Inside The Orlando International Christian Church: History, Beliefs, And Practices

The Orlando International Christian Church is a controversial religious movement that emerged from the Boston Church of Christ in the early 2000s. With its charismatic leadership, devoted membership, and unconventional practices, the group has faced scrutiny over the years.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The Orlando International Christian Church was established in 2004 by former Boston Church of Christ leader Kip McKean. It is part of the International Churches of Christ movement known for its authoritarian structure, intensive discipling, and demanding lifestyle.

The church has been accused of being a cult.

In this nearly 3,000 word guide, we’ll take an in-depth look at the origins, leadership, beliefs, worship practices, church structure, and controversy surrounding the Orlando International Christian Church.

Whether you’re curious about the group or want to understand a loved one’s involvement, read on for a comprehensive overview of this enigmatic religious movement.

History and Origins

Founding of the ICC Movement

The Orlando International Christian Church has a rich history that can be traced back to the founding of the International Churches of Christ (ICC) movement. The ICC movement was started in the 1970s by a group of college students who were passionate about spreading the teachings of Jesus Christ.

They believed in the importance of discipleship and sought to establish a church that was focused on making disciples of all nations.

The movement quickly grew and gained recognition for its emphasis on evangelism and community. The ICC movement spread to various cities around the world, including Orlando, where the Orlando International Christian Church was established.

Kip McKean’s Leadership

One of the key figures in the history of the ICC movement and the Orlando International Christian Church is Kip McKean. McKean played a crucial role in the growth and development of the movement. He served as the leader of the ICC movement from the 1980s until 2002.

Under McKean’s leadership, the ICC movement experienced significant expansion and became known for its dynamic preaching, passionate worship, and strong sense of community. McKean’s charismatic leadership style and his emphasis on discipleship played a major role in shaping the culture and beliefs of the Orlando International Christian Church.

Move to Orlando

In 1992, the ICC movement made a significant move by establishing a presence in Orlando. The decision to move to Orlando was strategic, as the city was known for its diverse population and vibrant Christian community.

The Orlando International Christian Church quickly grew in size and became a prominent religious institution in the city.

Since its establishment in Orlando, the church has continued to thrive and make a positive impact on the local community. The church’s commitment to discipleship, evangelism, and community service has made it a popular choice for individuals seeking spiritual guidance and a sense of belonging.

Beliefs and Doctrine

The Orlando International Christian Church (OICC) holds a set of core beliefs and doctrines that shape its teachings and practices. These beliefs are derived from a literal interpretation of the Bible, and the church places a strong emphasis on biblical authority and adherence to its teachings.

Bible Literalism

OICC adheres to the belief in Bible literalism, which means that they interpret the Bible as the literal word of God. They view the Bible as the ultimate source of truth and guidance, and believe that it should be taken at face value.

This belief forms the foundation of their teachings and influences their understanding of various theological doctrines.


Baptism holds a central place in the beliefs and practices of the OICC. They believe in the importance of baptism as a means of spiritual rebirth and entry into the Christian faith. According to their doctrine, baptism is not just a symbol, but an essential step towards salvation and forgiveness of sins.

They practice full immersion baptism, as they believe it closely aligns with the biblical accounts of baptism.

Views on Salvation

The OICC believes in the concept of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. They emphasize the need for a personal relationship with Jesus and believe that salvation is a gift from God, received through faith and not earned through good works or religious rituals.

They teach that salvation is available to all who accept Jesus as their savior and follow his teachings.

End Times Beliefs

The OICC holds specific beliefs regarding the end times and the second coming of Jesus Christ. While their beliefs align with the broader Christian understanding of the end times, they also have their own unique interpretations.

They believe in the imminent return of Jesus and emphasize the need for spiritual preparedness and living a righteous life in anticipation of his coming.

For a more in-depth understanding of the beliefs and doctrine of the Orlando International Christian Church, you can visit their official website at

Church Structure and Hierarchy

The Orlando International Christian Church (OICC) follows a well-defined structure and hierarchy that influences its operations and decision-making processes. This hierarchical setup ensures a smooth flow of authority and accountability within the church community.

Authoritarian Leadership Model

The OICC embraces an authoritarian leadership model, where decisions are made by a select group of leaders at the top. These leaders are responsible for guiding and overseeing the activities of the church. This model ensures a clear direction and unity of purpose within the church community.

Geographic Regions

The OICC is divided into geographic regions to better serve its members and facilitate efficient administration. Each region has its own set of leaders who oversee the local ministries and coordinate with the central leadership.

This structure allows for effective communication and support within the church.

Rank-and-File Membership

The OICC values the participation and involvement of its rank-and-file members. While decisions are made by the leadership, the input and feedback of the members are highly regarded. Regular meetings and gatherings provide opportunities for members to share their thoughts and contribute to the growth and development of the church.

Gender Roles

The OICC follows traditional gender roles within its structure. Men are typically given leadership positions, while women are encouraged to support and contribute in other meaningful ways. This approach is rooted in the church’s interpretation of biblical teachings and is intended to promote harmony and unity within the church community.

Worship Services and Practices

Sunday Worship Format

The Orlando International Christian Church offers a dynamic and engaging worship experience for its members. The Sunday worship format is designed to create an atmosphere of praise and spiritual growth. The service typically begins with a time of uplifting worship through singing and prayer.

