Archive for the ‘ Sabbatical ’ Category

Guest post DUDE2037
Original Article

Kip’s new site links to two versions of recent ICC History:

Revolution thru Restoration: Part III (written by Kip posted in summer 2003) AND

Ron Harding’s on (which was vetted by Kip before being posted
in 2010).

There seems to be a contradiction, or a rewriting of history going on regarding Kip’s resignation in November 2002 at the end of his one-year sabbatical, and announced by Kip at the November 2002 Long Beach Unity Conference.


Version One:

In the 2003 RTRIII, Kip paints his resignation as a noble, sacrifice of sorts, where he freely and willingly does so for the overall unity and good of the Movement (and with no mention of his leadership sins or any deficiencies in the previous 20-odd years, or his family problems). There was arguing and dissension among the worldwide leadership, and Kip just wanted everybody to, as Rodney King put it…”Can’t we all just get along?”

Here it is:

“There was a growing conviction that the missing element was a lack of a strong elders’ presence in our lives. By the end of the summer, from many quarters came a call to change the governance of our churches. Thinking that stepping down would help unite the leaders and eliminate criticism and bitterness, Elena and I chose to step down the first night of the Unity Meeting in LA in November, 2002.”


Version Two:

In Ron Harding’s 2010 (Kip-vetted) “‘BIOGRAPHY OF KIP McKEAN” version, Kip is “forced” through “shame” into doing so against his will by conniving, conspiring leaders who are jealous and covetous of the power they will then steal from Kip and take for themselves.

Check it out:

“Since the New Testament does not explicitly have the term World Sector Leaders, the Kingdom Elders and Kingdom Teachers swayed the rest of the leaders of the ICOC at the Long Beach Unity Meeting in November 2002, to completely dissolve the structured, central leadership. In shame, McKean and the World Sector Leaders who had not yet stepped down were forced to resign their roles at the Long Beach Unity Meeting.

“Here, they also introduced their ‘Mainline doctrines’ of ‘consensus leadership’ and elders having authority over the very evangelists that appointed them. In the Kingdom Elders’ and Kingdom Teachers’ lessons and local meetings, they viciously attacked the ‘hierarchical structure of the ICOC,’ in which they were subordinated to McKean and the World Sector Leaders…

“At the forefront of this rebellion was Andy Fleming, the leader of the Kingdom Teachers, and Scott Green, who were both World Sector Leaders with a Mainline background. Fleming and Green, alongside Gordon Ferguson, Doug Jacoby and Sam Laing – Kingdom Teachers – as well as Wyndham Shaw and Bruce Williams – Kingdom Elders – began a focused effort to teach against the Biblical concept of a central leadership with a central leader for God’s people, thus returning the ICOC to the ‘Mainline theology of autonomy.’

“Spear-heading the plan in the LA ICOC was Bruce Williams… Williams – heightened in his influence by the support of his fellow elder in the LA ICOC Al Baird, who had been a World Sector Leader – traveled throughout the six county area of metropolitan LA, teaching the people that it was McKean’s personality, his “militaristic style of leadership,” and his inability to lead his own family that was the demise of our churches…

“Later Williams and Baird, alongside former World Sector Leaders Marty Fuqua and Peter Garcia of LA, would perpetuate an unprecedented move. These men swayed those who held positions on the Board of Directors to use the authority given to them by the “laws of the United States” to supersede the “laws of the Scriptures” and force out the leader that even they for years had wholeheartedly agreed was “God’s man” – placed in authority by God to lead His movement and maintain unity… “


Version Three:

Here’s the kicker (and it actually should be called VERSION ONE, if these were listed chronologically). It’s Kip’s actual resignation speech / letter that he delivered to the Long Beach Unity conference in November 2002. I’m sure Kip wishes he could wipe this off the Internet history books. (It’s on the New Covenant website)

NOTE: there’s no reference to Kip being “forced” into doing so by a conspiracy of power-hungry leaders, or to his being reluctant to resign; there’s no description of Kip altruistically giving up power out of a noble motivation to help maintain “unity” in the movement; neither is their any mention of the evil influence of Mainline philosophy corrupting the movement (that Kip and his current underlings always claims occurred at this meeting, and that continues to this day).

His reasons are well… that he has been a real jerk… both as a religious leader, as well as a husband / father. Given the two Version’s above, what follows is pretty compelling reading. For God’s sake, he’s practically grovelling on his knees in a way he never has, either before or since: (this VERSION of Kip has definitely left the building in recent years).

Here it is:

“However this hour is personally a time of tears. God through His Word, through circumstances and through true brothers has made it clear that my leadership in recent years has damaged both the Kingdom and my family. My biggest sin is arrogance – thinking I am always right, not listening to the counsel of my brothers, and not seeking discipling for my life, ministry and family. I have not followed Jesus’ example of humility in leadership.

“Other sins manifested themselves through my anger. My anger has often shut people down and, worse yet, fostered an environment where people were afraid to speak up.

“Additionally, I failed to build strong, mutually helpful relationships. I did not respect those whose leadership gifts could have complimented my own. I was insensitive to the needs of weaker Christians and churches. I also caused some to operate from wrong motives and others to stumble because I focused more on numeric goals than on pleasing God. To my shame I allowed myself to be glorified more than calling everyone to give God all the glory.

“Since there are character sins, they surfaced in my family as well as in the church. Therefore, because I have so severely failed God and His movement, I have decided to resign as World Missions Evangelist and leader of the world sector leaders.

“I would like to apologize to all the Christians in all the churches for the things I have done that have tempted some to drift from God. I take full responsibility for how my sins have spiritually weakened and embittered many in our churches. I also take full responsibility for the spiritual condition of my family. I have pleaded with God to forgive my many sins and I deeply desire your forgiveness as well. I am very, very sorry.

“I want to thank all my brothers and sisters in the Kingdom for your support over the years; you have given so much of your lives and time to help build the Kingdom and encourage my family. I am extremely grateful for the Bairds and Gempels who have counseled and when necessary, rebuked Elena and me during the past year. I am very appreciative of the leadership in the Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston churches, as they have made many efforts to spiritually strengthen my family. Elena and I are especially grateful for Steve and Lisa Johnson, Russ and Gail Ewell, Bruce and Robyn Williams, Peter and Laura Garcia and Sam and Geri Lang. They have been invaluable advisors in these difficult days. We also are grateful to God for the leaders in the South Region of the Los Angeles church who has given us a new and comforting and spiritual home.

“Please pray for me that someday these tears, which are no longer shed in self-pity but because I have hurt God and his people, will give birth to a joyous harvest of righteousness.”


As we all know, there no “giving birth to a joyous harvest of righteousness”.   (Geez, mix metaphors much?)

Instead, he went right back to his old ways.




  • World Sector Leaders response to McKean sabbatical
  • November 11, 2001 – LA Worship Service Transcript, McKean speaks about the sabbatical
  • November – The McKeans step down from leading the LA Church of Christ to take a sabbatical and work on family issues