Basic Church Information
Church Name: World Revival Church
Senior/Lead Pastor: Steve and Kathy Gray
Board of Elders/Leadership Staff: See leadership staff on the church website here
Address: 9900 View High Drive, Kansas City, MO 64134
Phone: +1 877-804-5433
Online Services: https://worldrevivalchurch.com/ondemand
Denomination: Charismatic & Possible Calvinism/Reformed Theology Teachings
Preaching Style: Topical
Membership Requirements: Yes
Tithes/Compelled Giving: Yes
Financial Transparency: No
Answered Questionnaire: No
Affiliations: Steve Gray Ministries, Inc., The Revival Network of Ministries and Churches, House of Hope and Healing, Jubilation Ministries, Inc.
Red Flags of Abuse:
There are multiple red flags concerning the World Revival Church in Kansas City, Missouri. For starters, there’s a page on Facebook called KC Cult Survivor with over 475 followers focused entirely on “Finding freedom and solidarity through our stories. This is a journalistic endeavor to bring into the open the stories of cult survivors, particularly from organizations people were unaware of. The first dive will be into World Revival Church in KC, MO.”
The Facebook Page details experiences of former members in areas of mental, sexual abuse, spiritual abuse, child abuse, financial abuse, OSHA violations, and other forms of mistreatment and abuse of members and volunteers at the church.
Another source for concern is an article from Christianity Today which briefly details the sudden and surprising uprooting, renaming, and moving of Steve & Kathy Gray’s church from rural Missouri under the name Smithton Community Church to Kansas City under the new name, World Revival Church.
Another website worth checking into is The Cult Life, where former members of the World Revival Church document their experiences in the church. You can also find documents on the church, including information on the many para-church and other non-profit organizations owned and operated by Steve and Kathy Gray.
There are videos detailing the abuse and experiences former members have had in this church. Ever since I put the word out that I'm writing a report on World Revival Church, I've been receiving story after story of abuse, cult-like activity and treatment, and more. Here is a particularly revealing one from an individual who wishes to remain anonymous:
Lastly and as always, we recommend that anyone currently attending this church walk themselves through Steve Hassan’s BITE Model and Undue Influence Continuum to detect and protect themselves and their loved ones from potential abuse in the church. The links to the BITE Model and Continuum are below, as usual.
Additionally, we took WRC’s characteristics of “pride” and “humility” from their training manual and compared them to Steve Hassan's Influence Continuum. If the standards for humility in WRC’s training manual reflect the church’s real expectations, they may be spiritually abusive.
1. What is your church's official position on tithes and offerings?
This church preaches tithing, using Old Covenant directives to the people of Israel to impose a manipulated form of tithing on the church. They require tithing from members as well. See the Manual below to read the specifics of how this church demands tithing payments.
2. Does your church have official memberships, and if so, does it include a membership agreement or contract?
Yes. They do have memberships and an official membership contract that must be signed. We’ve found copies of their worship team requirements on the KC Cult Survivor Facebook Page and a training manual for church leaders from a former church member as well. These documents are important to read through if you’re considering becoming a member of the church. Download the training manual below.
3. Is your church financially transparent or accountable to either the local church, a third party (such as the ECFA), or the universal church/public?
World Revival Church is not a member of the ECFA, GuideStar, nor any other accountability/transparency organization. They don’t provide any financial information on the website, and our inquiries to the church for financial information have all been ignored so far. While their non-profit organizations owned by Steve and Kathy Gray are legally required to file form 990’s with the IRS, the church itself, like all churches, aren’t required to disclose any financial information at all. It appears, however, that they don’t provide any meaningful financial information to their congregation either.
4. Which denomination does your church align with, if any at all?
This is a Charismatic church. You can find this information by paying attention to their “What we believe” page on the church website, which states under “Holy Spirit”:
“The present-day work of the Holy Spirit not only seals and cleanses, but it also empowers the Church. Believers are invited to experience the baptism of the Holy Spirit along with a multiplicity of other spiritual gifts.”
We can also see they are a Charismatic church based on some statements from their training manual. It mentions speaking in tongues as a requirement for membership, physical healing through the power of prayer, and being “faithful and committed”, which is “shown in agreement with the vision of Holy Spirit Outpouring.”
Their House of Hope and Healing Ministry is another evidence of their Charismatic beliefs, where they claim: “In times of sickness, disease and crisis situations, the House of Hope and Healing will help you experience God's hope and healing power!”
There are also signs of the Lordship Salvation doctrine in the church training manual, which is a Calvinistic teaching related to work-based righteousness. In order to be a member of WRC, individuals are required to prove themselves “Faithful” and “Committed.”
