Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: cbarb-again ()
Date: June 11, 2014 07:17PM

Hi folks

Yes thanks to rrmoderator for the restoration of lost data and indexing in Google again. At least we're back where we were after all the hard work of the posters here.

I'm sure that the leaders of SMC were proclaiming how God had answered their prayers by silencing us but now they'll have egg on their chins trying to explain why God changed his mind. :-)

Happy Survivor have you had any more responses regarding your letters to SMCers? Like have any of them actually apologised to you for the hurt and confusion?

The Petitor, thanks for the detail on that book. I haven't read it yet but I'm looking forward to doing so.

I've still been keeping an eye on the OSCR site to see if there's any further news about the investigation into SMC but nothing has changed so far - but we still live in hope.

As always biiiiiig love an huge hugggggs to all
God bless xxx

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Happy Survivor ()
Date: June 12, 2014 10:31PM

Hello everyone,

I have now received a written response from the 3 SMC leaders that I wrote to with my apologies for being insulting and critical. As I mentioned, I also received a response from the couple who were my friends.

The most recent response was from Diana Rutherford. I should have acknowledged it sooner but I have been away on holiday. I will quote the entire note:

"Dear Fiona,

Thank you for your recent card and very honest admission of comments on the online forum. It takes guts to put things right with people that you have criticised. I hope you will feel more at peace with God and with yourself now. I do very much appreciate your nice card and honesty. God Bless, Diana Rutherford."

The SMC leaders and the members are God's children and therefore they are our brothers and sisters. I know that many people feel they have been wronged and feel a sense of injustice. I personally felt very bruised and hurt. Initially, my way of dealing with that was to lash out and hit back, and this forum provided me with an outlet to do just that. But what I found was that the arrows I aimed at my fellow believers came back and pierced my heart. I have been reflecting on that verse that speaks of love covering a multitude of sins.

I believe it is not wrong to point out faulty doctrine and spiritual abuse in a measured and respectful manner as the team at latigo 214 has done but what I indulged in went far beyond that, grieved God and was unbecoming of a follower of Christ.

One day we will worship together with those in SMC around the throne of Christ. All these differences of opinion and all our grievances will be forgotten. I remember hearing of a well known Christian who had a much publicised difference of doctrinal opinion with another equally eminent believer. He was asked by someone: "Do you expect to see him in Heaven?". I think the questioner might have expected a response along the lines of "that scoundrel won't be in Heaven!" Instead, the preacher replied "I can't say if I shall see him there, for he shall be far nearer the Throne than I." I thought it a very gracious response.

I long now to be reconciled to those I once worshipped with in SMC. I would not return to SMC or attend a meeting there however. I wonder though if I have crossed a line in the eyes of some in SMC. Can there be fellowship with a fellow believer who will not return to SMC? I can understand that there may be a concern that I would blast them again on this forum. There may be suspicion and mistrust about meeting with me and I have given SMC folk reason to feel like that.

I hold the possibility of a reconciliation in my heart before God, and wait upon His leading. If the way opens up for this sometime in the future, I will not be bringing it onto the forum. It will be between me, the SMC folk and our God.

I have now come to the conclusion that my contributions to the forum have come to an end. I have said all I want to say. Much of what I have said should not have been said but God is gracious and through Christ has forgiven me and I have peace in my heart.

May all of you know the peace of God that passes understanding and whatever you face in this life may you find that underneath you are His everlasting arms.

Happy Survivor.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: cbarb-again ()
Date: June 23, 2014 02:03AM

Hi folks

Happy survivor, thank you for sharing this with us and we wish you all the best in the Lord.

It's a pity though that Ms. Rutherford did not take the time to apologise to you for the hurt and confusion caused by the leaders of the church. In my mind this makes you a far more gracious person than the leaders themselves, who should be living in God's grace constantly. There is no showing of any grace at all in the note sent to you and that's abhorrent for a church leader.

