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Apostolic-Prophetic Movement

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The Apostolic-Prophetic movement (AP movement) is a US-based Christian movement founded in the early 2000s. It is a network of non-denominational alliances of independent churches and ministries.


The AP movement is rooted in the Charismatic movement, and is active in the Charismatic, Pentecostal, Third-Wave and Prophetic groups. The movement believes in restoring elements of what it calls the five-fold ministry, based on Ephesians 4:11-13. Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers are considered legitimate offices of the church and are seen as prayer warriors, responsible for ushering in the return of Jesus and the Kingdom of God through prayer.[1] According to one source, the coalition is active across the US and about 40 other countries, and includes several hundred members, international training centers, and communication networks.

Beliefs and creeds[edit]

The movement has grown out of the Christian Charismatic movement and emphasizes the concept of the Holy Spirit. It is wide and varied, although many churches follow the Apostles' Creed, Nicene Creed, and Athanasian Creed.[2] Some individual churches only hold to the Nicene Creed and have parted with what they call "historical Christianity".

The movement emphasizes the importance of Christians going into spiritual warfare at three levels, described as the ground level, person-to-person actions such as praying for each other's personal needs, the occult level, dealing with "demonic forces" released through occult activities, and the strategic or cosmic level, which involves "bind[ing] and bring[ing] down spiritual principalities and powers that rule over governments."[3] The strategic level makes use of "spiritual mapping" to engage in spiritual warfare against "territorial spirits".[4]


The stated purpose of the AP movement is to restore the ministries of prophets and apostles to the church. They believe the restoration of the five ministry offices will fulfill the purpose for which they were given: the equipping and perfecting of the saints in Christ's image and ministry. Prophets and apostles are believed to be preparing church members for the day of the manifestation of the Kingdom of God and to give testimony to every nation.[5][6]

The movement is not an organization and does not have formal membership.[7]


Around the time of the Second Great Awakening, leaders like Joseph Smith introduced the concept of the restoration of living prophets and apostles to guide religious movements in the US. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in particular grew substantially over the next century, and its members recognized many prophets and apostles over that time. Much later,[specify] the modern movement quickly spread among evangelicals through the use of early mass-marketing techniques by megachurches and religious corporations. Early 20th-century movement leaders were Paul Cain and Bill Hamon. Hamon introduced the idea of a coming prophetic movement and was instrumental in establishing prophets of that movement, especially in the form of the Elijah company of prophets, and activating and training Christians in prophetic ministry. John Eckhardt and C. Peter Wagner were prominent figures in pioneering and propagating the movement. After the apostles began to propagate, many of them appeared throughout the US and other countries.[8]

The majority of ministers and members of the movement came from former Charismatic movement churches. The ministry took the form of Bible preaching and prophesying. Hundreds of prophets went to other countries and prophesied to national leaders. Hector Torres claims that the apostles manifested signs and wonders, and that the saints were taught divine healing and the working of miracles. The local and global apostolic order was established based on the five-fold ministry concept. Church planting was done and people began to work for "the unity of the Church, the restoration of all things, and the promotion of the Kingdom of God."[9]


Hamon and Wagner worked together in propagating the movement. Hamon had the original vision for the restoration of apostles and Wagner acted as a theologian who began to write and designated the types of apostles and their functions. Their movement was called the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) and grew at a rate of nine million people per year[citation needed].

Wagner, former professor of Church Growth at Fuller Theological Seminary of World Mission, founder of Global Harvest Ministries and presiding apostle and founder of the International Coalition of Apostles, and co-founder of World Prayer Center, played a pivotal role as the leading apostle of the movement from the 1980s to the 2000s.[10]

Seven Mountain Mandate[edit]

According to believers, the five-fold ministry was initially restored and applied to religious centers, whereby ministers were seen to emerge to equip and raise up devout believers in God. The movement is now[when?] working on becoming more prevalent across various parts of society, under the Seven Mountain Mandate. The seven parts which the name refers to, and which the movement wishes to claim for God are religion, family, education, government, media, arts and entertainment, and business.

