The allegations against him surfaced after the leadership team was confronted by "a group of men" at the end of October 2023, who claimed to have reports from eight women that they had been sexually abused by Bickle over a period of several years. The Executive Leadership Team says it treated the allegations as credible from the outset, and Bickle was asked to step away from public ministry.
An attempted meeting with the congregation shortly afterwards prompted one former member of the leadership to walk out, after shouting that those on stage were not being transparent about what was going on. This claim was seconded by another member of the audience.
A four-page document published on the ministry’s website last week says that so far in the process, no verifiable evidence has been presented by the men, who are referred to as the "Complaint Group":
"The document prepared by the Complaint Group to accompany the presentation of allegations on October 24 does not contain any actual evidence: no statements from the victims, whether sworn or unsworn, and no emails, texts, or other exhibits between Mr. Bickle and the alleged victim to substantiate the allegations (only blank squares acting as exhibit placeholders).
"The Complaint Group’s allegations were also presented along with a list of pre-prepared demands 'to prevent escalating levels of disclosure”' These demands and threats, which included dictating the use of IHOPKC’s funds, generated an atmosphere of concern regarding the true objectives of the Complaint Group."
IHOPKC says it has only been able to identify five of the eight women who are alleged by the group to be victims of Bickle. At least three of the eight women have called the allegations “lies", and one has refused to communicate with attorneys representing the ministry.
One of the women, whose allegation predates Bickle’s founding of IHOPKC and is said to have some credibility, is being represented by attorney Boz Tchividjian, founder of the Virginia-based G.R.A.C.E. (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) - an organization which works with churches, congregations and complainants dealing with allegations of abuse.
"IHOPKC remains open to inviting a third party (or even multiple third parties) to examine these findings," the report states. "It is our sincerest desire that alleged anonymous Jane Does would come forward as soon, either directly to IHOPKC’s attorney, via the Complaint Group or through their own legal representative, so that IHOPKC can then take the appropriate next steps."