It seems to me that they are all taking your apologies as an admission of guilt rather than as an act of graciousness and love on your part - which it clearly is. You did not make your comments here out of maliciousness but out of desperation and a need to make sense of the way you were treated by people who claim to be closer to God than anyone else. God himself would never treat people in this way. Jesus went out of his way to show the lowest of the low that love conquers all but the SMC leaders do not follow in his footsteps in that respect.

Personally I believe that these leaders will be among those who are told "Depart from me ye cursed for I never knew you".

It's what they have NOT written to you that screams out how ungodly the leaders really are. Sure they have thanked you for your apologies but where are the reciprocations and the desire to put things right with you? Where are their apologies for the hurt they caused you that made you question your beliefs and your relationship with God?

Maybe, if you do have fellowship with them again they will be gracious enough to voice their shame and guilt for having caused you such pain and doubt to begin with but I suspect that, as usual, they will allow you to go on blaming yourself for speaking out against them - that's how they work, they are not accountable to anyone for their actions regardless of the pain those actions cause others.

Anyway, I for one wish you great comfort and hope that the future holds many wonderful things for you. God never leaves us alone and I know he will be your comfort and strength. Take care and may God bless you richly in everything you do.

Biiiiiig love and huge hugggggs to you.
God bless xxx

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/23/2014 02:05AM by cbarb-again.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: ThePetitor ()
Date: August 29, 2014 10:41PM

Well, well, some of you may have noticed that SMC has revamped its website, and made many changes, including a new booklet “Welcome to Struthers Memorial Church – information about our church branches and what we believe”. The booklet is for some reason hidden away in the “What’s on” section, but it is at least there.

Seems to me there are some other changes as well – things like the section on the Baptism in the Spirit no longer refers to signs following, and there is little reference to deliverance. It is mentioned in the summer camps section, but not on the main pages about “what we believe”.

One of the things I find most ironic is that the changes made are all in line with things suggested on the Latigo site. That being the case, I am assuming that the leadership of SMC will be writing to Latigo to withdraw the comments made when preaching against them from the pulpit (see quotes on the Latigo site), thank the Latigo authors for their insight and apolgise that they did not listen to their comments earlier. I presume they will also confirm from the pulpit that everyone should now study the Latigo site in as much detail as possible to see what other helpful suggestions have been made.

I won’t hold my breath waiting for either of these outcomes, reasonable as they may be but, either way, I think this is the end of SMC as we know it. Until now, they claimed this unique authority and that they didn’t need anything else at all, just this hotline to God. Well, that has cleared proven not to be the case. They have changed what they are doing, presumably in the light of the scrutiny of OSCR, and that means they are not infallible!

With that simple admission, the whole structure comes tumbling down. No longer can they tell people who to marry or which university to go to. Hallelujah! I look forward to seeing what other changes might occur, and to seeing a copy of the booklet at some point – I wonder why it is not available for download?

I do find the detail of the changes they are making quite interesting, and I also see a lot of parallels to the Charity Commission review of the Close Brethern (see [])

Some of the quotes form that article are given below. Obviously best to read the whole thing to get the context, but I have quoted a few bits that I think have a lot of parallels to SMC.

This campaign paid dividends last week when the commission, after a year-long dialogue while the tribunal appeal was stayed, announced it would accept a renewed application for registration on the grounds that the Brethren had acknowledged "past mistakes in relation to its disciplinary practices", changed some of these practices and amended their trust deed.
The amendments include a schedule called Faith in Practice, which pledges that the organisation will not act "at any time in a manner that lacks compassion, care or fails to pay due regard to the needs or vulnerabilities of others". One concern of opponents of the Brethren has been that some members have been cut off from their families and even barred from funerals.

