History of the Indianapolis Church of Christ split

History of the Indianapolis Church of Christ split

    This history was written by Roger Hendricks, Senior Zone Leader of the Indianapolis Church of Christ, with the help and collaboration of other members of the Indianapolis Church of Christ/ Circle City Church of Christ who were present at the time these things were happening.

January 6, 1992:
Kip McKean informs all lead evangelists that he is now serving as the lead evangelist of the Los Angeles Church of Christ. Any information concerning only the Los Angeles Church should be addressed to Kip McKean.

April 1992:
Kip McKean writes and publishes the article “Revolution through Restoration” in Upside Down magazine.

December 23, 1992:
Los Angeles administrator, Tom McCurry sends a memo to the Midwest informing the Midwest Churches of the Special Contribution goals, Special Contribution dates, UpsideDown Magazine monthly subscription amounts and HOPE Worldwide monthly amounts by church.

July 22, 1993:
Kip McKean informs Ed Powers and all other lead evangelists in “movement” that a new name has been chosen for the “movement” – International Churches of Christ (ICC).

August 11-15, 1993:
Ed and Bobbie Powers and Roger and Jayne Hendricks attend the World Missions Leadership Conference in Los Angeles, California. Ed and Roger are troubled by the tone of the conference. Kip makes some very strong statements regarding his role in “God’s modern day movement”. He calls himself, “God’s man” leading “God’s movement”. He also outlines “Sound Doctrine” regarding “Wine, Women and Song” to be taught in all the churches. He also explains the new role of a “Teacher” in the movement.

September 27, 1993:
Ed and Bobbie Powers attend a meeting for all Evangelist and wives, Elders and wives of the U.S West Sector. This is a meeting with “required attendance”.

November 15, 1993:
The Administrative policies for the International Churches of Christ are published by the Los Angeles Church with approval by World Sector Leaders. The Church guidelines contain detailed policies for each of the churches, the definitions of roles in the ICC and the leadership succession of the World Sector Leaders and the Leader of the movement, the Leader of the World Sector Leaders. Additional revisions to the administrative guidelines for the Churches are also included in the appendix.

November 22, 1993:
The Chicago Church of Christ adminstrator informs the midwest churches that the Special Contribution multiplier to be sent to L.A. is now 14.5 times. He also informs that the Kingdom Administration support will now be 3 per cent of the congregations contribution.

December 10, 1993:
The Operations Manager of Upside Down magazine notifies the Indianapolis Church of Christ that it has been determined that the Indianapolis Church will pay the magazine $1,522 per month to provide “positive press” to the members of the ICC.

December 30 & 31, 1993:
The entire staff of the Indianapolis Church of Christ and the majority of the Bible Talk Leaders attend the Midwest leadership retreat sponsored by the Chicago Church of Christ. The staff of the Indianapolis Church of Christ are as follows: Ed and Bobbie Powers; Andy and Leslie Lawyer; Roger and Jayne Hendricks; Greg and Jennifer Edwards; Ryan and Angela Polk; Todd and Patty Asaad; Neal and Krista Daunhauer; Homer and Mary Schmucker; Rick Farkas; Ronda Henze; Brad Hammersley; Anne Hanni (unpaid).

December 31, 1993:
The Indianapolis Church of Christ ends the year with 734 members growing by 62 members.

January 9, 1994:
The Indianapolis Church of Christ begins to send weekly statistical reports to the Chicago Church of Christ evaluating growth; attendance; contribution; etc. by zone. This reporting is done by Ron Drabot the Chicago Church of Christ lead evangelist.

During the month of January 1994:
The Chicago Church of Christ (Bryon and Laurie Parsons) ask for the Asaads to move to Chicago and help lead the South zone of the Chicago Church of Christ. Todd is given the choice to go to Chicago or stay in Indianapolis from Ed Powers. He decides to go after prayer, advice and tears. Todd states in a staff meeting that one of the reasons that his decision was so difficult was the close relationship he shared with Ed. Ed Powers is also told by the Los Angeles Church that he is to send two members from the Indianapolis Church to be members of the South Central Los Angeles’ Cross and Switchblade ministry.

January 30, 1994:
We ask for volunteers to move to Los Angeles to be in the South Central Cross and Switchblade ministry. Only one person is interested enough to attend a meeting at Chicago that next weekend. That person is not accepted on the team, because of his weight. Chicago is required to send people in our place. We are required in turn to later send two people to Chicago to replace them.

February 1?, 1994:
Brad Hammerlsey decides to resign his staff position to go back to school to pursue a career in Medicine.

