Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Rensil ()
Date: July 12, 2013 07:53AM

I totally agree with your point that people deep within SMC are more gullible, possibly more ignorant, and the least sceptical than those outside of it, which you have observed from your family members who are in SMC. I know what you mean, because this was something which used to frustrate me no end when I was in SMC. People weren't willing to have discussions about anything, or read any books which hadn't been spoken about from the pulpit, or be open to studying the psychological explanations for people's behaviours, or even talking about finance or relationships. All I would get from people, the ordinary members I'm meaning, was a sweet smile and a repetition of something a leader had said, an example of what a leader had done, or a book which we'd been told to read or which a leader had based a sermon on.

I could hardly find anyone who would read for themselves, discover good Christian teachers and authors who would provide helpful information for one's Christian walk. No, only those mentioned from the pulpit. And talking about day to day things was of course unspiritual and was therefore actively discouraged. Cbarb mentioned that there wasnt a lot of encouragement to learn and increase your knowledge when she was growing up. I saw that too. I guess that, because I became aware of this and struggled with it, then all this contributed to me eventually deciding to leave SMC and then actually leaving. So You're right there, because this kind of lifestyle will cause people to become gullible and, because they won't examine and think about things, they then lose any scepticism. The effect of all that is to keep them enmeshed in an atmosphere where they stop asking questions or querying matters. Dangerous stuff. However, I don't equate that with all Christian behaviour because that isn't normal behaviour for a Christian. I don't now experience it, now that I'm well out of SMC and in a good church, where we talk, discuss, ask questions, read a wide variety of books etc. Jesus Himself, when on earth, actually encouraged discussion, asked people questions and got them to work things out in their minds. He didn't just throw it all at His disciples and others. He liked to get them pondering and yes, even arguing.

Cbarb, thank you for having the courage to share your experience of what happened to you during childhood. Whilst the culture of the day back then was not as open as it is now, concerning the reporting and exposure of sexual abuse, as we have seen from the Jimmy Saville case and other similar ones, which are only now being brought out into the light, nevertheless I can see the compounded negative effect of being a child in SMC and being scared to speak up to an adult about it. I don't know whether today's kids who are within SMC would be more able to tell somebody or not. They would still be terrified of having demons or being exposed publicly, I think, especially when they reached their teens. There is such inhibition of feeling and suppression of normal desires, resulting from the SMC teaching about sexual matters, that I fear a great amount of guilt would ensue. I noticed a numbness in the emotions in many SMC members. Lack of freedom to be yourself and to have normal interactive relationships and develop your own personality, was sadly lacking.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: cbarb ()
Date: July 12, 2013 11:23PM

Hi folks

Thanks Clive and Rensil, for your supportive words.

First, I agree with you, Rensil that reporting such abuse was not common back then but I do believe that if I hadn't been so afraid of the 'demon possession' thing (and Miss T and HB) I wouldn't have been so afraid that my parents would stop loving me if I had talked to them about this back then.

I desperately wanted to talk about it but felt that I was the one who done wrong and needed to be punished. Instead, I did a lot of naughty things to ensure I got punished for something, even although it wasn't for the thing I felt most guilty about. I think I have gone through life feeling constantly guilty of something and this led to me taking the blame for anything and everything even although I didn't deserve such blame. This is why it has been so easy for people to bully me through life.

Second, I agree wholeheartedly with you, Clive, regarding meditation and find that this helps me a lot - in times of stress - much more than praying ever did. However, it's not easy to empty your mind of everything and just allow your batteries to re-charge and it takes a lot of practice and perseverance. Personally, I welcome the idea that meditation might be taught to kids in school - as part of the curriculum - because I think young people could benefit greatly from learning how to meditate effectively - especially at exam times. And I'm pretty positive that this would reduce the level of teenage suicide - due to bullying and exam stress.

It has been quite embarrassing for me to share my deepest, darkest secret with you all but I felt that it was necessary to point out the very real possibility of abuse happening right under the noses of parents and church leaders and that the hell-fire and demon possession teachings actually facilitate such abuse going un-reported. I would hope that children in SMC are no longer being taught that they are to blame for every bad thing that happens to them - because they are not holy or clean enough - but I suspect that these kids are still as afraid and confused as we were back then.

I find it quite horrific to hear of the level of prolific child abuse which has gone un-checked for so many years - even the Pope seems to turn a blind eye and he thinks he's got a special godly anointing too.