Neil Summerton, a historian of the Brethren movements and chair of Partnership, a support body for the more moderate Open Brethren, which parted from the Exclusive Brethren in 1848, says the new trust deed is ground-breaking. "It seems to me that the Plymouth Brethren have given a lot of ground," he says.
Laurie Moffitt, who left the Brethren in 1993, says he is "delighted that the Charity Commission has taken so much care" over the revised trust deed for the Preston Down Trust, but says he is hopeful rather than expectant that the church will now change.
But he says there are reports that individual members, who use computers provided by the church, cannot get onto the Charity Commission’s website to view the decision. He is now working with two current members to distribute hard copies. "That’s the only way the rank and file will get to know of the decision," he says.
Jill Mytton, who left the church in 1960 at the age of 16, agrees it is unlikely that ordinary members will see the decision because the hierarchy – its Australian leader, Bruce Hales, is styled Minister of the Lord in the Recovery – would lose too much face. A spokesman for the Brethren says this suggestion is "completely unsubstantiated".

I found that bit quite interesting – the Brethern congregation had published a booklet, but that current members could not easily access copies. Makes me wonder if that is the reason SMC have not made it possible to download. Not to stop us getting hold of it, I am sure we will one way or another, but to stop their own members seeing it.


Mytton doubts that the organisation will really become more open. "If they were to give it all up, they would in a way cease to exist," she says. "They would lose their identity and become more like the Open Brethren." The revised trust deed maintains the doctrine of separation, but notes that individuals "must ultimately exercise their own judgement" on it.
Charity lawyers appear unsurprised by the commission’s decision and suggest it is unlikely to mean much for other religious organisations. Benjamin James, a partner at Wallace LLP, says that in many respects "what was going on with the Brethren from a religious point of view was no different from other religions. It has always been my position that since the Brethren became more open, it met the threshold to be a charity."

Yup, interesting phrase there. “Since the Brethern became more open…” SMC really should have paid attention to the comments on Latigo back in 2010, showing a bit of humility instead of the usual arrogance.


Stephanie Biden, a partner at Bates Wells Braithwaite, says…
"The trade-off that the Brethren have made in order to get charitable status is that they are now accountable in how they administer their church practices and the working of their doctrine to a secular regulator," she says.

Brilliant – that’s the bit I love. Assuming the same applies to SMC, they will for the first time be accountable! Wooooonderful!


"Shrinking", formerly known as "shutting up", is imposed on dissenting or disaffected members, according to Barker; they are sent to live alone, and are brought only food and reading material. They can go to work or attend school and are visited by elders to discuss their situation, but cannot attend any services or meetings. In the new appendix to its governing document, Faith in Practice, the Preston Down Trust, a PBCC congregation, says shrinking is "relatively rare as pastoral care is intended and does in most cases resolve the matter".

Barker said the Brethren also practise "excommunication", formerly known as "withdrawal". Some people excommunicated from the PBCC "have found themselves ejected from their homes, completely cut off from their family and friends, having nowhere to go and no one to whom they felt they could turn". Faith in Practice says that excommunicated Brethren are given "follow-up pastoral and shepherd care in view of the possibility of re-including the person concerned in fellowship".

Interesting.I can't find it at the moment, but I did read on one of the comments that they have also now said that the practice will to apply to anyone under 16. Wonder if SMC will same the say re some of their practices, and how they will correct past examples that did not meet their new standards.

This is already a long post (how unlike me!) but I would like to finish with two quotes form the full report by the Charity Commission.


The Commission provided PDT with a summary of the allegations so that they had the opportunity to make representations in reply; these were taken into
account by the Commission. In making its representations PDT indicated that some of the allegations must be of an historic nature but did acknowledge past mistakes in relation to its Disciplinary Practices. They further demonstrated a willingness to make amends for these and to do what they could as a Christian organisation to ensure, as far as it was consistent with its religious beliefs, it would act with Christian compassion in the future, particularly in its dealings with disciplines of the Disciplinary Practices and in its relations with former members of the Brethren.