The movement's goal is to have more devoted Christians working effectively across society. Speaking on Patricia King's Extreme Prophetic TV broadcast, Lance Wallnau said: "the Seven Mountains are almost a template for spiritual warfare because the church so frequently does not have a language for how it goes about taking territory."[11]

In Bill Hamon's 2010 book Prophetic Scriptures Yet to Be Fulfilled, he describes the transformation of the seven mountains of culture, and how every nation will become either a sheep or a goat nation. In the end, the restoration of all things spoken of by the apostles and prophets will supposedly release Jesus to return and set up His domain over all the earth, as written in the Book of Acts, chapter three.

In essence, the movement is attempting to restore the church to the same power, energy, and fullness of faith as the Early Church. As more teachers, prophets, and apostles are trained, the movement is planning on establishing apostolic centers in various cities, as training centers for equipping and motivating believers to be ready for ministry and the works of transformation across the seven mountains of society. These centers are not pastoral churches or denominational institutions, but are regarded by the movement as being part of a marketplace ministry that is led and governed by local ministers. The goal is to achieve change in cities and nations, verified by standard social scientific measuring equipment and independent professional sociologists, as stated by Wagner in his book, The Church in the Workplace.

Kansas City Prophets[edit]

Some of those who shaped the current AP movement were based in Kansas City, Missouri and became known as the Kansas City Prophets. They originated in the late 1980s and early 1990s at Kansas City Fellowship (KCF) whose influence eventually became international. It was overseen by KCF's Pastor Mike Bickle. Included in the list of prophets were Bob Jones, Paul Cain, Bill Hamon, Larry Randolph, James Goll, Jill Austin, and John Paul Jackson.[12][13] John Wimber provided some oversight from the Vineyard Movement during the first few years. Cain had participated in the Healing Revival initiated by William Branham during the 1950s. The prophets except Bickle have left Kansas City but continue to be active in ministry throughout North America. Some Said It Thundered was written and published in 1991, during what is considered to be the height of their movement. A later book, A Life and Legacy of Pat Bickle and a History of the Kansas City Prophets also contains notes on their history.

Apostolic Roundtable[edit]

The Apostolic Roundtable was a society of 25 apostles convened by Wagner that included Karl A. Barden, Bob L. Beckett, W. Rice Brookes, Emanuele Cannistraci, Gregory Dickow, Michael P. Fletcher, Chuck Pierce, Ché Ahn, Harold Caballeros, Naomi Dowdy, John Eckhardt, Bill Hamon, Jim Hodges, John P. Kelly, Lawrence Kennedy, Lawrence Khong, David Kwang-Shin Kim, Larry H. Kreider, Alan Langstaff, Roberts Liardon, Dexter Low, Mel Mullen, Alistair Petrie, and Eddie Villanueva.[14][15]


As many churches and individuals in the movement do not follow the three ecumenical creeds, they are seen as having moved away from mainstream Christianity. Baptist theologian Dr. Roger Olson writes,[16]

...the closer I looked at the NARM [New Apostolic Reformation movement] the less convinced I was that it is a cohesive movement at all. It seems more like a kind of umbrella term for a loose collection of independent ministries that have a few common interests... I have examined the web sites of several independent evangelists who claim to represent that affinity... So far none of them seem blatantly heretical. Eccentric, non-mainline, a bit fanatical, maybe.

Wagner provided key differences between the NAR and traditional Protestantism in his article The New Apostolic Reformation Is Not a Cult.[17] He noted that those participating in the movement believe the Apostles' Creed and adhere to orthodox Christian doctrine.

Definition of apostle[edit]

Within the movement, the word apostle is used in multiple senses. In one sense, an apostle is an evangelist and bishop, called and sent by Christ to have the spiritual authority, character, gifts, and abilities to successfully reach and establish people in the Kingdom's truth and order, especially through founding and overseeing local churches,[18] according to David Cannistraci, author of two books on the movement and the lead pastor of Gateway City Church in San Jose, California.[19]

In another sense, an apostle is a church planter: "the apostolic gift leaves churches in its wake." It is characterized by a "paternal bond between apostles and pastors."[20]

Apostolic networks[edit]

Apostolic networks are non-denominational alliances of independent churches and ministries.[21] Apostolic networks are among the fastest growing movements in the modern Christian world.[22]

Network of Christian Ministries[edit]

