Kansas City's MANY Lost Revivals

from Doug Perry - 8/19/2006 - www.FellowshipoftheMartyrs.com

Andrew Strom does a good job of documenting what happened with Mike Bickle (here), but I think people need to understand that God has been trying to get something started here for at least a hundred and fifty years!!  When I started looking back at all of the amazing opportunities that God has offered to Kansas City, it boggles the mind how we could screw it up so many times!

There have been prophets and anointed men of God being sent here to restore the Body of Christ and bring in revival for a LONG time. I'm not a historian and I don't like taking a lot of time to look back when we need to be moving forward, but let me just say this, I believe as far back as Joseph Smith in the 1840's God was trying to do something in Kansas City. I DO NOT believe that the Mormons today are anything but a cult. (But, if you're Mormon, please don't be offended, I think everything other than the Church Jesus Christ intended is a cult and NONE of the denominations we have are what Jesus intended.)  But I can't get around the fact that God told Joseph Smith not to join ANY of the churches because none of them were what God wanted and that he was to restore the true church. AND what he was told to do was a City Church. It was in Zion, Missouri and it was inter-racial, it was full of "Book of Acts" types of sharing and caring and community, and miracles were abundant (for awhile). As you would expect with any move of God, persecution was abundant as well. Somewhere along the way, Smith got too full of himself, he started hearing other voices, he had visitations from things that weren't God and it all spun out of control. But I've read enough to know that SOME of what he heard definitely WAS from God. How do I know for sure? Because a WHOLE BUNCH of the people sent to Kansas City since then to restore the Body of Christ heard practically the same things - including me.  But the Mormons made up their own extra stuff, made an idol of the founder, built a heirarchy, spun out of control and now they are a denomination like all the others. (Sorry if you don't like it. But you're not any different.)

In the 1840's God sent Joseph Smith to LIBERTY, Missouri to get a "time out" and spend some time with the Lord trying to get his head straightened out. Some of the stuff he heard in prison is remarkably lucid and nearly exactly the stuff other restorers have heard since then. I don't argue that he wasn't a prophet of God. I believe he was, but he got all mangled up, heard other voices, made up his own denomination and temple worship and it spun out of control. But God sent him to the Kansas City area to restore the True Church. They just missed the mark - a lot.

I'm sure that there were HUNDREDS of people in between. Many that we will never know about until we get to heaven. Somebody with a better background in Kansas City history could fill in a lot of this.

In the 1920's the largest bible study group in America broke out in Kansas City. Businessmen were getting together at lunch for prayer and bible study and within a few months over 60,000 businessmen were gathering every day. They had to rent Municipal Auditorium to fit everybody. I've seen panoramic picture of the crowd gathered. Word of this spread all over the country. Revival and renewal was starting and it was outside the walls of the churches. And then somehow it all fizzled.

In the 1970's there was a huge gathering in Arrowhead stadium that promised to kick off the great charismatic revival in Kansas City. I have no idea why or how it fizzled, but it did.

In the 1980's God sent Mike Bickle and the Metro Christian Fellowship, Metro Vineyard, Kansas City Prophets, International House of Prayer and all the other ensued (read here). Lots of good was done. Lots of error was preached. Lots of people were sent to correct them. God gave them lots of chances. But it spun up into its own denomination.  God called Mike to restore the City Church, but Mike's vision of that was to get fifty "Spirit-filled" congregations in Kansas City reporting to HIM. That's just an autocratic pyramid like all other structures of Man and not at ALL the Biblical model. In fact, it was destined for failure and created a lot of hurts and deep wounds and suspicion that remain to this day. Now Mike has got hundreds of House of Prayer centers all over the world - ALL of them praying for revival in Kansas City! That can ONLY be a good thing. But it's not going to start with Mike Bickle - he missed his chance to be the ignition point. A big giant chunk of all the excesses and craziness in the charismatic movement worldwide can be traced back to the 1980's in Kansas City. If God sends an angel and a comet and tells you that BILLIONS of people are going to be reached with the gospel and revival will start and spread all over the world and completely change the understanding and worship of God in one generation - and you make it about YOU and your conferences and DVD's and books, then you can be sure God is going to turn you over to the worst kind of deceptions and the weight of your own sinful nature will crush you like a bug.

