The idea for ICAL was conceived in Singapore in 1999 by a group of apostles as they discussed how God could use the combined efforts of global apostolic leadership to advance the Kingdom of God more rapidly and effectively.

In order to accomplish the mission, establishing a communication center would be essential. During the discussion, John P. Kelly was asked to assume leadership as Presiding Apostle for the new coalition and to establish an office in Fort Worth, Texas. He was directed to organize a council and to begin inviting apostles to join International Coalition of Apostles (ICA, the original name of ICAL) as a fellowship network. The first Annual Meeting was held near Dallas, Texas in 2000.

That year, John Kelly was directed by the Lord to ask C. Peter Wagner to accept the position of Presiding (Convening) Apostle. In 2001, ICA moved into the offices to Global Harvest in Colorado Springs, Colorado. John Kelly continued to serve ICA as the Ambassadorial Apostle, representing ICA globally and conducting ICA Regional Summits throughout the United States.

In 2009, on the eve of his 80th birthday, Peter Wagner was directed by the Lord to ask John P. Kelly to again accept the position of Presiding (International Convening) Apostle over ICA. It was transferred back to Fort Worth, Texas in the spring of 2010. With an official handing of the baton ceremony at the 2010 Annual November Gathering, Dr. Wagner became the Presiding Apostle Emeritus of ICA and John P. Kelly the International Convening Apostle. 

During the 2013 Annual Conference, the name was changed from International Coalition of Apostles (ICA) to International Coalition of Apostolic Leaders (ICAL).

The ICAL leadership appoints National Convenors and Ambassadors to represent the Vision and Mission of ICAL:  Restoration, Reconciliation, Revival, and Reformation to the nations.