Friday, November 04, 2005



ICC Divides: Core Separating from McKean Faction
Revised: November 3, 2005

"We believe that you began your new movement with 'The Portland Story' article calling out 'the remnant' to follow you." -- Statement by 84 leaders of the International Churches of Christ withdrawing fellowship from Kip McKean.

A split appears inevitable, as a core group of International Church of Christ congregations has severed ties with ICC founder Kip McKean of the Portland (Oregon) International Church of Christ. It seems likely that a faction of churches affiliated with McKean and Portland will continue to divide from the core churches.

A November 2nd statement from 84 ICC church leaders announced that they would have "no further fellowship" with McKean unless he repented of "character sins" and "divisive tactics." The statement accused McKean of "dividing disciples and churches around the world," of "building a kingdom for yourself" and of telling a "self-advancing" revisionist history of the movement. The statement asserted, "We believe that you began your new movement with 'The Portland Story' article calling out 'the remnant' to follow you."

On October 3rd, a warning letter signed by 63 key ICC men’s leaders had been sent to Kip McKean, asking him to repent of his continued leadership sins and to stop the “self promotion and propaganda” coming from Portland. The Portland Church leadership (including McKean) responded with a letter on its website, defending its leader and methods and stating the intention to work toward similar goals as the core churches, “as in Acts 15, Paul and Barnabas going their separate directions.”

Although the core group has expressed concern about the methods and sincerity of McKean, and McKean has expressed concern about the “lukewarmness” of the core churches, the split in many ways appears to be a turf battle. McKean has begun recruiting members away from the core, and has supported church “replantings” (i.e. competing churches) in core cities, as part of a systematic and centrally controlled plan to evangelize the world.

Supporting McKean according to a Portland-run website (1) as of October 6 were:

The Portland Church of Christ leadership and congregation

the Greater Baltimore Church of Christ led by Doug Arthur

the Savannah Church of Christ (Georgia) led by Steve Johnson, who has announced his intention to go with McKean

the Central New York Church of Christ (upstate) led by Chris Broom

the Montreal Church of Christ led by Danny Brisebois, and the Quebec City Church of Christ

the Salt Lake Christian Church led by Jay Hernandez

the Santiago, Chile church led by Raul Moreno

the Eugene International Church of Christ

The November and October letters to Kip McKean were signed by many prominent ICC leaders with long associations with McKean, including four former World Sector Leaders (Al Baird, Andy Flemming, Marty Fuqua & Scott Green); the former head of the ICC's book publishing service, DPI (Tom Jones); the former head of the ICC's media service, Kingdom News Network (Roger Lamb, who was McKean’s co-minister in Charleston, IL in the 1970s); and the man who originally invited McKean to the Crossroads Church of Christ in 1972 (Sam Laing).

These letters followed a month after letters from three prominent ICC churches (among others) opposed McKean: the Boston Church of Christ, the Seattle Church of Christ, and the Phoenix Valley Church of Christ.

Letter from a Concerned Relative

Recently RightCyberUp received an interesting letter from the concerned relative of a current ICC member. He couldn’t help but notice the irony and hypocrisy of core ICC churches shunning Kip McKean in their initial October 3rd letter. Although this site usually doesn’t publish letters, this one deserves an exception:

Today I read the letter of rebuke written to Kip McKean. I suppose my focus should have been on Kip and the many infractions which called the letter into existence. And, I suppose the indignation arising in my heart should have been directed exclusively at this unscrupulous and arrogant man. At first that was the case. At first I was focused on Kip and my indignation was directed at this man exclusively. But as I read further something very interesting happened. I started feeling sympathy for Kip and my indignation was redirected toward those writing the letter and the institution which they were representing. I couldn't help but recall the words from Galations 6:7, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." As I read further, I began to sense that Kip is simply being true to what the system of the ICOC has made him. The system sowed arrogance by claiming it holds all the truth and every other "church" has no truth at all. The system sowed divisiveness when it taught its incoming disciples that everything their parents taught them regarding Christ is false and so is everything that their former religious organization taught. The system sowed the principles of unethical recruitment when it encouraged their evangelists to take members away from local denominational and non-denominational churches.

And because the system sowed this stuff, they are now reaping it. But they do not like what they are reaping. They want to deal out this high pressure arrogant spirituality; but when the tables turn, they don't want to be on the receiving end of it. It is my sense that those writing this letter are brow beating a man for being exactly what they taught him to be. They are reaping in the behavior of this man exacting what they sowed in recruiting him. How could they expect anything else. To me, it is an ironic twist; but I sense they simply don't get it. Was it not Jesus who once said: "If the blind lead the blind, they both will fall into the ditch”? That is my perception of what is happening. All of Kip's infractions notwithstanding, I have more feelings for him than I do for those indicting him. Am I wrong for feeling this way?

