Name: Lou Engle
Organization(s): Justice House of Prayer, The Call
Title: Co-Founder, preacher
Location: Kansas City, MO
Lou Engle is a charismatic Evangelical who belongs to the Apostolic-Prophetic Movement and whose religious philosophy has been linked to Dominionism. Despite claiming on his website that “we deny the Church will take over all the governments of the Earth before the return of Christ,” various statements he has made in the past demonstrate that he does not renounce dominionism and believes that the United States should be a theocracy. Sponsorship of “The Call” event in San Diego, which rallied against same-sex marriage, was in large part funded by Howard Ahmanson, a wealthy Reconstructionist/Dominionist.
Dominionists believe society should be governed exclusively by the law of God as codified in the Bible, to the exclusion of secular law. For lesbians and gays, this means State-sponsored stoning executions of suspected and confirmed homosexuals.
Engle, along with Bob Jones and Paul Cain, is one of the leaders associated with the Kansas City Prophets, a group that has been long suspected of being a cult. Bob Jones, whom Engle is oft to quote, was removed from his leadership position in the Vineyard Anaheim church because of sexual improprieties, which consisted of encouraging women to undress in his office so they could stand “naked before the Lord” in order to receive a “word.” Cain was exposed after movement leaders determined he had engaged in a pattern of “unbiblical behavior” that included heavy drinking and homosexuality.
Engle founded a Christian revivalist organization called The Call in 2000 that organizes mass rallies of young Evangelicals to publicly fast and pray, often against abortion and gay rights. In November 2008, a Call rally was held in San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium to oppose same-sex marriage. During the course of the rally, Engle (who often goes into hysterics while preaching) called for spiritual warfare, a “cleansing” of San Francisco – presumably against homosexuality/tolerance of gays – and for young people to be martyrs for a Christian take-over of government.
Engle is also the founder of “Justice House of Prayer” (JHOP), an offshoot of the International House of Prayer (IHOP), located in Kansas City, and founded by his co-religionist Mike Bickle. JHOP has franchises in San Francisco, Washington DC, San Diego, Boston, and New York City.
Among the “mandates” against abortion and a support of Israel (Christian Zionism), JHOP’s mandate against homosexuality claims to “deliver and redeem” the “homosexual community”, which “raises itself up against the knowledge of God and seeks to destroy the identity of our generation.” JHOP’s seeks to “convert” lesbians and gays to heterosexuality and text-proofs Luke 7:47, which viewed in its entirety (Luke 7:40-50) is about the equality of forgiveness through faith, and not at all about “redeeming” or condemning homosexuality.
Believing lesbians and gays can be cured through prayer (and if that doesn’t work, keeping in mind the dominionist undercurrent running through JHOP, through stoning), JHOP’s San Francisco franchise rallies weekly in the heart of San Francisco’s gay community. JHOP San Francisco is led by Lou’s son, Jesse Engle.
For the most part, they have been ignored. However, with the passage of Proposition 8, JHOP received a less-than-welcome reception when they attempted to antagonize lesbians and gays on the night of Friday, November 14th 2008. In what can only be called a spontaneous uprising against homophobia, angry Castro residents and visitors chased the group out of the community while the SFPD were called in to “protect” the proselytizers.
Afterwards, members of JHOP, claimed they were sexually assaulted and threatened, although no evidence has come forth to support such claims. It would be fair to assume that such charges were made up to defame the lesbian and gay community while currying sympathy for those who purposely came into the Castro to gloat over the passage of Prop 8 and antagonize the victims of hate.
Right-Wing Watch has a collection of articles on Lou Engle that are well-worth checking out. Some excerpts are below:
Engle is an unabashed “dominionist” – someone who thinks the church, under the leadership of modern-day apostles like him, should rule over government and other institutions of society. He thinks of himself as a John the Baptist who badgers Christian teens to adopt a radical lifestyle of fasting and prayer that will bring God’s intercession against gays, liberal judges, and the like.
“It just tells about the significance of the moment and the real need to pray,” Engle, whose ministry is based in Kansas City, said in an interview Wednesday. “I spoke recently with a man from a Muslim country, who said to me, ‘Lou, we’re praying for you all over the world, for what you’re doing, because if same-sex marriage stands in California, it will sweep all over the world.’ “
It turns out that The Call and its founder Lou Engle are closely aligned with a militant Christian dominionist movement called “Joel’s Army” run by self-proclaimed prophet and faith-healer Todd Bentley.
Lou Engle is married to wife, Therese, and have five sons and two daughters.