In the mid-1990's Mike Bickle's group hosted a prophetic conference in downtown Kansas City where noted prophet Mahesh Chavda was on stage and said that he was told there was a town nearby named Liberty and that "where the Spirit of God is, there is Liberty" and that the promised Kansas City revival would start in Liberty.  Nobody seems to have done anything about it at the time.

Eventually God called Andrew Strom to Kansas City from New Zealand to bring revival. One of the big things that got Andrew's attention and fascinated him about Kansas City were these promises to Mike Bickle and all that God had done to try to get something going here. So you could say that Mike Bickle raised up Andrew Strom to replace him. Like Moses and Joshua - if you screw it up, He will make you hand it off to somebody else that will take them into the Promised Land. God put a burden on Andrew's heart and for years ahead of time prepared him as a student of revivals. Andrew came. Was here for about three years (I think). Andrew and I met. Andrew prayed for me and I got fully charged up - and I will forever be grateful for that. He didn't know it, but Andrew raised up his own backup. Then Andrew wouldn't receive correction and made it too much about him.  So a few weeks ago God had Andrew rotate out and sent him to Wisconsin.

In November of 2004, when Andrew (and others) prayed for me, God placed a burden and call on me to restore the Body of Christ and bring revival to Kansas City. It wasn't until the summer of 2005 that I started to understand what that meant and how, that the need for the City Church was revealed to me and a method for it.

In fact, Andrew was responsible (directly or indirectly) for raising up people before me. I know of at least TWO men in line between Andrew and I that misfired before they hardly even got off the ground. There are others, I'm sure, that never heard the call at all, that dismissed it almost immediately, that wouldn't give up something, whatever. What they don't understand is that if they were SUPPOSED to do it and refused, the blood of BILLIONS may be on their head.

When you set your hand to do something as large as bring revival to a city, especially a city where so many have come before and where God has made such huge promises of its worldwide impact, you have to know that the spiritual warfare against you will be MASSIVE.  Against your family, your money, your reputation, your health, your commitment, everything.  And I admit that I have not been able to hold it together either. I confess it publicly and I'm sorry for the missed opportunities and false starts. I believe we could already have this show on the road by now if I had done certain things that the Lord told me to do. I am PERSONALLY responsible for thousands of people that didn't get healed, didn't get saved, didn't get delivered, and may never come into the Kingdom. I get that. Believe me, I get it really good. I've seen them. God and I are square on that, but I want to publicly acknowledge that I screwed it up royally. I hurt a lot of people. I totally underestimated the warfare that would come and I overestimated my ability to hear God and obey in every circumstance.

But as of this writing, I'm still believing that my God of second chances is working with me and hoping to redeem me. At the moment anyway, I'm still believing that we're getting down to the wire and He wants this really bad and He hasn't lifted His hand off of me yet.

I know that this whole thing sounds SUPREMELY prideful. I don't mean to knock any of the guys that have gone before. This is like pushing a giant boulder uphill and it's only by the grace of God and in His strength that it's possible. I've been told that I was not the first choice for this job, but others wouldn't answer the call. For whatever reason, I did and I mean it and I'm not backing down or giving up until either Liberty and Kansas City are ablaze with the fires of revival and restoration or God lifts His hand off of me and tells me I've missed it for the last time.

Please let me share what I've learned - it came at a great cost. 

The City Church is the only answer. Not the giant, bloated, autocratic Apostolic Restoration of C. Peter Wagner where everybody reports to a handful of Super Apostles that boss everybody around. That is supremely dangerous and not at all in the Bible. But autonomous, self-supporting, self-policing, self-disciplining City Churches will work and is the new wineskin that is coming.

Repentance is the key. Until we cry out for mercy for how badly we've messed this all up and how many chances we've thrown away, until we weep and mourn for the sad state of things and humble ourselves, He is NOT going to turn. Read Joel. That's the recipe. And you can get together once every week or two behind your church walls, sitting in your comfy chairs with people that like you and pray for revival all you want, but that's just NOT humbling yourself. (II Chron 7:14). If you want to get this show on the road, you get bonus points for humbling yourself in the biggest possible way. If you want to light a fire FAST, let's go pray face down, weeping on the sidewalk in Westport or the Plaza or on every street corner. He WILL NOT revive you until you say you are sorry for being the kind of people that need reviving!  He WILL NOT give you a fresh fire until you say you're sorry for all the times He's given it to you before and YOU BLEW IT OUT!

