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Mike Bickle Confesses to Past ‘Moral Failures’ But Not Sexual Abuse

The International House of Prayer founder speaks out for the first time as the ministry launches a third-party inquiry.
Mike Bickle Confesses to Past ‘Moral Failures’ But Not Sexual Abuse
Image: Courtesy of IHOPKC
Mike Bickle, founder of IHOPKC

International House of Prayer Kansas City (IHOPKC) founder Mike Bickle has admitted to “inappropriate behavior” and “moral failures” that took place more than 20 years ago—but he says the claims of sexual abuse that emerged against him this fall are false.

Bickle publicly addressed recent allegations of abuse for the first time Tuesday, saying he had repented for his “past sins,” apologizing for how the situation has affected his family and ministry, and asking followers not to come to his defense online.

“Some may wonder why I am just now making a public statement 20+ years later? It is because I was recently confronted about things that I said or did 20+ years ago—things I believed were dealt with and under the blood of Jesus,” he wrote. “Since this has now become public, I want to repent publicly.”

A group of former IHOPKC leaders released a statement in October saying Bickle had been accused of sexual misconduct “where the marriage covenant was not honored” and that they had heard corroborating testimony from “several victims.” In The Roys Report last week, a woman alleged that Bickle sexually abused her while she was an intern at IHOPKC 27 years ago.

Bickle has been on leave from the ministry since October 26 while IHOPKC leaders looked into the allegations. On Sunday, after weeks of back-and-forth, the church announced a third-party investigation. Bickle said he drafted a statement on October 28 but was advised by legal counsel to wait.

Bickle, 68, did not describe his past “inappropriate behavior” other than to say he wasn’t admitting to the “more intense sexual activities that some are suggesting.” He also referred to “false allegations” of sexual abuse.

He said he had previously “quickly and sincerely repented,” though he was still sorrowful over his sin.

Earlier this fall, a group of former IHOPKC leaders—referred to by the ministry as the “advocacy group”—had learned about allegations against Bickle spanning decades.

Dwane Roberts and Brian Kim, who had previously served on IHOPKC’s executive leadership team and board, and Wes Martin, former Forerunner Christian Fellowship pastor, said they attempted to meet with him directly and then brought their concerns to IHOPKC leaders when he refused.

Leaders calling for transparency and accountability from IHOPKC believe Bickle’s confession to “inappropriate behavior” falls short.

“This is a fraction of what Mike is actually guilty of,” preacher Joel Richardson posted. “This is nothing more than a public relations move.”

IHOPKC has brought on a new spokesman, Eric Volz, with the international crisis resource agency David House. Volz called Bickle’s statement “a step in the right direction” and said, “We clearly have two sides to this story and this is 100% why we need an independent third party investigation.”

Bickle is a major figure in charismatic Christianity, and his prayer movement has spurred hundreds of “houses of prayer” around the globe. In Brazil, the Florianópolis House of Prayer was the first church to distance itself from Bickle while the investigation took place.

Bickle referred to the social media debates and online distain surrounding the allegations. He advised family and friends to not come to his defense and to not insult his detractors. “I have confidence the Lord will speak concerning what He sees and says about me in His timing,” he said.

IHOPKC shared Tuesday’s statement on social media and told followers, “Please continue to pray …”

Bickle plans to refrain from public ministry for an “extended season” and possibly indefinitely.

“I see this as God’s ‘delayed’ loving discipline on my life (Heb. 12:6, 11). I will look to other leaders to determine how long this season will last—it may be long and it may be even permanent,” the letter said. “I will only reengage in my preaching ministry if God confirms it through others.”

[ This article is also available in español Português Français 简体中文 繁體中文 русский, and Українська. ]

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