In July 1982, while guest speakers at Emanuele Cannistraci's church, Evangel Christian Fellowship, Bishop John Gimenez (founder of Rock Church and Washington for Jesus), Charles Green,[23] and Mel Davis, along with Cannistraci, conceived the idea to form the Network of Christian Ministries (the Network),[24] which was a major apostolic network formally established in 1984 in Washington D.C.[25][26] By 1989, most of the national leaders of the charismatic movement had joined the Network.[27]

The Network was founded by Cannistraci, Gimenez, Green, Davis, Paul Paino, Thomas Reid, David Schoch, Dick Iverson, Bob Weiner, and John Meares.[28][29] Other prominent ministers on the board of governors included Kenneth Copeland, Charles Simpson, Ken Sumrall, Charles Blair,[30] and Roderick Caesar, Sr.[31][28]

The twelve national leaders and apostles, called the Apostolic Presbytery, were from all parts of the full gospel charismatic movement and were representatives of the movement.[32] The twelve apostles included Cannistraci, Green, Paino, Caesar, Iverson, Simpson, Sumrall, Dick Benjamin, John Hagee, John Casteel, and Houston Miles. The leaders met as a larger congress of elders and board of governors "to address issues confronting the church and society."[26] The apostles were recognized as national leaders that were truly representative of the myriad of Christian fellowships across the country.[32]

The Network started a national movement that united leaders from diverse fellowships, denominations, and ministries across the nation.[33] Thousands of ministers across the US were invited to be part of the Network, whose purpose was to unify and strengthen the Church. Its constitution also included the power to establish churches, missions, schools, colleges, and hospitals, to train chaplains for government and military service, and to set up an affiliated political action committee.[28] The Network spread internationally as ministers in other countries joined it.[34]

At the 1989 convention in Anaheim, there was a collective appeal from younger ministers for mentorship to pass on the elders' "reservoir of knowledge", "giftings", and "legacy" to the "next generation of world changers". The Network ultimately disbanded as it was unable to adapt to the appeal for mentorship.[27]

Other networks[edit]

