Top of the Week: Megachurch Scandal Erupts at Iconic Gathering

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Charisma Media Staff

Following are snippets of the top stories posted over the past week on We encourage you to visit the links to read the stories in full.

Megachurch Scandal Erupts at Iconic Gathering

James River Church stirred up quite the controversy at their men’s conference that took place late last week.

This happened during the Stronger Men’s Conference at James River Church after a performance by a swordsman prompted prominent ministry leader Mark Driscoll to make a statement about spiritual entities plaguing the church.

The swordsman performance by Alex Magala stirred up this controversy after he removed his shirt and ascended up a pole for his performance, sword in mouth.

‘A True General of the Lord’: Evangelist Jerry Savelle Dies at 76

Renowned charismatic evangelist, pastor and author Dr. Jerry Savelle died Monday, April 15, at age 76, as announced by his ministry, Jerry Savelle Ministries International. He and his wife, Carolyn, were founding pastors of the Heritage of Faith Christian Center in Crowley, Texas, where his ministry is based.

His ministry posted the announcement of his death on its website as well as on social media channels:

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Reports: IHOPKC to Close Amid Ogoing Bickle Scandal

Recent reports indicate International House of Prayer Kansas City (IHOPKC) will close amid the sexual and spiritual abuse scandal involving founder Mike Bickle.

A recording from IHOP University an internal email from IHOPU President Matt Candler refer to the closing, according to The Roys Report. The recording reveals that the ministry is losing hundreds of thousands of dollars a month, partly due to the many donors closely connected to Bickle.

“We began to accrue some pretty significant financial challenges, with our expenses outpacing our revenues by about $500,000 a month… with no end in sight,” IHOPKC Forerunner Church Pastor Isaac Bennett says.

UPDATE: Lindell and Driscoll Reconcile as Sword Swallower Responds

Mark Driscoll and John Lindell have reconciled following controversy at the Stronger Men’s Conference.

During the conference, Driscoll called out the spirit of Jezebel for being present due to sword swallower Alex Magala’s performance where he removed his shirt and climbed up a pole.

Lindell called Driscoll off of the stage, and the two of them spoke in private. Following this discussion, the two came back to address the matter.

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John Lindell Calls for Mark Driscoll to Repent

John Lindell is calling on Mark Driscoll to repent.

Following the controversy that ensued last week at the Stronger Men’s Conference, John Lindell is now asking Mark Driscoll to repent as he releases new information and personal communication between Driscoll and the Lindell family.

In his message to James River Church, Lindell addressed the faith of Alex Magala, the sword swallower performer whose performance at the Stronger Men’s Conference has been at the center of the entire controversy.

‘Mandisa Is Home’: Grammy-Winning Christian Artist Mandisa Dies at 47

Mandisa Lynn Hundley, the Christian singer-songwriter and “American Idol” finalist known professionally as Mandisa, has died in her Nashville, Tennessee, home at age 47, according to multiple reports.

Born in California, the platinum-selling artist and five-time Grammy nominee rose to fame when she responded with grace to “American Idol” judge Simon Cowell’s critique following her Season 5 performance. She finished in the top 10 and in 2007, released her first album, “True Beauty.” In 2014, she won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Christian Music album for her iconic release, “Overcomer.”

K-LOVE, one of the first outlets to break the news of her death, posted the following on social media platform X:

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