The Lord has been saying to me for almost two years:

"I WILL fulfill My promise to Kansas City. Don't get in My way!"

As soon as we stop getting in His way, He will come and it will not look like ANYTHING we could ever imagine. 

I'm believing it's almost here. I'm seeing it start and I'm seeing fires get lit. I'm not going on the record saying it was about me!  I screwed it up worse than all of them. I heard Him really well and still didn't obey. It's only by His grace that I'm not already dead or in jail. (Lots of the people before me went that way.)

I'm saying this publicly just so that it can be on the record. At this point I really have nothing else to lose. Either I'm going to hold it together and God will fulfill His promises to me (that were conditional on my obedience) OR I'm going to flame out in a giant, ugly public way. But I'm not going to be lukewarm anymore!  I believe I'm still in the game and I'm going to go full speed until I see a pillar of fire over Kansas City.

But I know that my backup is out there, probably several layers deep of them waiting in reserve.

So this is for them - If I flame out and God called you to pick up the pieces of what's left behind me, please hear me. Be holy, be pure, don't back down, listen VERY carefully and OBEY ALL THE WAY!  If God's calling you to do ANYTHING and you don't do it, you really can't imagine what the potential consequences are going to be.  LOTS of people are depending on you following orders. This is a war. It's not about YOU!  When God tells you to jump, you jump WHEN He tells you, how HIGH He tells you and you stay in the air until He tells you to come down! THAT is obedience. Nothing less is going to work for this. Receive correction from EVERYBODY and then discard everything that doesn't sound like God - and don't love ANYTHING more than you love HIM.

I know that Mike Bickle and all that he has built will somehow play a big role in what's coming. I owe a lot to Andrew and Andrew owes a lot to Mike Bickle, so indirectly I owe Mike, too. How far back the chain goes, I have no idea. I don't want to demean or insult any of them. I believe many of them will be back to help when the time is right and they will have been humbled and broken by this whole process.  God likes doing that to people.  He's been doing it to me for awhile now and I pray He doesn't stop.

Please hear me -

If God gives you something and you don't invest it wisely and show a good return, He'll take it away from you and give it to someone else.

Please pray for Liberty and for Kansas City. Please pray for me. We're running out of time.

Doug Perry
the least of these


UPDATE - 4/28/2024

Well, it's been about 18 years since I wrote that letter above. I have some corrections that just sound even crazier - and as I reread it, the way I wrote it makes it sound like the things I did wrong were some giant secret sin or something.  The big thing that happened back then was that I was invited by Andrew Strom to speak at his "John the Baptist" conference in Olathe where over 500 serious, Jesus-loving, repentance experts gathered from around the world. He had an African pastor talking about deliverance, an ex-skin head pastor talking about prison ministry (or something, i don't remember), he was talking about needing to reign back charismania prophetic movement, and a couple other folks. I was the token business man there to talk about the abuse and misuse of finances in "churchianity" and why it needed to change. We'd talked about, that's why he wanted me there. He considered me a "baby Christian" because I'd only got the Baptism of the Holy Spirit a few months before at one of his home group meetings.

But about a month before the meeting I was at my house in my prayer sauna and I asked the Lord what HE wanted me to say. Immediately this wailing, travailing cry came out of me and I saw myself on stage on my knees crying out to God, weeping and repenting for all the fraud and waste and abuse and selfishness in churchianity, for the part we'd played in building it, for not putting a stop to it. It went on and on, pouring out of me for about thirty minutes. When it was over and I wiped my eyes and the long string of snot reaching to the floor and said, "Oh, God! Nobody will be able to stand under that! They'll all be wrecked on the floor!" And He said, "Exactly, that's what I want."

As the day for the conference approached, Andrew told me again what I should and shouldn't talk about. When it came time, I talked about all the stuff he didn't want me to talk about, none of the stuff he did want me to talk about, ran way over my time, completely forgot about what the Lord told me to do, then Andrew ran me off the stage after a short prayer.  I thought it went pretty well. I got to individually minister to a lot of people and I was the only one of the speakers that booked a room in the hotel and told everyone I'd be available through for whatever they needed.

A couple of days after the conference Andrew calls me at my business and says, "Brother, that was the most childish, wrong-headed, immature thing I've ever seen." He was loaded for bear and ready for a fight (he'd already edited me off of the conference recordings).  I know enough to know when somebody about to grieve God, so I said, "Look, we're not going to have this talk right now. We're going to take 24 hours and we're both going to pray and then we'll try again. I'll give you all the time you want tomorrow, but I'm going to go to God first." Unhappily, he agreed.