  • The Antioch Network of Churches and Ministries (Evangel Christian Fellowship, San Jose, California)[24][35]
  • Antioch Churches and Ministries, exemplifies how apostolic teams resolve issues in contrast to denominational structures[36][37]
  • Apostolic Missions International[38][39][40]
  • The International Fellowship of Faith Ministries (2,000 churches)[26]
  • International Convention of Faith Churches & Ministries (495 churches; headquarters in Tulsa, Oklahoma)[26]
  • Faith Christian Fellowship International (1,000 ordained ministers)[26]
  • National Leadership Conference (represents other networks)[26]
  • Fellowship of Christian Assemblies (101 churches)[26]
  • Harvest International Ministries (HIM) (ministries and organizations in over 65 nations)[41]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ McAlister, Elizabeth (2016-01-02). "The militarization of prayer in America: White and Native American spiritual warfare". Journal of Religious and Political Practice. 2 (1): 114–130. doi:10.1080/20566093.2016.1085239. ISSN 2056-6093.
  2. ^ "IHOPKC Creeds". IHOPKC. Archived from the original on 2012-11-19.
  3. ^ Wagner, C. Peter (1996). Confronting the Powers: How the New Testament Church Experienced the Power of Strategic-level Spiritual Warfare. Regal Books. pp. 21–22. ISBN 978-0-8307-1819-1.
  4. ^ Wagner, C. Peter (1996). Confronting the Powers: How the New Testament Church Experienced the Power of Strategic-level Spiritual Warfare. Regal Books. ISBN 978-0-8307-1819-1.
  5. ^ Bill Hamon, Apostles, Prophets and the Coming Moves of God: End time Plan for his Church on Planet Earth (Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image Publishing, 1987).
  6. ^ C. Peter Wagner, Churchquake: How The New Apostolic Reformation is Shaking the Church as We Know It (Ventura CA: Regal Books, 1999), 5.).
  7. ^ Michael Brown (30 April 2018). "Dispelling the Myths About NAR (the New Apostolic Reformation)". Ask Dr. Brown. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  8. ^ C. Peter Wagner, Dominion: How Kingdom Action can Change the World (Grand Rapids, MI: Chosen Books, Baker Publishing Group 2008), chapter 1.
  9. ^ Hector Torres, The Restoration of the Apostles and the Prophets (Nashville, TN: 14 Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2001)
  10. ^ The Rise of the New Apostolic Reformation and its Implication for Adventist Eschatology, Trevor O'Reggio Andrews University
  11. ^ Lance Wallnau, Bill Johnson, The 7 Mountain Mandate. (Destiny Image Publishing, 2013).
  12. ^ Poloma, Margaret M. (2003). Main Street Mystics: The Toronto Blessing and Reviving Pentecostalism. Rowman Altamira. pp. 170, 195. ISBN 9780759103542.
  13. ^ Friesen, Aaron T. (2013-02-19). Norming the Abnormal: The Development and Function of the Doctrine of Initial Evidence in Classical Pentecostalism. Wipf and Stock Publishers. p. 144. ISBN 9781621895671.
  14. ^ Wagner, Peter. New Apostolic Roundtable. C. Peter Wagner's Box 26, Folder 6 (1 of 2) Part 3, New Apostolic Roundtable. (Retrieved from Fuller Theological Seminary Digital Commons Archives) https://digitalcommons.fuller.edu/findingaids/9/
  15. ^ "New Apostolic Roundtable". Ministries Today Magazine. July–August 2000.
  16. ^ Roger Olson (25 June 2015). "Is the "New Apostolic Reformation Movement" a Cult?". Patheos. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  17. ^ Wagner, C. Peter. "The New Apostolic Reformation Is Not a Cult". Charisma News.
  18. ^ Cannistraci, Dr. David (1998). Apostles and the Emerging Apostolic Movement. Ventura, Calif.: Regal Books. ISBN 978-0-8307-2338-6. OCLC 180766628.
  19. ^ "Find a Location".
  20. ^ Skye, Jethani. "Apostles Today?". Christianity Today.
  21. ^ Wagner, C. Peter (1999). Church Quake: How the New Apostolic Reformation is Shaking the Church as We Know It. Ventura, California: Regale Books. ISBN 9780830719150.
  22. ^ Barrett, David B.; Kurian, George Thomas; Johnson, Todd, M. (2020). World Christian Encyclopedia: A Comparative Survey of Churches and Religions in The Modern World. Vol. 2 Volume Set (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195724356.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  23. ^ Green, Charles (December 1985). "A Network for Unity - Charles Green shares how leaders, some once opposed to each other, are coming together" (PDF). New Wine Magazine. Integrity Communications: 20–22.
  24. ^ a b Cannistraci, David (1996). The Gift of Apostle: A Biblical Look at Apostleship and How God Is Using It to Bless His Church Today. Regal Books. pp. 194–195. ISBN 978-0830718450.
  25. ^ Meares, John, L. Bishop (Agent) (October 4, 1984). "DC.Gov. Online Portal: Welcome to Corp Online. Business Filings Search. Find Your Organization". Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. District of Columbia, USA. Network of Christian Ministries. File #843701. Non-Profit Corporation. Domestic.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  26. ^ a b c d e f g Hawkes, Paul (August 25, 2009). "A Critical Analysis of the Third and Fourth Wave of Pentecostalism" (PDF). UNISA Institutional Repository. University of South Africa. pp. 124–125. Archived (PDF) from the original on May 8, 2022. Networks are loose associations of leaders and ministers of independent charismatic churches [...] for the purpose of fellowship, mutual encouragement, the sharing of information, insights, and ideas [...] Major examples are: [...] Network of Christian Ministries, Emanuele Cannistraci, John Gimenez, Charles Green [...] In 1988, the Network of Christian Ministries began [...] recognizing apostolic fathers, high-profile leaders [...] who sit together as one board of governors [...] annually as a 'Congress of Elders' to address issues confronting the church and society.
