Home Christian News Former IHOPKC Staff File Paperwork To Launch New Church

Former IHOPKC Staff File Paperwork To Launch New Church

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L: Isaac Bennett speaks at Forerunner Church during its final service. Screengrab from YouTube @IHOPkc / R: Tikkun Global leader Ron Cantor posts statement responding to Sanctuary Church paperwork. Screengrab from X / @RonSCantor

In April, while leaders of International House of Prayer Kansas City (IHOPKC) were discussing ways to limit their liability from a sex abuse scandal, they also filed paperwork with the state of Missouri to launch a new “religous [sic] church.”

Isaac Bennett, Morgan Bennett, and Matt Candler filed articles of incorporation for Sanctuary Church on April 18, according to investigative reporter Julie Roys. The Bennetts, a married couple, were pastors at IHOPKC’s Forerunner Church, and Candler was president of IHOP University. Both organizations have been shuttered following numerous sexual abuse allegations against IHOPKC founder Mike Bickle. But an IHOPKC attorney had indicated that IHOPKC was merely being reorganized.

ChurchLeaders has reported on developments with Bickle and the ministry, including IHOPKC’s response to criticism about the law firm it initially chose to investigate the allegations.

RELATED: IHOPKC Drops Law Firm Investigating Its Founder Mike Bickle After Receiving Criticism

Is Sanctuary Church the ‘New Start’ for IHOPKC?

According to leaked audio from an April 15 meeting, Candler said, “IHOPKC as an organization is beginning to wind down.” Isaac Bennett said dissolving IHOPKC in favor of creating a new organization would limit IHOPKC’s liability. “We’re the people to sue at the end of the day,” he said.

“In cases where there’s clergy abuse, where there’s allegations that are outstanding—when there’s now interest in having an investigation that goes back through all of our 24-year history to find cases where there’s been mishandling of abuse,” Bennett added, “those things will produce inevitably a contingent of individuals who are wanting to get restitution.”

In an April 17 press release, IHOPKC noted it would be “winding down many of the ministry and training expressions of IHOPKC.” It referenced “financial and personnel losses,” a “volatile environment,” and a “vast…need for reform.” One day later, the Bennetts and Candler filed paperwork for Sanctuary Church.

On May 19, IHOPKC’s Forerunner Church held its final worship service. Isaac Bennett told congregants that Forerunner needed to end so “we can move forward with a new start.” He indicated the transition would “last a few months” and “the ministry expression in the fall” would “be robust.”

Listed Beneficiary Is Surprised by Sanctuary News

On Sanctuary Church’s incorporation paperwork, the former IHOPKC leaders list two ministries to split church assets in the event of dissolution. One is Hope City, a Kansas City church led by Bickle’s sister and brother-in-law. The other is Tikkun Global, which serves Messianic Jewish communities. (One focus of IHOPKC’s 24/7 prayer room is intercession for Israel.)