International Christian Church

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International Christian Church
Globes that the ICC gives to missionaries.
Classification Christian, Restorationist, Christian Fundamentalism
Orientation Bible, Restorationist, Discipleship
Associations MERCYworldwide, UpSideDown21, Discipleship Media, International College of Christian Ministries
Region 21 nations[1]
Founder Kip McKean & Elena McKean
Origin 2006[2]
Portland, Oregon
Separated from International Churches of Christ
Members 3000 (estimated)

The International Christian Church (ICC) is a conservative fundamentalist Christian non-denominational church. One of their foundational beliefs is that they are required to evangelise the whole world in one generation.[3] Beginning in 2006 with 800 members as a split from the International Churches of Christ (ICOC), nine years later the ICC claim a worldwide membership of a little less than 3000.[4] Kip McKean, the leader of the ICC, had been dismissed from both his previous churches, the Churches of Christ and then from the ICOC.[5][6]


On 12 November 2001, McKean, who had led the International Churches of Christ, issued a statement that he was going to take a sabbatical from his role of leadership in the church.[7] Nearly a full year later, on 6 November 2002, he resigned his World Missions Evangelist leadership position with the ICOC. He cited family problems and apologized for his own arrogance.[8]

In 2004, numerous church leaders associated with the ICOC called for an end to McKean's potential influence over the ICOC. A letter was drafted by elders, teachers and evangelists of the ICOC highlighting their ongoing concerns about McKean and urging him to repent for what they considered to be sinful behavior.[5] When McKean did not respond to the letter from the elders, a second statement was drafted disfellowshipping and warning him.[9]

From then on, McKean began to organize a network of new churches that he named the International Christian Church,[4] or the "Sold-Out Discipling Movement", (SODM). He sent out a mission team to begin a new congregation in Phoenix, Arizona, in 2006 and then led a team to Los Angeles in 2007 to start the City of Angels International Christian Church. Each member is expected to give 10% of their income to the church. Additionally there are two "Special Mission Contributions" during the year which each member is expected to financially support.

In August 2008, the Portland International Christian Church, the founding church of the ICC, under the leadership of Steve Johnson, made the decision to break ties with McKean and the ICC.[10] The church chose to realign itself with the ICOC family of churches.[11]

Four other churches, initially listed with the Portland Movement, followed Portland's lead and disassociated themselves from the International Christian Churches.[4]

The International Christian Church is currently banned from the campus of Boston's Northeastern University.[12]

Beliefs and practices[edit]

Each new member must study the Bible, see that they are currently lost and separated from God as a consequence of their previous sins, agree to submit his/her life to Jesus and the authority of the church, make God and the church their first priority in their life, confess and repent of their sins, be baptized (fully immersed) in water for the forgiveness of those sins.

The general practice of the church is to publish a weekly "Good News email" which discusses the people joining the church. Websites themed "Why I left the ICC" have sprung up to provide another perspective of all the people leaving the church. The International Churches of Christ disfellowshipped McKean due to similar complaints of leadership sins.[9]

The ICC emphasizes that Jesus' church in the Bible was persecuted, and therefore, members should not be concerned when outsiders refer to the ICC as a cult or with other emotionally charged terminology. In fact, the ICC teaches that having detractors is great evidence that the they are effectively imitating the teachings and practices of the church of the first century. Victor Gonzalez, having been a part of the ICC since it's inception, disagrees. He was thrown out of the church for disagreeing with some church practices. He describes having been "physically manhandled" by top leaders when he attended the ICC's annual leadership conference.[13] The ICC leadership say that he was not happy because he was not chosen to be a World Sector Leader.[14][clarification needed]

Relationship with other Churches[edit]

According to Michael Taliaferro, leaders of the ICC, misrepresent the beliefs of the ICOC and paint a misleading picture, often calling it "dead and dying", despite the ICOC growing by over 15 000 members in the last few years.[16] McKean has repeatedly admitted that he has struggled with bitterness in his heart towards some of the leaders of the ICOC, which comes out in his speaking and descriptions of the ICOC.

[17] McKean also states that "most ICOC churches changed their names to align with the CoC", whereas only 5 of the 650 churches actually did so.[18] Additionally the ICC has classes at the annual leadership Jubilee, where members are trained and instructed how to reach out to and "harvest" people away from their "former fellowship".[19] They try to boost their growth by "drawing disciples away" from their current ICOC congregations. This is consistent with what the scriptures teach in Acts 20:30[20]

The church justifies its tactics to recruit from existing churches of disciples by using "remnant theology". This is an Old Testament concept describing Israelites who had not fallen into idolatry and abandoned their faith. This theology is twisted to apply to New Testament disciples who are in churches not under McKean's leadership. This same "Remnant Theology" has been used by many groups to make the group feel unique and justify exclusivism. The Seventh-day Adventist Church, has put a lot of emphasis on the remnant theme.[21]

Further tenets of the church:

  • The One True Church of the Bible is made up of only "sold-out" disciples who hold to the correct beliefs, including water baptism by immersion for the forgiveness of sins.
  • The Evangelization of all Nations in one Generation
  • The Bible is the Word of God, perfect, and the basis of church authority.
  • Members must be "sold-out," completely committed disciples
  • "Be silent were the Bible speaks, speak where the Bible is silent."
  • The church is led by a Central Leadership. Local congregations have an overseeing evangelist, with a worldwide organization. Every church pays a tax to cover the overheads of the top leadership group, the World Sector Council.

