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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Jock ()
Date: January 22, 2019 01:49AM

Hi Everyone For some time I have read through all 140 pages on the forum. It has brought back many memories, some good and others terrible when I have read how people have been treated in a consistent and disgraceful way by those who claim to be Christians and pastors who are expected to look after the flock. As I have read peoples experiences I wanted to make comments but felt I would wait till I knew what the overall picture was and as time goes by I hopefully will be able to make contributions and add to what were some happy times and memories to this forum amongst friends. I joined Struthers in the early 70’s and stayed well into the 80’s at Glasgow under Mary Black. As I have read peoples experiences I have realised that I managed to get of lightly but not unscathed, probably because I was sleeping through some of the terrible sermons. My first experience of the church was at Partick Burgh Hall where Mr Black held weekly meetings for those seeking the baptism in the spirit. It was open to every denomination and most weeks people came and received the infilling of the spirit. Some stayed and others went back to their own churches to spread the fire. At the time I remember thinking that Friday night was my Sunday service where I met, experienced and worshiped God. Will post some more later God bless to everyone

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Jock ()
Date: January 28, 2019 02:42AM

For me I found the Friday night meetings spiritually wonderful. I was part of a group of young people who were members of the Church of Scotland. The meetings were simple format with Mr Black preaching on the five references to Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Alison Black played the piano with no music and if a new song was introduced she followed one note behind she had a wonderful gift. Mary Black led the singing. There was one occasion Mr Black fell asleep during the meeting and had to be woken. Being young and on fire for God I was a little shocked when I heard that after the meetings these spiritual giants in my eyes went out and bought fish and chips before they drove back down to Greenock. After about a year Mr Black announced that they were going to set up two new churches one in Glasgow and the other in Cumbernauld, long before Diane Rutherford was anywhere to be seen. I think it was a man called George Sharkey who was appointed leader of that church. The youth group I was with set up three school meetings in Drumchapel on the outskirts of Glasgow. Mr Offered came up several times to support us, a lovely man he was leader of one of the Greenock Churches. After some time Mr Black called us together and told us that Miss Taylor had told him to close the Drumchapel meetings and that Mary Black was appointed leader and meetings would be held in central Glasgow. We were told if we wanted to carry on we were free to do so but a difficult thing to do when you are young and believe they have the ear of God.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Jock ()
Date: February 02, 2019 06:08AM

The new church under Mary Black met for some time at the YMCA and Christian Institute in Bothwell Street and also later at the City Hall. All the Drumchapel people attended and also older people from the Friday night meeting. Mary and Jenifer Jack led all the meetings. Later the church bought a building in Knightswood. It took a year to repair and decorate with several of the tradesmen from Greenock coming up to help, it helped to unite us all as one church rather than them and us. MB and JJ continued to undertake most of the preaching. JJ’s style was in these days to read a parable then retell the parable in a breathless sounding voice then talk a little more about the parable. MB would give us a bible passage then select one verse and talk about it with no connection to the reading. We had many sermons based on the Song of Solomon which seemed to be her favourite book of the bible. As others have pointed out none of the leaders had undertaken any bible training apart from listening to Miss Taylor and following her preaching style. Mr Black was very knowledgeable due to his brethren background. Others that were asked to speak occasionally from amongst the Glasgow congregation. Jim McIlree, Wesley Gault who came from a bible preaching church in Northern Ireland which was good, Grace Black and myself. We were not encouraged to use notes when we spoke which applied throughout the church as a result Mr Black once had a sermon where he ended up with seven final points. Personally I found that during the week God would give me a passage to speak on, I would spend time thinking about and reading. This could last for a few weeks and then I felt ready. Every time without speaking to her that Sunday MB would walk into the church and ask me If I would like to preach and I would say yes because I was ready. This would happen every time and she never asked when I was not prepared. To cut a long story short one day I said to MB I was thinking of going to Bible College to understand scripture in a better way. She suggested I speak to Miss Taylor which I did and she advised me not to go. I decide to accept what she said. Several weeks later I felt drawn to another bible passage and after some time was prepared to speak. MB came into the service and just walked past me. Perhaps I had got things wrong. Unfortunately this happened several times and I understood that I was never going to be asked to preach again by MB. I believe that if you do not use the gift God has given you it will wither and die. My friend Jim Robertson was leading the church at East Kilbride and I still felt committed to Struthers so I went over to help him and Mrs Kerr.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: ThePetitor ()
Date: February 02, 2019 10:17PM

Interesting stuff Jock, and quite an insight into various aspects of Struthers. Seems to me there are lots of experiences listed on these pages, but a number of common themes. Not all identical of course, you wouldn't expect that, but still enough similarities to see a pattern.