Having fully considered all of the available evidence albeit untested by cross examination, the Commission concluded, on balance, that there were elements of detriment and harm which emanated from doctrine and practices of the Brethren and which had a negative impact on the wider community as well as individuals. In particular the nature and impact of the Disciplinary Practices and the impact of the doctrines and practices on those who leave and on children within the PBCC may have consequences for society."

I think it is pretty likely that there will be a similar set of allegations in the case of SMC, and I look forward to their willingness to make amends. That is the least they can do.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/29/2014 10:46PM by ThePetitor.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: TRUTHSEEKER9001 ()
Date: September 24, 2014 11:37PM

This is part of my post 19 March,

I understand some of the leadership are celebrating that the Charity Regulator's investigation has taken over 18 months and is still going.
My understanding is that they will continue to argue and delay any responses as long as possible and if there are adverse findings they will say they are out of date.They believe that afterwards they can return to normal.

I do not know how the leadership are now feeling however it is now TWO YEARS since the Charity Regulator started investigating.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: cbarb-again ()
Date: September 28, 2014 03:25AM

Hi folks,

The Petitor, some very excellent information you have provided and some very interesting points you have made, thank you. Gave me food for thought.

Truthseeker, yes I remember you posting that paragraph before and it certainly is taking OSCR an extraordinary length of time to reach any conclusions. One can only assume that they are giving SMC the benefit of the doubt and allowing them the time to get themselves sorted out.

From the Petitor's post it seems that things are beginning to change a bit in relation to the points made by the Latigo site although I wouldn't hold your breath to hear them admit that Latigo got it right - they are way to full of pride in themselves to admit to such failings for so long.

Interestingly though, you will note that one of their MAIN points in their company statement says they are a charity who provide "Grants and Donations" and you would therefore expect them to be spending quite a substantial amount in this area.

However looking at the breakdown of their 2012 accounts - (OSCR - SMC Accounts) - you will see that these "Grants and Donations" account for just over 3.1% of their total expenditure with "costs of charitable activities" accounting for just over 96.64% of total expenditure:


Total donations = £467,396
Interest and Investment income = £4,646
Income from Charitable Activity = 957,843

Total = £1,429,885


Cost of charitable activities = £1,288,814
Grants and donations = £41,588
Governance costs = £3,180

Total = £1,333,582

Given that the reported INCOME from charitable activities (we assume this relates to the coffee shops and Cedars School) is reported as £957,843 but the COST of these activities amounts to £1,288,814; this gives them a defecit of £330,971 of costs against income for these activities: Which leads me to question the level of salaries being distributed to the school and coffee shop workers.

Strangely enough, for an organisation who prides itself on having a 'hotline' to God I wonder at their blatant disregard for God's teachings in the Bible. Jesus categorically criticised and condemned those who were profiting from the church and peddling their products at the entrance to the temple. Yet here we have an organisation who hold themselves in high esteem as being Holier than most yet their leaders and members of the leaders' families are being paid more than their charitable income can cover.

Jesus told his desciples to go and sell all that they owned and then follow him and yet these, oh so Holy, leaders of SMC are actually TAKING from the church instead of giving. If they were truly followers of the Lord Jesus Christ they would be giving their time, in the school and coffee shops, freely and for no reward other than serving God. If they are unable to do this then they should not be running a school or coffee shops at all.

This all points their complete lack of faith in the God they claim to have a hotline to. God said that he would always provide for those who have faith in him and that those who gave up everything to follow him and teach his Holy Word would receive everything that they need to sustain themselves, by his Grace.

SMC leaders preach this to their members but don't act on it themselves, as is evidenced by their own financial accounts. I believe this was the reason the idea of financial ventures, such as a school and coffee shops, was originally met with stern rebuke from Miss Taylor, way back in the early days of the church because, for all her faults, she at least recognised the probability of such ventures leading to corruption among the leaders of the church. And she wasn't wrong in that respect, in my personal opinion. In my day there were no payments made to any of the leaders or members regarding the work of The Lord. All the leaders had paid jobs outside of the church and any work done for the church, whether in leadership or time given to church buildings and maintenance was given free gratis and with no expectation of financial gain.