This is followed by a sermon delivered by one of the church’s ministers, who provides biblical teachings and practical insights for daily living. The congregation actively participates through responsive readings, sharing testimonies, and taking part in communion.

Bible Talks

Bible talks are an integral part of the worship services at the Orlando International Christian Church. These sessions are aimed at deepening the understanding of the Scriptures and fostering spiritual growth among members.

The church’s ministers and leaders deliver engaging and thought-provoking messages, exploring various topics and passages from the Bible. These talks provide opportunities for members to ask questions, engage in discussions, and gain a deeper understanding of God’s word.


Discipling is a key aspect of the Orlando International Christian Church’s approach to spiritual growth and community building. Members are encouraged to develop one-on-one relationships with a mentor, who provides guidance, support, and accountability in their spiritual journey.

Through regular meetings, Bible studies, and discipleship training, individuals are equipped with the necessary tools to deepen their faith and become effective disciples of Christ. This personalized approach to discipleship fosters a sense of belonging and encourages members to actively participate in the church community.

Lifestyle Expectations

The Orlando International Christian Church upholds high moral and ethical standards for its members. The church believes in living a lifestyle that aligns with biblical principles and values. This includes practicing love, forgiveness, and humility in all interactions, as well as abstaining from behaviors that are deemed sinful according to Christian teachings.

Members are encouraged to lead lives of integrity, honesty, and purity, both within the church community and in their everyday lives. This commitment to a Christ-centered lifestyle creates a supportive and nurturing environment for spiritual growth and personal development.

Recruitment Methods and Growth

Recruitment is an essential aspect of any organization’s growth, and the Orlando International Christian Church (OICC) employs various methods to attract new members. The church actively engages in campus ministry outreach, retention techniques, and international expansion to expand its reach and impact.

Campus Ministry Outreach

The OICC recognizes the importance of reaching out to college students and young adults, as they represent a significant demographic. Through campus ministry outreach programs, the church aims to connect with students and provide them with a supportive community where they can explore and deepen their faith.

These outreach efforts often involve organizing events, such as Bible studies, worship services, and social gatherings, specifically tailored to resonate with the college audience. By meeting students where they are, the OICC creates opportunities for meaningful connections and spiritual growth.

Retention Techniques

Once individuals become part of the OICC community, the church focuses on implementing retention techniques to ensure their continued involvement and commitment. This includes providing mentorship programs, small group discussions, and pastoral care to support members in their faith journey.

By fostering strong relationships and a sense of belonging, the OICC encourages members to actively participate in the church’s activities and ministries. This not only helps individuals grow spiritually but also contributes to the overall growth and vibrancy of the church community.

International Expansion

The OICC’s commitment to spreading the Christian message extends beyond its local community. The church actively pursues international expansion, establishing sister churches and partnerships around the world.

This allows the OICC to connect with diverse cultures and reach individuals who may not have otherwise been exposed to its teachings.

Through international expansion, the OICC aims to create a global network of believers who can support and learn from one another. This exchange of ideas and experiences contributes to the church’s growth and fosters a sense of unity among its members.

For more information on the recruitment methods and growth strategies of the Orlando International Christian Church, visit their official website:

Criticism and Controversy

Accusations of Being a Cult

The Orlando International Christian Church has faced accusations of being a cult. Some critics claim that the church exhibits controlling behavior, isolates its members from the outside world, and manipulates them emotionally.

However, it is important to note that these accusations are largely based on misunderstandings or misinformation. The church emphasizes love, community, and the teachings of Jesus Christ. It encourages its members to live a life of faith and to serve others.

The church leaders are transparent about their beliefs and practices, and they are open to dialogue and discussion.

Financial Concerns

Another area of criticism for the Orlando International Christian Church is financial concerns. Some individuals have raised questions about the church’s financial practices and how donations are used.

It is crucial to note that the church operates as a non-profit organization and is required to maintain transparency in its financial dealings. The church publishes financial reports regularly to ensure accountability and transparency.

Moreover, the church relies on the generosity of its members to fund its activities and charitable endeavors. Donations are voluntary, and members are not coerced into giving.

Former Member Testimonies

There have been testimonies from former members who claim to have had negative experiences within the Orlando International Christian Church. While it is crucial to listen to these testimonies and take them seriously, it is also important to consider them in context.

People’s experiences can vary, and it is essential to recognize that these testimonies may not represent the experiences of all members. It is encouraged for individuals to engage in open dialogue and seek multiple perspectives before forming a judgment.

Response to Criticisms

The Orlando International Christian Church takes criticisms seriously and is committed to addressing any concerns raised. The church encourages open dialogue and communication to foster understanding and resolve conflicts.

Church leaders are available to listen to members’ concerns and are dedicated to ensuring a safe and supportive environment for everyone. It is important to approach criticisms with an open mind and to seek accurate information directly from the church before making judgments.

The church’s website provides resources and contact information for those who wish to learn more or address any concerns they may have.


The Orlando International Christian Church has faced ongoing controversy regarding its practices and alleged cult-like structure. However, its followers ardently defend the church’s teachings and remain devoted to its mission.

While outsiders may find the group’s beliefs and demands questionable, members insist it is a place of community, purpose, and profound meaning.

In examining the OICC’s origins, leadership, worship, and more, one gains a nuanced understanding of this polarizing religious movement. Whether you view it as a harmful cult or a well-meaning church, the Orlando International Christian Church offers an inside look at the passions and perils of absolute faith.

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