I find that the older I've become, the more I want to keep my distance from men. Not in a friendship way (I have many male platonic friends) but I will never, for the rest of my life, contemplate having more than a platonic relationship with a man again. Which is really quite sad but I feel it's the only way to keep myself from being bullied or abused again, since my choice of partners through my life has left a lot to be desired. I don't know if that's a direct result of what happened to me when I was young or if I'm just a terrible judge of character - either way, it's the only way for me to stay sane but I would be devastated if I'd had a girl myself and I later discovered she'd been abused as a child. Thankfully, my kids are boys so I don't have that added worry - although they are both under strict orders NOT to make me Granny just yet! :-)

Anyway, the whole point of this was to point out that the ridiculous teachings of unscrupulous church leaders most definitely do more harm than good - both inside and outside of the church building.

As always biiiiiiig love and huge huggggggs to all
God Bless xxxx

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: cbarb ()
Date: July 16, 2013 02:43AM

Hi folks

You've all had enough time to think about what's most important when we discuss the kind of un-holy 'teaching' we know goes on in SMC, and indeed many so-called 'holy' places (not just churches).

The single most important group of people are the children and young people who have no voice and no free will to disagree with what they are being taught or make any moves to be able to leave the confines of the church. These should be the people we worry most about, they are the young adults of the future and many will end up just a screwed up as I was (and many others have been) and, regardless of whether parents believe they are doing the right thing for their kids, their beliefs aren't necessarily always right - and in some cases this can lead to a lot of damage in the lives of these kids, as they grow up.

Many of us have been screwed up, in various ways over the years, by the things we were taught to believe, the hypocrisy we witnessed and total lack of love, grace and understanding in the very people who set themselves up as leaders of others.

At least, in other churches the pastors, ministers, priests etc. have all earned the right to be called such as they will all have gone through the proper channels to gain the recognised qualifications which bestow these titles on their owners.

Have ANY SMC leaders taken proper instruction and been awarded their titles as 'minister' or 'pastor' or whatever they want to call themselves?

Who qualified these people?

Not God, that doesn't wash with me. Can I say 'I'm a Chartered Accountant because God told me I was'? How many clients do you think would hire my services?

But that's exactly what the leaders of SMC are doing, and the faithful few keep dipping in their pockets and paying these people who don't even know what they're talking about. Is that a 'DUH!' moment or what?

Not only that, they are forcing their kids to sit through the clap-trap as well and that's, worse in my book.

I'm not against giving a child a church up-bringing, if that's what you want, but it's unhealthy and wrong to make the church the whole of the kid's life. It's a parent's responsibility to ensure their child knows how to function in the real world as well as among church friends, as best they are able.

The aim of what we are doing here should be to focus on those who have no voice and perhaps try to change the minds of the parents who are still subjecting their young families to the kind of damage many of us suffered as young people. Here, I'm referring to the mental damage rather than dwelling on any physical damage.

Sometimes though, it's the mental scars that run deepest and are hardest to come to terms with. I think there are many who would agree with me on that; and what parent would really WANT that for their child?

Are the parents of young children and minors in SMC aware of the damage they could be doing to their children?
Are they choosing to ignore what's been posted so far on this forum?
If so, does that mean they revere the farcical leaders more than they care about the welfare of their own children?

Just food for thought.

As always biiiiiiiiig love and huge hugggggggs to all
God Bless xxx

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: ThePetitor ()
Date: July 16, 2013 04:32PM

Dear all,

I thought that you might be interested to read this information from the front page of the charity giving website


We can confirm that the Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into the Dove Trust, who operate the online donations portal Pesh Framjee, Partner at Crowe Clark Whitehill, has been appointed by the Charity Commission as interim manager to take full control of the management of the Dove Trust. We are currently working with the Charity Commission to consider as a matter of urgency the next steps in order to protect existing funds the public has donated, and any future donations. We recognise this will cause concern among the charities and donors using the website.

Please note the facility to create fundraising pages or receive funds has been suspended until further notice. We will issue a press release shortly and add further detail on the website in due course.

The Charity Commission has issued a press release which may be view on the their website at the following link: [] You may also send enquires to

Please note, we will not be able answer requests about specific fund raising pages balance's whilst we continue our enquires

I am not at all suggesting that the issues at charity giving and at SMC are the same, but I found it interesting to note that:

1 - The Charities Commission appointed an interim manager
2 - The facility to receive funds was suspended

The Charities Commission has teeth!

This is of course in England and the role and approach of OSCR in Scotland may differ to some degree. I still however find it heartening that SMC have to answer to someone, and there are very serious steps that can be taken if they do not try to be accountable.

Number 2 is of particular significance to SMC. They hold almost no cash reserves (contrary to their own policy) so, if they suspended the ability to receive funds, they wold be unable to pay the wages of school staff within a cople of months. These are serious consequences! Perhaps they should have paid attention to Matthew 5v23 after all!

