KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The worship music, throbbing soft-rock appeals
performed by live bands, has continued here without pause, day and
night, since May 1999. Voices calling to Jesus or pleading with God to
victims or make Congress ban abortion resound in an auditorium that is the physical and spiritual heart of the International House of Prayer, a Christian ministry rapidly blossoming into a movement.
Founded 12 years ago by Mike Bickle, a self-trained evangelical pastor,
with a group of 20, the International House of Prayer, in a former strip
mall, now draws tens of thousands of worshipers to its revival
meetings. A wholly devoted cadre of 1,000 staff members, labeled
missionaries, have given up careers to move here, living off donations
and spending several hours a day in the prayer hall to revel in what
they describe as direct communication with God. Another thousand
students attend the adjacent Bible college, preparing to spread this
fervent brand of Christianity.
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