February 4, 1994:
The World Sector Leaders write the Evangelization Proclamation which is published in the Los Angeles Church of Christ Bulletin distributed on February 6, 1994 in Los Angeles.

February 4-6, 1994:
Ed and Bobbie Powers attend the Evangelist meeting in Los Angeles.

February 6, 1994:
Todd Asaad preaches his farewell sermon. It is announced that Keith and Carol Dickens, Lisa Camarata, and Mike King will all be put on staff. (Keith and Carol Dickens begin being on staff on February 6, 1994. Lisa Camarata and Mike King begin being on staff on February 6, 1994)

February 7, 1994:
Ed Powers hurts back – spends week studying scriptures and developing convictions regarding some of the Church’s practices.

February 13 & 20, 1994:
Ed Powers preaches two sermons titled: “The Greatest Commandment” (Part 1 and Part 2).

February 15, 1994:
The staff meeting is an open forum to discuss the staff’s feeling towards the statistics and record keeping. The staff is in agreement that the statistics are choking love and joy of ministry from heart.

February 20, 1994:
Congregational Bible Talk Leaders meeting at the church building in Castleton. Ed Powers leads a discussion on the sermons of the past two weeks. He also discusses the difference between unity and uniformity in Romans 14. Many leaders share their frustration with leading a Bible Talk in the past and abuses that have occurred in the past.

February 22, 1994:
Kip McKean reminds the lead evangelists in the ICC that they were asked to read the Evangelization Proclamation to all the Churches.

Following staff meeting on Tuesday and the lunch that followed. Roger and Jayne Hendricks ask to speak to Ed and Bobbie Powers regarding the congregational leaders meeting on February 20th. Roger expresses his agreement with the teaching on the 20th, but he is concerned where this teaching will lead us in regard to the leaders of the ICC. He asks where Ed is headed with this teaching. Ed answers “that he does not know where he is headed but he must begin to teach what is right” .

Later that afternoon, Ed calls Roger back and informs him that he is calling a meeting for the following individuals on staff: Andy Lawyer, Greg Edwards, Ryan Polk and Roger Hendricks at 9:30pm. Ed shares with the men present that he has come to a decision that he needs to take action concerning his convictions that he has been preaching during the month of February. He views his options as follows: to resign his position as an evangelist and call Chicago to ask them to replace him; to call Marty Fuqua and/or Ron Drabot and share his convictions (to be listed later) and face the possibility of being fired and replaced without the Church ever knowing the reason for his dismissal; to continue to teach his convictions and wait for Chicago or Los Angeles to hear about the teaching and face a confrontation; or to have a congregational meeting communicate his convictions (to be listed later), ask the congregation for a show of support through a vote, and then call Marty Fuqua with the congregations convictions (It is important to note that the staff would resign if the congregation was not in favour of convictions). He told the men who were assembled that night that he believed the last option was the best plan of action, but he would not proceed without unanimous support from the men present. He said that if there was one dissenter that he would resign and ask Chicago to replace him with another evangelist. The four principles are as follows:

    1. Policy and Doctrine should not be legislated from Los Angeles.
    2. The ICC are not the only ones saved.
    3. Giving should not be under compulsion.
    4. Legalistic system is robbing Christians of joy (ie statistics, special contribution goals)

Andy, Greg, and Ryan said that they were in total agreement with the four principles mentioned and that they approved of the plan of action. Roger stated that although he agreed with the principles that he was not ready to agree to the plan of action. He stated that he needed more time to decide. Ed asked for his decision as soon as possible. Roger said that he would take a day to study, pray and fast concerning the decision.

February 23, 1994:
Roger takes a complete day to study and pray concerning the above stated plan. He reads scriptures, Cecil Hook’s Free in Christ, and listens to Russ Ewell’s speech in August of 1993 (The Emperor with No Clothes). Later on the 23rd, Roger calls Ed and tells him that he is in agreement with the plan that he proposed on the 22nd.

February 24, 1994:
Ed Powers receives a memorandum from Marty Fuqua regarding the March 1-4 US West Training Classes for Midwest Evangelists.

All members of the Indianapolis congregation are called to be informed of a very important congregational meeting on Sunday Evening, February 27th at 6:30pm. The remainder of the staff are informed that there will be a staff meeting on February 26th.