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: CovLass ()
Date: July 16, 2013 07:03PM

Hi Folks

I've just been on the Struthers church blog and notice they have had some very interesting reports on recent Bible studies from the book of Galatians. The most recent one was about how the church members should share all good things with their leaders. They were told they should give financial support as well as practical support and help in other areas to leaders who help support and feed the flock. I actually agree with this and I think most people outside of the church wpuld agree with the basic principle of "if someone helps and supports you then you should do likewise."

However, the questions that rise up are "are they supporting and helping the majority of believers or is it just the ones they feel "drawn to"? I have heard Diana and others say they did not feel God was telling them to minister to certain members of the congregation. That she felt that God was telling her to pull back from certain individuals and that she could not minister or help such people. Would it be right then, in the light of this study, to say to those individuals that she did not want their financial support, or any other kind of support as God was telling her she could not minister to them? I think it is only fair that it works the other way round. I wonder if others agree?

The other question is, is it morally right to expect people to give (financially or otherwise) to the detriment of thei own or their own families well being? Is it morally right to expect a family who is struggling to make ends meet and put shoes on their children's feet, to put themselves under further financial pressure to give to a woman who is in full time employment, as is her husband (who also more than likely gets a police pension) and their children have grown up? Is it right to expect such people to tell their children they cannot afford to go to the school trip, in order to support wealthy families to send their children to a private school? Is it right for anyone to give unending and unquestioning support to a church leader and yet receive no help or support in their time of need? I don't know what others think but I certainly do not think this is right or correct.

The next study I read must be a sign of a massive rethink of Struthers philosophy. The report was from 27th June 2013. Excerpts from the report are as follows:

This week we began Galatians ch. 6, looking at verses 1-5.

We discussed the responsibilities of those who are godly to help those who have fallen into sin (v. 1). The help is
to be gentle and the purpose is restoration.

The help is to be gentle with the aim of restoration. WOW!!!!! This really is a first. The "help" I got when I was accused of being involved in a sin that I wasn't, was about as far from gentle and restorative as it it is possible to get. I was told I was the worst kind of sinner, too bad to even speak to people in church. I was later tod that if I didn't like this form of "gentle and restorative help" I could clear off back to Coventry because that was the final word on the matter. I don't think I have heard of one case on this forum of anyone receiving gentle and restorative help.

Now I was told "my" sin was "the worst kind of sin" so maybe it could be argued that I should receive harsh treatment due to the extremely wicked nature of "my" sin. However the report goes on to say that

The kind of sin is not specified by Paul. It could be any one of the "acts of the sinful nature" we discussed in
earlier studies (5:19-21)

Just to clarify, the sins listed in Galatians 5:19-21 are "...sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like."

So it looks like "my sin" and in fact all sins are pretty much covered in that list. The reports says it is not the particular sin that Paul is referring to but the importance is in the way people are treated and helped i.e. gently and with the aim of restoration.

Of course the report centres on it being the responsibility of the believers to help and restore. Presumably this means the leaders as well, unless they do not class themselves as believers?

The final part of the report is a truly remarkable turnaround. It says

We discussed that Paul warns believers against thinking themselves too important to help other believers.
We are to love one another and thus fulfil the law of Christ.

NO ONE should think of themselves as too important to help other believers!!! Here here, I couldn't agree more. Jesus himself stopped to help a woman who had several husbands and another woman caught in the act of adultery. So does this mean that there will be an end to Struthers leaders refusing to help people, to gently restore those who have fallen into sin?

Perhaps ThePetitor will finally get a response to the letter he sent to Mr Jewell, asking for a meeting. Perhaps others will get responses, ater many years, to the letters and calls they have made to Struthers leaders, simply asking why they were banned from attending meetings. Could this really be a turnaround for the leaders of Struthers? or is it another case of preaching one thing but doing another?

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Ifellaway ()
Date: July 17, 2013 01:09AM

CovLass, I don't want to be a doubting Thomas, but I'm not holding my breath, as we speak. However aspects of smc have apparently needed further looking into by OSCR. If the smc leadership are stressing their fallibility (which is what I read from what you posted.) then this is a stark admission. I wonder if they will actually act on public address them finally. That would be something indeed.
ThePetitor, yes they do appear to have teeth and eyes on the back of their head. You forgot (or were too polite..) to mention they have also got the bollix to follow through.
It will take more than preaching a different message (for whatever length of time) to prove their worth. Like I said, these guys can't be fooled and they are not in a rush.
It's not unheard of that leaderships implode as they realise the hole is too deep to climb out of. Moonlight flit for the first who think of it?