How times have changed!

I'm glad that OSCR are taking so long with their investigation of the church because it means that they are doing an exceptionally thorough job and giving the church time to mend its ways before making a final decision on their charitable status. I personally don't think they should be allowed charitable status, given their skewed form of doctrine, but if the investigation leads to them being a bit more humble and accepting that they have got it very wrong then that can only be a good outcome.

Whether or not they will make the necessary changes and humble themselves before God and their members (both current and former) remains to be seen but I would not like to see them keep their charitable status if they continue to disregard their accountability to the people they serve as well as to God.

As always,
Biiiiiiig love and huge huggggggs to all.

God Bless xx

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/28/2014 03:31AM by cbarb-again.

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The monies
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: September 28, 2014 09:19PM

Luke 12:34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. English
Standard Version For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. - 18k - Cached - Similar pages

Matthew 6:21 - For where your treasure is, there your - Bible GatewayFor where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
[] - 125k - Cached - Similar pages

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: ThePetitor ()
Date: October 01, 2014 04:12AM

Truthseeker, you are absolutely right to draw attention to the length of time that OSCR is taking to complete their report. I hope that cbarb is right that this means they are doing a thorough job, but it worries me, as I think it just gives the leaders time to make up more and more excuses.

I know the stuff officials were dealing with in Rotherham was very different, and I am not wanting to draw too close an analogy, but when you read all the recent reports in the paper, very few of them spend much time criticising the actual perpetrators, all of the public criticism is of those in official positions who should have been monitoring what was going on. I think OSCR is close to getting themselves in that sort of position if they do not act soon.

I think we have already seen on these pages that people have suffered during the time OSCR has taken to investigate, and I suspect that is still continuing. What if there is a serious incident which ends up in the press or the courts for some reason? I am sure there will be an examination of SMC if that happens, but I think there will now also be an examination of OSCR as well - someone has to ask why they allowed the situation to continue while they drag out the investigation.

That would not happen in other contexts. If for example there were allegations of bullying, you could not leave things as they were and allow an investigation to go on for two years, that would be unacceptable. If it was a school inspection, they would have reported and made recommendations, and the inspectors would have returned to check the action had been taken and published a second report. I don’t know about others, but I am getting to the stage that I feel like writing to OSCR to complain about them taking so long. I will certainly write if the final report does nothing to address all of the historic hurt we see on these pages, and might even start a petition to get it addressed properly.

(Actually, that was an “off the cuff” comment, but I wonder if is might be an idea. Should we consider some sort of petition to get OSCR to take this seriously, either now or once the report is published? I am beginning to think they cannot really be taking it seriously if they are just letting it go on and on.)

Anyway, in the meantime, we continue to wait. Lets hope the outcome is clear and draws attention the action the leaders have taken or will take to address any issues past, present or future. I for one would be very pleased to see a more open and co-operative attitude, but I will not believe it unless I see the willingness to make amends that the Brethern Group offered.

What I think might however be amusing is to read the final report alongside the Latigo site, as I think that more than half of issues raised in the report will be issues already raised on Latigo. I know none of us will be holding our breath waiting for the praise of the Latigo site from SMC, but I think they genuinely should do that. I remember Mr Black talking about a preacher who got into the pulpit to preach and saw a note saying, “I know you have done all these things wrong”, followed by a list and a further comment, “If you preach today, I will publicise this”. The preacher read out the note and the list, then added other things he had done wrong that were not on the list, making a clear statement that he was willing to admit fault and that he had asked forgiveness for his faults from God. If only the leaders of SMC would do that! If they did, we might yet see that revival they have been talking about for 30 years! I suspect they will do the opposite however – weasel words about how they have been sadly misunderstood and it really isn’t their fault.

Really? Fifty people willing to raise concerns on this site and it is all the fault of those raising concerns, not of it the fault of the leadership? And we are meant to feel sorry for them, not those abused by them? Come on.