One is of course the disdain for any sort of learning that took place outside of the Struthers meetings. As you say, Mr Black was quite knowledgable, as he had a strong teaching background in the Brethren, and I believe he also did some sort of formal Bible training. None of the others did however, and quite a few people lost out because they were discouraged from further learning.

So sad, as there were indeed many people "on fire", and the reason they were on fire was in many cases because of the vision they were given at Struthers. How sad that this was accompanied by an arrogance that the leaders had some sort of privileged access to God and that everything else was subservient to that. That is so unscriptural and damaging.

I also find it interesting to see the idea of "the anointing" working. I have to say I can relate to what you say, but I am no longer sure it is wise to rely on that sort of "feeling of being anointed", the problem being that we are imperfect human beings and you only have to look at your story of how MB acted to see how that idea can lead to arrogance and spiritual bullying.

I guess the main point is probably what I have said before, that it is really not a good idea to use these things in isolation, as they should be subject to the balance provided by scriptures, the counsel of the saints, common sense etc.

Look forward to your further insights!

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Jock ()
Date: February 04, 2019 06:13PM

I forgot to mention earlier that before I started going East Kilbride I told MB what I planned and she said nothing and did not wish me well.
Originally Mr Black had been asked to come up to East Kilbride and take meetings for those interested in the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. I think there were about twelve people and after some time Jim Robertson was asked to take over that meeting and it became a new Struthers Church. He moved up from Greenock to live there. However, over time some people had to move away from the area others left and by the time I came along there was just Jim, Mrs Kerr and older man called Jim and a young man who eventually married Mr Cleary’s daughter and he moved away. The church was financially self-sufficient and a building came on the market that was bought and done up. Jim preached most Sundays, morning and evening. I helped him with visiting homes, leaflet distribution we held film nights in the local school. When new people moved into the area and gave us a visit they did not return as we were such a small congregation. Jim went to see Miss Taylor to ask her what he needed to do or what he was doing wrong. She told him she did not know and was unable to give him any help. What struck me was that there were people living in the Southside of Glasgow near East Kilbride who drove all the way over to the Glasgow Church every week. Sad to say Jim died suddenly and the building was taken over by another Christian group. I left Struthers and started to attend an Elim Church near my home.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: ThePetitor ()
Date: February 04, 2019 09:29PM

I thought many of you would be interested in this short video (less than 3 minutes) about empathy and how connecting with others can help when people are struggling.

[youtu.be]

I find it strange how those in SMC seem to believe you have to study to learn to be a teacher/ plumber/ brain surgeon, yet do not need to study to learn either theology or how empathy can help people.

I think this short video really clarifies for me one of the great gaps in the approach of SMC leaders. When did you last hear one of them saying something along the lines of - "I know, I have felt like that too."

Is that not one of the key messages of Christianity - that Jesus has experienced all out feelings and temptations, which is why he understands what we are going through? Interesting that Jesus can have empathy with our situation, but the SMC leaders are far too spiritual to understand our weaknesses and failings.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Jock ()
Date: February 11, 2019 01:47AM

Four weeks after I had left Struthers I received a phone call from MB, the first time this had ever happened after twenty years. She asked how I was getting on and that she had not seen me for some time. I was amazed as she very rarely spoke to me unless she was asking me to do something at the church. I told her I had decided to leave and was now attending another church. She said could I perhaps come down to Greenock and speak to Mr Black on Saturday. I did in fact drive down and attended the service. At the end I was taken aside and told Mr Black what had happened and how I felt as a result of being side-lined. Over the years I had seen this happen to several people at Glasgow so I knew this was not an isolated case or my imagination. I had always thought highly of Mr Black and enjoyed his preaching and ministry. He said that he had no problems with me but the difficulty was the MB found me irritating. I was a bit stunned and he said could we put these things behind us and could I come back to church. I did not ask what areas were the problem although, as reported in a sermon I later read by Alison Speirs on the Latigo21 site, there were a number of young men at Glasgow who had a sense of humour that MB did not like, and managed with great triumph, got rid of them. On the following day I went to my local church and during the communion service I was praying and thinking of going to the Glasgow meeting that evening. At that point the Pastor came up to me and asked me if I would be willing to give my testimony that evening. At that point God saved me from what would have been more years of unhappiness and fear.

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