Less than a week after receiving criticism, the International House of Prayer of Kansas City (IHOPKC) released “an important update” the evening of Friday (Nov. 10) regarding the law firm investigating allegations of sexual and spiritual abuse perpetrated by founder Mike Bickle.
One critical statement posted on X by a former “Metro/HOPer” and current attorney Jesi Stanley went viral.
“They did not hire a neutral 3rd party to investigate. They hired a team of defense lawyers,” Stanley originally posted in a comment on Facebook. “They literally retained one of the most prestigious, aggressive, and expensive defense law firms in Kansas City, and nationwide. There is nothing objective about it. Everything will remain confidential. These victims are going to be completely railroaded and they sold it to their congregation as accountability.”
Stanley said that it isn’t wrong for IHOPKC to have lawyers but explained the lawyers wouldn’t be conducting a legitimate “‘investigation’ and there will be zero accountability because of attorney-client privilege.” Stanley said that “every single victim should be warned. No victim should enter into conversation with the IHOP leadership team or Stinson without their own counsel present.”
“I’m sickened by the lies,” she added. “IHOP leadership seems so far out of touch, it’s deeply disturbing. Everyone should be furious.”
IHOPKC Changes Law Firm Following Criticism
“Dear IHOPKC family, We have an important update,” IHOPKC said in a statement, which was posted on social. “Third parties that claim to represent alleged victims have communicated a lack of trust in the national law firm IHOPKC engaged to lead the inquiry.”
IHOPKC added that after “careful consideration, our leadership team has decide not to proceed with STINSON LLP and instead has retained a local KC law firm to conduct interviews with alleged victims.” The 24-7 house of prayer announced that the unnamed local Kansas City law firm has already started its process, which has included reaching out to the “few alleged victims whose identities are known, also individuals claiming to represent anonymous Jane Does.”
“IHOPKC is committed to investigating any allegations of abuse in our organization in a way that honors privacy, safety, and due process,” IHOPKC’s statement concluded.
Just days prior to IHOPKC’s latest announcement, the ministry announced that Bickle had agreed to step away from public ministry indefinitely, including IHOPKC’s platform and the prayer room. He will also not engage in social media messaging until leaders “complete a thorough examination of the allegations and inquiry of the circumstances.”
Dr. Michael Brown Shares Ways To Pray
Dr. Michael Brown, founder and president of AskDrBrown Ministries and FIRE School of Ministry Online, preached at IHOPKC (Forerunner Church) the day its leadership shared that Bickle would be taking an indefinite leave of absence from ministry.