February 26, 1994:
A staff meeting is held at (approx) 4pm at the Powers’ home to discuss the four principles mentioned above and the plan of action. The following people are present: Ed and Bobbie Powers; Andy and Leslie Lawyer, Roger and Jayne Hendricks; Greg and Jennifer Edwards; Ryan and Angela Polk; Neal and Krista Daunhauer; Homer and Mary Schmucker; Rick Farkas; Ronda Henze; Anne Hanni, Keith and Carol Dickens, Lisa Camarata and Mike King. Again Ed emphasized that the staff needed to be unanimous in support for him to proceed with the plan of action. The entire staff was in agreement with the plan and principles presented.

February 27, 1994:
The congregation met in house churches throughout central Indiana in the morning. The congregation met at 6:30pm at the church building in Castleton for a congregational meeting. Ed presented his convictions listed above and asked the congregation to vote “yes” in favour of the stated convictions or “no” to oppose which would result in the staff resigning their positions. It is important to emphasize that Ed stated repeatedly through the message that the Church was committed to remaining in the International Churches of Christ, but simply asked for the freedom to observe these four stated convictions (Tapes available upon request). Prior to the vote a number of members spoke up voicing their support of the staff and the stated convictions. A vote was taken and the congregation overwhelmingly voted in favour of the staff and the stated convictions. There was only one “no” vote, six “abstained” votes and the rest were “yes” votes. The attendance was not taken that evening , but it was a crowd estimated at approximately 600 adults. The results were announced and the crowd was ecstatic and overjoyed. Immediately after the congregational meeting, Ed Powers went to the Church office in the building and called Marty Fuqua in Los Angeles. Marty did not answer the phone so Ed left a message for Marty to call him back that night. Ed and Bobbie Powers and approximately 15 other members then returned to the Powers’ home to wait for Marty’s return call.

February 28, 1994:
At approximately 12:00am Marty Fuqua returned Ed’s message. Approximately eight others were in Ed’s office during his phone conversation with Marty. Ed reported to Marty the events and results of the congergational meeting. During the conversation, Ed emphasized a number of times that the Indianapolis Church was committed to remaining in the ICC, continuing to be discipled by the Chicago Church, contributing to the World Missions Special Contribution, attending future ICC sponsored seminars, retreats and conferences, and participating in future Church plantings. Ed requested that Marty communicate that pledge of commitment to Kip McKean and the Elders of the Los Angeles Church. Ed told Marty that in view of the present circumstances in the Indianapolis Church of Christ that he would not be able to attend the US West Training Classes for the Midwest Evangelists scheduled to begin on Tuesday March 1st. Ed had previously purchased the airline tickets to travel to this scheduled event.

At approximately 3:00am a member of the Indianapolis Church of Christ received a phone call from her sister in the Los Angeles Church of Christ. She called to state that she had been notified by an Evangelist in Chicago that Ed has led the congregation to leave the ICC. By the next morning the Indianapolis Church of Christ members began to receive hundreds of phone calls from other congregations in the ICC. Members of other congregations were reporting that they had received word early Monday morning from their Evangelists that the Indianapolis Church had voted to leave the ICC.

On Monday Marty Fuqua called Ed Powers back to clarify the four principles that the congregation had approved the previous night. Marty informs Ed that he is coming into Indianapolis that week. Ed stated that he was willing to get together with Marty, but he requests Marty to have members of the ICC stop calling the members of the Indianapolis Church of Christ. Marty refuses to meet that request. Ed states that it is not in good faith for Ed to meet with Marty, if Marty refuses to stop the confusion of false misinformation. Marty does not try to persuade Ed to meet together. By Monday night the staff begins to hear rumors that other leaders of the ICC were going to begin coming into town on Tuesday to meet with members of the Indianapolis church.

Roger and Jayne Hendricks meet with Jim and Cindy Spicer on Monday night to discuss the congregational meeting on Sunday night. Jim and Cindy had both abstained in their vote and they were upset with the way Ed had handled the meeting. Roger explained in detail the reasons for the staff decision. Jim and Cindy did not communicate any disagreement with the four principles and his reasoning, but they still disagree with the way Ed handled the meeting.

