KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Sexual misconduct allegations have led to a prominent faith leader in Kansas City being taken out of the pulpit.
Mike Bickle, the founder of International House of Prayer, will not be teaching or preaching as these accusations are looked into.
The leadership team called accusations against Bickle unsettling, after what the church described as serious allegations that include sexual immorality. Leaders broke the news to IHOP’s congregation Sunday morning.
That message was shared one day after three former leaders wrote a letter saying the news shocked them and called the accusations credible. They say multiple women have come forward detailing years of abuse.
They say they brought their concerns to Bickle first, but he “rebuffed” those, and then they went straight to the current leadership team.
FOX4 spoke with multiple members who are sticking by and sticking up for Bickle.
“It’s reprehensible, it’s a total betrayal” Nicole Nahra, an IHOP member, said. “Absolutely… 100 percent, I stand behind Mike Bickle.”
“There are many voices clamoring to be heard, and so we have to be very careful about what we do believe,” member Lynn Erwin said.
A statement from leadership reads:
“We are heartbroken to share that we have recently become aware of serious allegations including sexual immorality directed against Mike Bickle, the founder of IHOPKC. Our leadership team takes these allegations very seriously and we are laboring for truth, light, redemption, and righteousness. We are engaging with outside parties to assess and arbitrate these allegations.
Our priority is to love and serve our IHOPKC community during this moment. This news is unsettling for our spiritual family as well as our entire leadership team. Please pray for all involved, including the ones who have come forward, those who have experienced trauma, and for the Bickle family.
We are asking for patience as we work through this complex and very difficult situation. Secondly, we ask that our spiritual family refrain from using prophetic spiritual language that can be interpreted as dismissive of the pain of the traumatized.
On October 26, the IHOPKC Executive Leadership Team asked Mike Bickle and he agreed to not preach or teach from the IHOPKC platform, attend our 24-hour prayer room, or engage his social media channels while we work with others to assess this situation.
As difficult as this is for many, we are trusting in Jesus’ wise and good leadership to help and strengthen us as we anchor our hope in Him.”
“Unless and until this is proven inconvertibly in a court of law, or Mike confesses, there’s nothing to discuss,” Nahra said.
As of right now, Bickle has not been charged with any crime.