If they had any integrity they would admit they had been wrong and that they would have addressed things sooner if they had only listened to Latigo. That is the simple truth of the situation and would be an honest response.

Cbarb, I take your point, but I am not sure it is 100% true that no-one used to receive a salary. I am pretty sure that Miss Jennings received a salary from the Faith Mission before joining SMC. As she had no other means of support, SMC agree to provide her with some sort of salary while she was “working” for SMC. That in itself is interesting however – what did Miss Jennings do for her salary? Was it something the church needed, or was it just that they were effectively willing to pay her to move from the Mission to SMC? I think she was paid a salary for a number of years, but I am not aware of any great responsibility carried during that time. Can’t remember that post being advertised!

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: CovLass ()
Date: October 01, 2014 08:24AM

Hi Folks

It really has been too long since I posted on here or even visited the forum. So sad to see the forum go so quiet after it was so active. Good to see some of the old faces still around.

Happy, I'm not sure if we have spoken before but full credit to you for doing what you believed to be right, it's a shame, but not unexpected that the leadership didn't do this a lot earlier and apologise for the things they had done wrong. Maybe if they had, this forum would not have needed to exist.

It's interesting that Diana Rutherford says
"It takes guts to put things right with people that you have criticised"

Yeah it does Diana. Does that mean that you are going to have to guts to apologise to me for criticising me and accusing me of being a lesbian? What about the others you openly criticised? I'm sure such apologies would be welcome.

Has anyone heard from OSCR yet? I am still concerned that impressionable children and young people are walking through the doors of that place, especially as some parents probably have no idea of the kind of indoctrination that goes on in that place.

Yes they have a couple of sentences that attempt to address a child protection policy, including a statement about how all youth workers are trained and vetted via PLVG. It also states that Alison Spiers (a key leader in the church) is, in effect, the church safeguarding officer. Experience tells me that not much is done when raising questions about the actions of the chosen ones within Struthers.

I have recently covered a huge amount of safeguarding training in preparation for my role as unit manager for St John Ambulance Badgers (5-10 year olds) and it has highlighted to me just how bad some of Struthers practices were. Hopefully things have changed but forgive me for not holding my breath.

Anyway it's been great to drop back in and say hi. Hope everyone is well.


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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Happy Survivor ()
Date: October 02, 2014 01:46AM

Hello again folks,

I had hoped it would not be necessary for me to post on this forum again..I really believed that the leaders in SMC had turned a corner and had realised the error of their ways.

Yes, I received cards from Grace Gault, Diana Rutherford, Alison Speirs and the Greenock couple...after I had publicly stated on the forum that I had written to them and was awaiting a response. The wording in each was very similar and met requirements and no more. I did wonder if I would have received replies from them if I had not mentioned my letters to them on this forum but I put that thought aside.

In July I wrote to Grace Gault and Diana Rutherford at Grace's home address asking if they would be willing to meet with me. I offered to meet in either Glasgow, Greenock or Cumbernauld. I heard nothing for about 6 weeks.

I found it hard to believe that my request which was made respectfully and politely was met with absolutely no response. I thought that perhaps mail had gone astray en route to me. So, about a month ago I wrote to Diana Rutherford at the Cumbernauld church address explaining that I had still not heard and wondered if their reply to me had been lost in the post. I gave my address, email address and mobile number.

There has still been no response despite my assurances that I would not be meeting them with a hostile attitude.

I cannot demand that these leaders meet with me. I simply made a request. I thought I sensed a glimmer of compassion and a softening of their hearts in their earlier notes to me.

My former friends have cut me off. Their reasons are couched in spiritual language and laced with phrases "we wish you well" and "I bear no ill will to you"..but I know that I have crossed a line...I have walked away from this movement and dared to question some aspects of SMC life and it's leadership.

They have sanitised their image with a new website but beneath the outward veneer it would appear that nothing has changed.

God bless,

Happy Survivor.

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