  27. ^ a b Cannistraci, David, Dr. (1998). Apostles and the Emerging Apostolic Movement: A Biblical Look at Apostleship and How God is Using It to Bless His Church Today. pp. 15, 194–195. ISBN 9780830723386.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  28. ^ a b c "Constitution of Network of Christian Ministries". Du Plessis Files 77.10. (Retrieved from Digital Archives of Fuller Theological Seminary). https://digitalcommons.fuller.edu/findingaids/9/
  29. ^ Hamil Harris (2011-05-26). "Evangelical bishop John Meares dies at 91". The Washington Post. Washington, D.C. ISSN 0190-8286. OCLC 1330888409.
  30. ^ "Rev. Blair, 88, was megachurch pioneer". 22 August 2009.
  31. ^ Green, Charles, Chairman of Network of Christian Ministries. Report to Board of Governors. (November 11, 1986) Du Plessis Files Nos. 30.51.(Retrieved from Digital Commons Archives of Fuller Theological Seminary). https://digitalcommons.fuller.edu/findingaids/9/
  32. ^ a b Gruen, Ernest, J. and staff (1990). "Documentation of the Aberrant [sic] Practices and Teachings of Kansas City Fellowship (Grace Ministries)" (PDF). Birthpangs.org. The Christian Broadcasting Network Inc. (April 28, 1990) Memo to 700 Counselors: "CBN staff [...] told me [...] Mike Bickle [...] contacted the Network of Christian Ministries for the purpose [...] to arbitrate the differences between Ernie Gruen and himself... providential that both ... would separately and independently contact NCM for this purpose. Pages 25-26. Republished with permission by Banner Ministries. pp. 9, 26–28. [...] handing this problem off to national leaders [...] The Network of Christian Ministries has agreed to mediate [...] men with national ministries [...] national leaders [...] Apostolic Presbyters of the Network of Christian Ministries [...] These twelve men [...] represent all streams of the full/gospel Charismatic ministry of our nation [...] integrity [...] truly apostles [...] represent the nation.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  33. ^ Copeland, Ken; Wimber, John; Simpson, Charles; Giminez, John (January 1986). "Equipping the Saints. How unity of Church leaders affects believers". New Wine Magazine: Cover story and page 6, 14–18.
  34. ^ Green, Charles, Dr. Report by Chairman of Network of Christian Ministries to Board of Governors. (November 11, 1986) (Retrieved from Du Plessis Files Nos. 30.51. Digital Archives of Fuller Theological Seminary). https://digitalcommons.fuller.edu/findingaids/9/
  35. ^ "The Antioch Network of Churches and Ministries". The Evangel Update. (Retrieved from Gateway City Church Archives): A Publication of Evangel Christian Fellowship, San Jose, CA. Autumn 1994. p. 6. The challenge and hope of a new network of associated churches and ministries continues to grow as letters and applications come in response to our recent Charisma Magazine advertisement.
  36. ^ Wagner, C. Peter. "Apostles and Prophets: The Foundation of the Church" (2000). ISBN 9780800797324.
  37. ^ Kelly, John P. Antioch Church and Ministries. South Lake, Texas. (Retrieved June 7, 2020). [1]
  38. ^ Delph, Ed (May 25, 2020). "Honor Your Community - Community Will Honor You". Nation Strategy.
  39. ^ Murrell, Steve; Murrell, William (October 28, 2016). The Multiplication Challenge: A Strategy to Solve Your Leadership Shortage. Charisma House. pp. 129, 141–143, 146, 201. ISBN 9781629985749. [A]t the International Summit [...] my mentor [...] Emanuele Cannistraci [...] spent most of the time travelling the world [...] strengthening pastors [...] ministered to our church and to our leaders many times [...] after our mission imploded [...] Pastor C [...] treated us like [...] his own staff. He mentored us - teaching us by example, how to do ministry with integrity, how to do life with joy, and how to do family with no regrets [...] all the lessons we learned [...] annual[ly] travelling with them to the Philippine provinces to do ministry, their impartation [...] was transformational [...] at 84 years old he still circles the globe preaching the gospel and mentoring next generation leaders.
  40. ^ "Honoring the Man of God: Apostle C Tribute" (2020). Bethel Productions. Video presented at the Apostolic Leadership Summit by Kenneth Bent, John Benefiel, Steve and Nancy Boyce, Ed Delph, Sun Fannin, Brad Hall, Ron Hammonds, Mary-Alice Islieb, Napoleon Kaufman, Klayton and Sharon Ko, John and LaNell Miller, Gerry McCoy, Steve Murrel, Gerry and Sherill Piscopo, Gordon P. Robertson, Mike Servello, Sid Sumida, and Ralph and Cindy Vogel.
  41. ^ "Harvest International Ministry". Retrieved 2021-11-18.