5. Is the church's pastor available for questions regarding the church's doctrines or policies?
I have emailed the church asking for either Pastor Steve or Kathy to answer some questions for me, but have yet to receive a response from anyone. There is no contact information for the pastors on the website or anywhere else that I can find so far. A former member and employee of WRC has told me that speaking to either of the pastors directly is a pipe dream.
6. Is your church tolerant and accepting of differing non-essential doctrinal views, such as differences in eschatology, ecclesiology, and others?
There is a lot of emphasis on the importance of “unity” in the church’s training manual So, no, it doesn’t sound like this church is tolerant or open to allowing a diversity of opinion.
7. Does your church require its members to be baptized?
The Training Manual doesn’t mention water baptism at all, nor does the church website. I asked a former member of the church about this and they answered the church has baptisms from time to time, but they are not required for membership.
8. Please describe what a typical service and/or meeting looks like at your church.
The church website describes what services look like on their New Here page:
“At World Revival Church, you will find a community of people who love God and each other. When you arrive, expect to be welcomed by our greeters. Our services consist of heartfelt worship and powerful preaching of the Bible, followed by prayer ministry. If you have children, they are welcome to participate in our children’s ministry or they can sit with you during service.”
9. How many people does your church have on staff, both paid and volunteer?
You can see a list of the church’s leadership on their Leadership page, but they don’t appear to list volunteers.
10. What is the pastor's educational background?
The Pastors’ bio on the church Leadership page doesn’t list any educational information, nor does Steve Gray’s Facebook page.
11. How does the church discipline its members with sin? Does the church have a discipline policy or official protocol?
The Training Manual doesn’t mention any kind of sin discipline protocol, but it’s clear that they have some kind of “accountability” system in place because of the nature of their “character” requirements.
The testimonials from the video and pdf attached in the Red Flags section of this report detail how this church resolves or rather doesn't resolve, conflicts within the church.
12. How is the pastor compensated (income, bonuses, benefits, etc...) and how is that compensation established (Ex: board of elders, church vote, etc..)?
WRC is owned by Jubilation Ministries, Inc., according to the Missouri Secretary of State website. Jubilation Ministries is a non-profit corporation overseen by a board of directors, and all three members listed on the board list the same address, owned by Kathy and Steve Gray. We are still working on finding the ministry’s articles of incorporation, which will give us an idea of how salary is determined. Whatever the case may be, as usual, the pastors have not disclosed their salary information, and probably never will.
13. What is the size of the congregation and any space or buildings used for church services or meetings?
Wikipedia tells us WRC has about 700-1,000 members, and according to their website, their primary location, called the View High campus, sits on 63 acres and their building is 25,000 square feet.
14. What is the pastor’s ministerial work history? Have they been the pastor of or on the leadership staff at any other church? Please list their past ministry work and their reasons for leaving those ministries.
Before Steve and Kathy Gray were pastors of World Revival Church, they were originally pastors of Smithton Community Church in rural Missouri. We are still researching to find out why the Grays picked up and moved their church 90 miles to Kansas City. The article suggests it was because of the population density of Kansas City versus Smithton, but members of SCC were shocked, “disillusioned”, and “disturbed” at the loss of their church. We will update this answer with more information as we receive it.
15. How does the church safeguard against any kind of abuse (sexual, verbal, emotional, spiritual)? Has there ever been an incident or conflict within the church involving potential abuse? If so, how was it resolved?
There is no mention of a safety protocol in the church’s training manual or on their website. There are dozens (and possibly hundreds) of stories of abuse from former members of this church online. As mentioned in the Red Flag section of this report, there is a Facebook Page, a blog, and YouTube testimonials of abuse experienced in this church. We don’t see any sort of attempt by WRC’s leadership to resolve or address these abuses but punish and shame those that speak out against it through ostracization, disfellowship, and other forms of shunning.
We continue to receive personal accounts from former members of this church daily. If you have any information on this church and would like to help answer some of our questions or submit your story, please add your input in the comments section below or speak with Sarah directly through the Contact Page. Your identity will remain confidential unless you give permission for your name to be used in any capacity.
Sarah Leann Young is a lifelong student of the Bible. She is a homeschooler, stay-at-home Mom to three beautiful children, and an avid consumer of Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Mystery Thriller stories. She has a passion for religious debate and defending the Body of Christ against abuse and wolves in sheep’s clothing.
Look for Sarah's debut non-fiction book series in early 2021 on the corruption of the American Christian Church, published through Bjorn Books.