Back to The Basics – Where Did IHOP Begin?

I feel it is important to have a basic understanding or overview of what IHOP is and its foundational premise. 

Where is IHOP?  The International House of Prayer (IHOP) movement is based in Kansas City, Missouri or more specifically in the area of Grandview.


Who is IHOP?  Mike Bickle founded the movement in 1999 and is the leader of this today with his leadership team consisting of Daniel Lim (CEO), Allen Hood (President of IHOPU and Associate Director), Misty Edwards (Senior Worship Leader) and Lou Engle (Director of “The Call”).  There are many, many other leaders involved but these are currently the direct reports to Bickle.  They currently have a staff ranging somewhere between 450-500 members, most of whom raise their own financial support.



What is IHOP?  It is a place of 24/7 worship and prayer “in the spirit of the Tabernacle of David” or TOD teaching.  It emphasizes modern prophetic revelation and trains forerunners to be end-time apostles and prophets, who will perform great signs and wonders and cast end-time judgments upon the earth.  It consists of the Joseph Company, which is a ministry aimed at producing leaders in the marketplace who will store wealth for the preparation of end-time cities of refuge. It adheres to the theology of Dominionism and trains intercessory missionaries with a goal to start 24/7 houses of prayer in every city across America and in other areas around the world. “IHOP” is actually an acronym standing for intercession, holiness, offerings and prophetic.



Teachings Unique to IHOP: Bridal Paradigm, Forerunner Ministry, Friends of the Bridegroom, Anna Anointing, Prophetic Singers, End-Time cities of refuge, and many more.




How Did It All Begin?  It all begins with a man named Mike Bickle.  He’s a native of Kansas City, pastoring a church in St. Louis when he was visited by a prophet named Augustine who told him that he was to go to Kansas City and start a church.  Before moving to Kansas City, he took a trip to Cairo, Egypt where he says he heard, “the internal, audible voice of the Lord” saying “I am going to change the understanding and expression of Christianity in the whole world in one generation.”  Bickle claims he heard the words and tone of the Lord’s voice.  Bickle moved to Kansas City and started Kansas City Fellowship (KCF) and began to lay the foundational groundwork for what would later become IHOP.  It was there that on March 26, 1984 he claims to have received “The Blueprint Prophecy” from an unknown prophet.  This document (which I have detailed in previous posts) is the foundational document of IHOP. 



The Blueprint Prophecy was not released publically until 2002.  It has never been released in its entirety and three different versions of it exist from 2002, 2006 and 2009. 



During those early years, Mike Bickle hooked up with a group of men that became known as the Kansas City Prophets.  These men were Bob Jones, John Paul Jackson, Jim Goll, David Parker and Paul Cain.  These men, Mike Bickle included, prophesied in other churches, telling other pastors that God was calling their churches to merge with KCF and threatening that if they refused God would write “Ichabod” above their church doors.  Several churches joined KCF but most did not. 


In the late eighties controversy began with other churches in the Kansas City area and publically erupted in 1990 when pastor Ernie Gruen preached a message entitled “Will We Smile and Say


Nothing?” in which he related a series of charges against Bickle’s ministry. Despite being physically threatened by Bickle, Ernie Gruen followed up his message with a series of letters from 44 pastors of churches in the area, some stating they had been threatened by Bickle and his team of prophets, and all citing Biblical concerns about what was happening in Bickle’s ministry.


As these concerns grew more public, Bickle changed the name of his church from Kansas City Fellowship to Metro Christian Fellowship.



The letters from the Ernie Gruen and the other 44 pastors were sent to nationally recognized leaders within the Pentecostal community known as the “Apostolic Presbyters of the Network of Christian Ministries,” and quickly became known as “The Ernie Gruen Report.”  This report charged KCF with false doctrine, false prophecies, manipulative prophecies and more; and it is still un-refuted to this day.  (On the IHOP website, Mike Bickle has posted a letter that states he and Ernie Gruen came to a resolution, but this is a false document and an outright lie.  According to several sources that worked closely with Pastor Gruen up until his death a few years ago, Bickle never attempted to repent nor resolve any issues addressed in the Ernie Gruen report, neither from a professional nor a personal standpoint.  This false document was ironically not posted on the IHOP site until Pastor Gruen had died, thereby rendering him incapable of telling the public it is false.)


Out of this controversy, Bickle joined his movement with that of John Wimber and once again

changed the name of his church to Metro Vineyard. This was Bickle’s attempt to resolve conflict by joining with a ministry that had a deeper Biblical emphasis, and it also gave his prophets more notoriety.  Ironically, Bickle eventually withdrew from John Wimber after the “Toronto Blessing” occurred because John Wimber claimed some of the manifestations were excessive and Bickle supported the “Toronto Blessing.” 



The “Toronto Blessing” was later ridiculed for being based in false doctrine and manipulative prophecies and now Bickle denies he ever supported the movement.


In 1999 Bickle left Metro and developed IHOP according to the guidelines of The Blueprint Prophecy.


To better understand the foundation of IHOP and The Blueprint Prophecy, please read my previous posts on Bob Jones and the Ernie Gruen Report.  It is important to note that the very foundation upon which IHOP is build is cracked with false prophesy, false doctrine and a bed of lies.  Every time Bickle has been backed into a corner or confronted in any way, his reponse has been to change the names, twist the truth, manipulate, deny and outright lie.

When something is of God, it is built upon truth and there will be no falsehood within it.  Mike Bickle’s ministry has been build upon falsehood from day one.  Research it for yourself.



Later this week, I will post the basic belief system of IHOP and show you how it is not based in Scripture, but is a very man-centered operation.


About stopihopcult

I am a believer in Jesus Christ, as my Savior and I love God and stand up for the truth of His Word. In this stance, I am against IHOP (International House of Prayer) because of their cult activity, tactics of mental and emotional manipulation, distortion of God's Word, and consortation with demonic spirits. IHOP is a cult.
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