March 1, 1994:
Ed Powers and the entire staff of the Indianapolis Church of Christ meet to discuss the developments of the previous day. No one on the staff has been directly contacted by Marty Fuqua, Kip McKean, World Sector Leaders, or any leaders in the Chicago Church of Christ. The staff discusses different options to handle the present situation. It is finally decided to cancel the zone meeting scheduled for the evening and call a Congregational Bible Talk Leaders Meeting at the Church building in Castleton. The staff also learns indirectly on Tuesday afternoon that the Leaders of the ICC have called a meeting on Tuesday evening to present the other side of the argument that Ed had presented to the Indianapolis Church. The Staff has still not been invited to the meeting. The majority of the Bible Talk Leaders attend the meeting and express frustration with the sequence of events and the amount of misinformation. Ed asks the Bible Talk Leaders to not attend the meeting scheduled by the Leaders of the ICC, so that the ICC leaders will know that the Church is truly united and that they will sit down to discuss the issues with the staff of the Indianapolis Church. Some of the Bible Talk Leaders voice approval of Ed’s request, but some of the Bible Talk Leaders begin to express their disagreement with the way that Ed has handled the matter. No one voices any disagreement over any of the issues that had been raised by Ed. The focus begins to shift from the issues that have been raised to the way that Ed and the staff raised the issues. The meeting ends with the Bible Talk Leaders being divided in their agreement with Ed and the staff. It is interesting to note that the entire congregation was united (with the exception of one no vote and 6 abstain votes) less than 48 hours earlier. This division developed as a result of outside influence.

March 2, 1994:
The midwest Churches are informed of the situation in Indianapolis and Ed Powers and the staff are marked as being divisive in some of the congregations.

March 3, 1994:
A meeting sponsored and led by the ICC leaders is held at the Embassy Suites Hotel in downtown Indianapolis for Indianapolis Church of Christ members “to hear the other side”. This meeting is attended by the following: over 100 members of ICC congregations outside Indianapolis, approximately 100 members of the Indianapolis Church and ICC staff members from all over the world (including Kip McKean, Marty Fuqua, Al Baird, Doug Arthur, Roger Lamb, Bob Gempel, Chris McGrath, Steve Staten, John Mannel, Todd Asaad and others). After an opening prayer by Al Baird, Marty Fuqua spoke to the crowd. he begins his comments regarding the Indianapolis situation by regarding a Proverb 18:17 (this proverb had been read over the phone to all of the Indianapolis Members by out of town ICC members when they were invited to the meeting): The first to present his case seems right. till another comes forward and questions him.

Marty said, “I want to give you a brief overlap of how I see things the last few years and even the last week… Ed and I have been very, very good friends for a long time. I will dare to say that I have been Ed Powers best friend. In 1989 Kip asked me to leave Chicago and move down to Buenos Aries, Argentina… About a year and a half ago, I began to be very concerned with some conversations with Ed, that he didn’t uh’ didn’t seem to have his spirit and drive uh’ and some ways uh’ the emotional stability to be out on his own. I suggested to him that he move to Chicago and that would be a great idea. Ron Drabot and the Elders talked to him about that idea…”

Marty admitted that on Monday a meeting had already been planned for the other side of the issues to be presented to the members of the Indianapolis Church of Christ. The crowd interrupted Marty’s explanation of the situation. One member of the crowd, Roger Cogswell, spoke up to state that he did not believe that we should talk about Ed, but the issues. After a few more words, Marty introduces Kip McKean to speak to the crowd. Marty informs the audience to hold all questions and that they will have time later to ask questions. After a congregational song Kip speaks to the crowd about the history of the ICC. He also states that the Indianapolis Church of Christ did not have the growth that Ed had reported. Kip read the average attendance figures for each month in 1993.

March 4, 1994:
Ed Powers calls Marty Fuqua to schedule a meeting to discuss the issues. The meeting is scheduled with Marty and Bob Gempel for the afternoon at Ed’s house. Prior to the meeting Andy and Leslie Lawyer, Greg Edwards and Ryan Polk initiate a meeting with Marty Fuqua and Bob Gempel. (Kip McKean returned to Los Angeles on Friday morning). They plead with these two World Sector Leaders to not start a new congregation. (This is the first contact between the World Sector Leaders and any members of the Indianapolis Church Staff). Later that afternoon Marty Fuqua and Bob Gempel come to Ed Powers’ house for a three and a half hour discussion with Ed, Roger Hendricks and Dave Powers (Ed’s dad). The brief description of this meeting is listed in the appendix. It is important to note that Bob and Marty did not open their Bibles during this three and a half hour meeting. Roger Hendricks drove Marty and Bob downtown to the Embassy Suites. They communicated to him again that they would be in touch.

On that evening another meeting was held for the members of the Indianapolis Church of Christ. Marty delivered a speech on the perils of leadership. Douglas Arthur delivered a speech concerning the issues that Ed had raised. It was also announced there would be a worship on Sunday morning of the Indianapolis International Church of Christ.

Some of the Indianapolis staff meet at the Powers house, so that Ed and Roger can share about their meeting with Bob and Marty. Ronda Henze refuses to listen to Ed and Roger share about the meeting and she informs the group that she has decided to go “downtown”. Within the next week Lisa Camarata and Anne Hanni also decide to go with the new Church that has formed that is meeting downtown at the Embassy Suites Ballroom.

