express commitment to addressing issues immediately and plan to announce a clear and simple process for reporting any form of sexual abuse.
In the face of recent challenges, IHOPKC leaders emphasize their dedication to transparency, accountability, and the well-being of their community.