I went home that night, got everybody to bed and then I was alone in my office and I prayed, "Lord, is he right? Did I do wrong at the conference? I thought it went OK."  Then like a flood the Lord reminds me of the one and only thing that HE told me I was supposed to do - hit my knees and weep in front of them like Jeremiah.  And instead I talked about me and all kinds of other stuff instead - and burnt bridges with Andrew and hurt the relationship.  And even though it wasn't what Andrew wanted, if I had obeyed God and everybody was on their faces weeping, Andrew would have seen the fruit and been totally happy with it.  The Lord said, "This was a repentance conference where I gathered 500 of the biggest guns I could from all over the world and NONE OF YOU got up there and repented! YOU were the one I sent to do that - and IF you had done it there would have been a pillar of fire over the Holiday Inn in Olathe and the Kansas City revival would have started. But because you didn't, ALL the blood of whoever would have been saved or healed or delivered is on YOUR HEAD - from now until the pillar of fire DOES show up." That's when I crawled under my desk, shaking and weeping - and stayed there for several hours begging for mercy.

The next day when Andrew called me to tell me how wrong I'd been, the Lord said to take it like a lamb to the slaughter and shut up. There was nothing he could say that was worse then what God had already said. If I even tried to point out what Andrew had done wrong, the Lord slapped my mouth shut. So I listened on the phone for two and half hours while Andrew yelled at me, without ever disagreeing with him. He even commented on how he'd never seen anybody take a rebuke as well as I did.

So that's the context for the confessions above.

But ... there's this other crazy thing. Soon after I wrote the letter above the Lord said to me, "I don't want you to get prideful about this. You're not my first choice to bring revival to Kansas City. You're the backup of the backup of the backup - but we're running out of time, there's nobody else in line behind you and you couldn't screw it up if you tried."  And I've held on to that promise with a white-knuckle death grip at times when everything looked horrible. But we're still standing, the snowball is still rolling and God is still blessing in amazing ways.  A giant searchlight from here has been spinning around like a lighthouse and attracting people here. Now we have a 40 acre teaching farm and retreat center with a 20 acre cave under it, ten mobile homes, a giant community storehouse warehouse to collect and distribute needed items, a thrift store, a food pantry and more. We've given away over 7 million pound of food, one minivan load at a time. We've housed hundreds of people in need over the last 18 years. I've written 8 books that are free on the website and over 2500 videos on YouTube.  More then that, God lit the lampstand in Liberty, Missouri - and more are burning all over the country.  Revival started in Kansas City and people are getting to the fire of holiness. 

It doesn't look like what people want. It's not frenetic like World Revival Church (or whatever they're calling themselves now). It's not 24/7 "idle worship" like IHOPKC. It's not about feelings or manifestations or music.  But people are loving like Christ, washing feet, serving the least of these. We have a thrift store that regularly just makes people cry spontaneously when they walk in. We have a "Free Room" where you can just take whatever you need. We have "church" in the thrift store on Thursday nights for people that refuse to go into a "steeple house" anymore - but they like US.  And I'm just describing what God is doing right this minute - not all the amazing miracles over the last 18 years.

So here's the thing, I believe the restoration of the Bride is coming. I believe that He's given us some revelation about what it's going to take that you won't find anywhere else. I'm constantly amazed by the people He's gathering here and how shiny and pre-prepared they are. I wish He'd let you come see it and hear all the stories!

So the good news is, I believe He already started the Kansas City revival. I believe we're changing the understanding and expression of Christianity in this generation. It's about holiness, faith, prayer and extravagant giving to the poor - and the city church. It's about Romans 12:1-2, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." It's about Isaiah 58, extending your soul to the thirsty soul and YOU will be a well watered garden with springs that never fail - and restore the ancient foundations. It's about teaching people to hear God and obey Him all the way.

I'd love to tell you more. I guess you could watch the videos and see our whole journey. We're a LONG way from over and it's the greatest adventure ride EVER. Pretty soon I think EVERYONE will have heard of little Liberty, Missouri and what's happening for God in Kansas City.  All we have to do is get out of His way.

2 Corinthians 3:17 - Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is LIBERTY.








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