This is good news though; let me be clear I agree. It is a change (a forced change...but still..) and an indication that smc's pitiful excuse for leadership is under the microscope and has been found wanting.
This is why we are here. This is why we will stay.
Regards all, and happy days, Ifellaway

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: E.Ray ()
Date: July 17, 2013 05:56PM

The other question is, is it morally right to expect people to give (financially or otherwise) to the detriment of thei own or their own families well being? >

Actually people who are struggling financially aren't expected to tithe, they're told not to worry about it. Or at least they were when I was there. As for the other stuff......well that certainly is a change of heart

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Rensil ()
Date: July 19, 2013 07:54AM

re what you posted about the SMC Bible Study report about Galatians Ch 6 etc, I sadly think that this is yet another example of preaching one thing and doing another in practice. I haven't seen a lot of gentle and restorative support given to church people who fall into a sin either. The usual practice is to rebuke or give a telling off, then to let a person sit in the pew and ignore them and prevent them from being involved in any church ministry, for years maybe or forever. In other cases, people are banned from coming to the Church, or told they are not welcome to return until they have stopped indulging in a sin (identified by the leaders, of course!). Instead of being offered help and support, these folk are cast out, in case they cause "contamination." Many have lived for years with feelings of condemnation and low self-esteem as a result.

In other words, people who fall into sin are basically written off and never given another chance to prove themselves or demonstrate their repentance. There are people sitting in SMC churches today who are in that position and the leaders know it. They don't want people to know about this. Things are regularly swept under the carpet and hidden from the church members. The leaders are not, as a rule, adhering to the teaching given in Galatians Ch 6 and I don't think there will be any change in this regard. The Blog report on SMC's Bible Study is just for show and good PR, in my opinion. They have been studying the Bible for years including the Book of Galatians, so they shouldn't just be discovering what it says now. If so, then apologies should be offered to those who've had ungentle, unrestorative treatment for falling into a sin.

Perhaps one's treatment in this regard depends on who one is. I'm thinking that Hugh Black was given this gentle and restorative treatment after he made the mistake of investing and then losing large amounts of the Church's money in the stock-market crash in 1987. But this error also caused many folk to leave SMC so it wasn't a good outcome for all concerned.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: cbarb ()
Date: July 21, 2013 10:33PM

Hi folks

I have to say that I agree with you, Rensil, with regards to SMC teaching one thing and doing another. They have been doing that forever!

What is being taught in bible studies is as different from the actual practices of the leaders as chocolate is from cheese. This is where the hypocrisy has come from all these years. Leaders of SMC are pass-masters at preaching 'Don't do as I do but do as I tell you!'

No, Covlass, we won't be holding our breath for any drastic changes of mind from leaders of SMC. The best thing they could do is stand down for good and allow people who actually understand the Bible and know the difference between truth and hypocrisy to take over on the platforms of the church.

It is quite strange though, that some people are still willing to blindly believe in this stupid, self-righteous, anointing crap - given the level of hypocrisy and deceit coming from the leaders. What Hugh Black did with the church's money was not only tantamount to 'stealing' but was also, by his own mouth, the 'grievous sin of gambling'. This alone would have had any ordinary member of the church castigated and banned from the church and future contact with any members of the church, for fear of contamination of the faithful members. Someone already posted here about a young girl who was badly in need of some guidance and attention, who stole a necklace (I think that's what it was) and what did she get? Castigated and banned from future meetings or speaking to members of the church.

But what did HB get, who stole/lost something like half a million quid - or more? A slap on the wrist and the members of the church being told that they were facing a test of their faith, from God. How can ANY intelligent human beings actually subscribe to that nonsense? So are the current members of SMC all so unintelligent that they can allow themselves to go on being duped and dictated to? Seems that way to me!

As always, biiiiiiig love and huge hugggggggs to all
God Bless xxx

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: lintar123 ()
Date: July 31, 2013 06:34AM

hello, I have been reading (all the time) with my new bi-focals . I am so glad that everyone continues to remember and post their memories. Still, after years , like many,I have the shackles of Struthers.
Probably, always, most of them will be connected to my wedding day.(see previous posts) Thankfully ,we still tell the tale and people shudder when they hear it. {let it be known that we found a way after all these years despite the ceremonies about us}. But it was ME who SAVED him!
You all know what my gripes are. The control....the arrogance... the invasion of privacy, the cult factor. Dear people, no one should be controlling your life. You only have one life. I am looking forward to hearing the OSCR outcome about Struthers. It cannot possibly be a positive one! Am not very wordy... but thankfully now,I am leading a normal happy life, but would stand up in a Court of Law against them for what they did to me ,personally , and to MANY others. Why are many reading and not posting? Why are people still putting up with the fear? We have Lawyer relatives who are horrified when I tell my many stories, and there were/ are Lawyers in Struthers who know the truth and legalities?

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