The full outline of basic beliefs are available for study in the church's published doctrinal guide, called "First Principles."[22]

Meetings and ministries[edit]

The ICC has several main meetings: Sunday worship, the World Missions Jubilee, and the Global Leadership Conference (GLC), as well as the Spanish-language Latin ministry (Ministerio Latino).

Sunday worship services are held every week with singing, prayer, communion, contribution for ministry expenses, contribution for benevolence, sermon, announcements, and fellowship. Once or more times a year there is another contribution, the "Special Contribution," which is typically a multiple of 15-21 times the regular weekly contribution. This "Special Contribution" is taken up to fund missions and additional ministry expenses. Great emphasis is placed on each member reaching his or her goals of regular and sacrificial financial giving.

The International College of Christian Ministry (ICCM) is the internal "university" of the ICC. Credits are gained through hours spent leading Bible Talks amongst other study courses, so it is not accredited, but the ICCM can award symbolic Bachelor, Masters and Doctorate Degrees in the ICC's Ministry. Though these degrees would not be recognised anywhere else.[23]

The Global Leadership Conference (GLC) is an annual conference for members in leadership roles or those who aspire to leadership within the church.[24]

The World Missions Jubilee is a semi-annual conference of all of the congregations from around the world and all members are strongly encouraged to attend. Heavy fundraising usually takes place leading up to this conference to help pay for the many conference expenses as well as ministry compensation and expenses.

"Ministerio Latino" is Spanish for "Latin ministry" and are Spanish-speaking groups within some ICC churches.[25]


The ICC runs and helps fund several organizations that organize charitable work, publishing, religious education and the dissemination of church news.

MERCY Worldwide[edit]

Founded in 2008 and based on HOPE Worldwide, Maximizing Efforts for Relief Care and Youth (MERCY), is the benevolent arm of the church and organizes charitable events. Currently Nick & Denise Bordieri serve as Executive Director[26] and Executive Vice President.[27] Some of the events run by MERCY include: an international toy drive[28] and a blood drive across the US in partnership with the Red Cross.[29] MERCY Worldwide recently acquired the Workforce Developer Network of Chicago, a network of over 35 agencies throughout Chicago that works to find jobs for people with mental disabilities.[30]

Discipleship Media[edit]

Discipleship Media (DM) is the nascent publishing arm of the ICC and currently publishes "First Principles" church booklets written by church founder Kip McKean.

Good News Network[edit]

The Good News Network (GNN) is the film-making arm of the ICC, and has produced the short film, Eyes Wide Open and "Respect".

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Crown of Thorns Project Update". Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  2. ^ – Get Your Answers Here!
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c Roger Lamb and the Disciples Today Editorial Advisory Board. "Kip McKean Starts The International Christian Churches". Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Brothers the ICOC. "Brothers' Letter to Kip McKean". Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  6. ^ Brothers the ICOC. "Brothers' Statement to Kip McKean". Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  7. ^ "Kip McKean resigns as head of ICOC". Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  8. ^ Timothy R. Callahan, "Boston movement' founder quits,", Christianity Today, posted 3/1/2003 (accessed December 16, 2013)
  9. ^ a b Brothers from the ICOC (4 November 2005). "Brothers' Statement to Kip McKean 4 November 2005". Disciples Today. Retrieved 6 May 2012. .
  10. ^ "Portland Breaks with McKean. Extends the Hand of Fellowship to the ICOC". Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  11. ^ "Portland Becoming a Popular Destination". Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ "City Of Angels International Christian Church (ICC) Blog". Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  14. ^ " - Get Your Answers Here!". Kip McKean. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  15. ^ Kip McKean, website, March 8, 2014
  16. ^ "HotNews Response to Raul Moreno ICC Editorial". Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  17. ^ "City of Angels International Christian Church » A Member of the SoldOut Discipling Movement » ACEDIA – THE FORGOTTEN SIN". City of Angels International Christian Church. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  18. ^ "WORLDWIDE: ICOC PLANTS 98 NEW CHURCHES SINCE 2003". Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  19. ^ Raul Moreno, "Bringing in the Remnant", 2013 Global Leadership Conference [1]
  20. ^ "Acts 20:30". Bible Gateway. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  21. ^ "Beliefs". Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  22. ^
  23. ^ "City Of Angels International Christian Church (ICC) Blog". Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  24. ^ "Report: 2012 Global Leadership Conference – Chosen". Washington DC International Christian Church. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  25. ^ "City Of Angels International Christian Church (ICC) Blog". Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  26. ^ "Nick Bordieri". MERCYWORLDWIDE. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  27. ^ "Denise Bordieri – Contact - MERCYWORLDWIDE". MERCYWORLDWIDE. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  28. ^ "TOY DRIVE". MERCYWORLDWIDE. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  29. ^ "BLOOD DRIVE". MERCYWORLDWIDE. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  30. ^ "Workforce Developer Network Finds Jobs for 101 People with Disabilities, Gets Acquired by MERCYWORLDWIDE". MERCYWORLDWIDE. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 

External links[edit]