March 5, 1994:
The staff of the Indianapolis Church meet with a number of members to explain the events of March 4th.

March 6th, 1994:
The Indianapolis Church of Christ meets at 8003 Castleway Drive for Sunday morning worship. The attendance is 620. The Indianapolis International Church of Christ meets at the Embassy Suites with approximately 200 in attendance. John Mannel is appointed the temporary Evangelist of the new congregation.

That evening Ed Powers and the staff explain to the Indianapolis Church the sequence of events of the past week. They ask the congregation to write down questions and these questions will be answered on Tuesday night in a congregational meeting.

March 8th, 1994:
The Indianapolis Church of Christ staff meets to discuss the needs of the congregation. Ed has still not heard back from Marty and Bob. Ed sends a fax to Kip and Marty requesting a public discussion of the four principles in question. (Marty phones Ed later in the week and informs him that there will be no public discussion). The Indianapolis Church of Christ has a congregational meeting on Tuesday night to answer the questions that had been raised on Sunday night, March 6th.

March 9?, 1994:
Roger Hendricks and Homer Schmucker answer questions of the students of the Purdue University who are members of the Indianapolis Church of Christ. That night a meeting is held at the home of Andreas and Janet Schwarz in West Lafayette for Purude students who want to hear the ICC explanation of the events in Indianapolis. Ron Drabot, the Chicago Church evangelist, is in West Lafayette to talk to the students who attend the meeting.

March 10, 1994:
The Indianapolis International Church of Christ meets at the Embassy Suite Hotel for a midweek meeting.

March 11, 1994:
Ed and Bobbie Powers, Andy and Leslie Lawyer, John and Rita Morrel, Roger Hendricks, Homer Schmucker, and Mark Davis (Campus Minister of the Elmwood Church of Christ (Lafayette)) attend a scheduled meeting at the IUPUI campus for college students membes of the Indianapolis Church of Christ to hear the explanation of the Indianapolius events from the ICC leaders. ICC leaders present are as follows: John and Nancy Mannel, Dave and Judy Weger, and Kyle and Bobbie Jo Bush. John Mannel states that there will not be a meeting because the Indianapolis Church of Christ Staff is represented in the meeting. Ed and others try to urge John to continue with the meeting that was planned, but John refuses to continue with the meeting.

March 13, 1994:
Both congregations continue to meet at separate locations. Communication between the members of the two groups is decreasing dramatically.

March 15, 1994:
The Indianapolis Church of Christ meets for a congregational meeting. Ed urges the congregation to “love the person who has set themselves up against you”.

March 17, 1994:
Kip McKean returns to Indianapolis. He preaches to the Indianapolis International Church of Christ. He marks Ed Powers, the staff of the Indianapolis Church of Christ and anyone meeting with them in Castleton as divisive. He warns the crowd if they have any contact with anyone who has decided to remain with the church that Ed is preaching they will also be marked as divisive. he informs the crowd that Dave Weger will be the new evangelist of the Indianapolis International Church of Christ. He cancels the special contribution and invites the entire church to attend the Los Angeles Church during June 10-12, 1994 to witness the Vietnam Church send off. Some other comments of Kip McKean are listed in the appendix in the form of a letter to members of the ICC.

All hopes of reuniting the two groups is now completely over in the minds of the Indianapolis Church of Christ.

April 24, 1994:
The Indianapolis Church of Christ is renamed the Circle City Church of Christ to avoid confusion between the two groups.

The Circle City Church staff sends a letter to Kip McKean, World Sector Leaders and members of the International Churches of Christ. The letter seeks to determine the truth regarding the Indianapolis situation. The ICC leaders never respond to the letter.

June 1, 1994:
Roger Hendricks sends a letter to Kip McKean calling him to repent of the lies that were told in and about the Indianapolis Church of Christ. Kip never responded to that letter.

August 1994:
Kip McKean writes Revolution through Restoration Part 2, that is published in the August issue of Upside Down Magazine. Kip describes the Indianapolis situation as “a very sad chapter in our history”. He also writes “As for those who continue to oppose us, they are lost – not because their baptism became invalid, but the Scriptures are clear that those who oppose and grumble against God’s leaders and divide God’s church are, in fact, opposing God (Exodus 16:8; Number 16). Thus the rebellious become lost because they do not have a true faith.”

You can read more about the Indianapolis split here.

Make sure you also read: The truth about what happened in Indianapolis

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