Lest we give the wrong impression or risk getting misquoted, let’s be clear: we believe Kip McKean fits all the criteria of a cult leader and is a dangerous man. But we also have many concerns about the core ICC churches, their leadership, and the damage that can be inflicted on members and communities -- just as we have concerns about the congregations aligned with McKean.

Brothers' Statement to Kip McKean, November 2, 2005.
Letter to Kip McKean from various Elders & Evangelists, October 3, 2005.
Portland International Church of Christ Leadership, "Concern For All The Churches,", circa October 14, 2005.

(1) Information compiled from list of affiliated churches on, October 6, 2005.

Also from

Responding to ICC founder Kip McKean's "calling out of the remnant" from ICC churches, leaders of ICC's Boston, Seattle and Phoenix churches issued letters two months ago stating opposition to McKean's actions. You can read about them here:

Former ICC World Sector Leader says he'll go with his mentor, McKean, in the current split:

Two-and-a-half years after his "Honest to God" letter rocked the ICC, former ICC evangelist Henry Kriete stood by Honest to God in a follow up letter he wrote to Chicago Church of Christ elder Steve Staten. The only difference, he writes, is that his convictions have become stronger. Read more here:

Henry Kriete says this 1999 issue of the movement's official newsletter shows the ICC was a cult. Readers can judge for themselves:

This article examines how today's ICC leadership culture endangers the movement's chances for healthy reform. Based on observations from the ICC's Seattle Leadership Conference and recent events, this new article says the ICC leadership's biggest probem is its own culture, not anything happening in Portland:

Kip McKean's teaching legacy decoded:

[Discussion with]
A current member of a McKean-affiliated church posted this email discussion had to a blog. It sounds like we came away disagreeing about just how dangerous Kip McKean is, but agreeing on several other things:

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Blogger Choudeless said...

We have lost the battle to satan. I can't believe we call ourselves Christians!!
Kip is great at selling people into discipleship but bails out when through maturity people actually get to the point where they really need help in "maturity"
Kip built a church based on being "fired on up" right? But left when the going got tough and decided to do the same thing again. Sell people into Christ, give them just enough information to be dangerous, manipulating, give all they have etc. (with the right heart) initially by the way. But then they need help getting through the real life items, children whose parents are so involved in making disciples that they forget to take care of their immediate family, friends and coworkes effectively. We are taught to be busy, not how to sicerely love like christ loved.
The bible warns us about such devissiveness.
Read ACTS 20:26
26Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of all men. 27For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God. 28Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers.[a] Be shepherds of the church of God,[b] which he bought with his own blood. 29I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. 31So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.

32"Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified

Key in on "28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers."

Don't let satan through leadership of ANYKIND misrepresent the gospel that the spirit has shown us.
Make disciples OF ALL NATIONS and take this community back from SATAN!!! I WILL NOT BE DIVIDED!!!

3:00 PM  
Blogger Choudeless said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:01 PM  
Anonymous lost blog said...

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6:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if it's about time we stop looking at Kip as a driven man who has a real heart for God.

And understand him as a sociopath.

I've met him on more then one occasion as I was a southwest leader.

And he's weird as hell!

5:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you heard that the San Francisco Church of Christ is now calling themselves the Bay area Christian Church?

11:23 PM  
Blogger icc said...

good to know... thanks for the link. let us know if you have any interesting other news from that church. russ ewell is a megalomanic freak.

10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't have any idea WHY this happened. Or any real details at all. Someone that I am still in touch with that goes e-mailed me with her updated e-mail address. She had been at which is where the hid after upcyberdown went down- which no one ever explained.

I asked my friend, "Why the change?" her response, "Calling it the San Francisco Church of Christ when it's in SF, San Jose, Monterey was just too confusing." Okay, well it worked for 15 years, but whatever.

Google helped me find you, but has other wise not helped.

I wasn't sure if Russ was a part of this split, then I looked at the first page of When I saw everything about special needs families, it all became clear.

I left the ICOC when I was hounded about pouring my meager income into the Hope Technology School, as school that really doesn't need more of ANYTHING, and my group leaders told me to ask Catholic Charities and Salvation Army for helping putting food on my kid's dinner table. My kids were expected to go hungry, so that Jonathon and Jordan Ewell could have the BEST computers at school.

4:03 AM  
Anonymous Nate said...

Check out my website for information on Seattle Church of Christ under "church." It has been a great learning experience but is definitely labeled well as being a cult....

6:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The BACC is still under the influence of Kip and ran by Russ. Nothing has changed since the name change and Kip's dismissal. This so called church needs to be closed down and we need to realize the evil that is being taught in their services. Take a moment to look at your surroundings. We nene to take a stand and not be scared. No more being told we will be going to hell if we do not follow the BACC.

1:45 PM  

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