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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: GlasgowGirl ()
Date: July 19, 2020 09:23PM

Welcome back #thisisme. Apologies that I didn't respond to your earlier posts directly - and I'm sure no-one thinks your posts were at all rude. Many of us had to work up the courage to post here and one of the really good things to get out of reading and sharing is to find out, as you say, that you are not alone.

I was staggered by the extent of the damage - both in numbers and degree. I am also aware many folk will not know of this forum or have chosen not to post, so there are many more out there who have had bad experiences or been badly hurt.

It is hard to know whether making things "public" would have helped to reduce the damage. Unfortunately, I think many who still attend Struthers would believe what they would be told about any of us posting such disclosures - that we were lying,deceived, backslidden, misguided, or even demon-possessed (which I know has been said to some who dared disagree, question or criticise)

If we know folk who still attend and have the opportunity, we could consider gently suggesting that they examine what's gone on with an open mind. It certainly seems, though, that folk somehow need to discover for themselves that a lot of what goes on is very far from scriptural and "anointed" in spite of what the leaders would have them believe.

At the church I now attend, I have told the pastor and a few friends about my experience and view of Struthers. I felt I had to as there is a branch nearby and I wanted the church leadership to be in a position to decide how to advise any young (or older) folk who may be considering getting involved with them and to consider very carefully the extent of any proposed joint ventures among local churches (not that Struthers usually goes in for that sort of thing).

I do have friends who are still connected to Struthers and I knew a lot of selfless, kind and genuine people who were and may still be associated with Struthers. I have occasionally met some of them in a social context and can have quite a pleasant chat, although I am aware they probably all "disapprove" of me to some extent as I left quite publicly with a group of others when financial shenanigans came to light!

I am sure we are all happy to discuss anything that may help each other - whether on the forum or by private message. All the best xx

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: seethelight ()
Date: August 29, 2020 09:04PM

Hello everyone,
I am new to the forum and having read most of the posts within the forum, I do identify with SMC abusive behaviour . Individuals that have involved themselves within this hidden group have been damaged through hidden spiritual abuse which is very hard to detect.I have known more people who have been involved and nearly destroyed by the Struthers hidden Group. I live my day to day life with the faith and hope I have left in God to pull me through as SMC are very dangerous. ONCE THIS IS READ BY SMC THEY WILL CLAIM ITS AN ATTACK ON THE HIDDEN GROUP FROM SATAN... ITS CERTAINLY NOT.....


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/29/2020 09:15PM by seethelight.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Phoebe 2 ()
Date: September 22, 2020 10:02PM

I've found myself listening with great interest over these past months to the SMC Sunday evening presentations on You Tube. They all follow a similar pattern -- a time of recorded music and / or singing (I presume by the Struthers' choir or congregation) followed by a meditation from Mrs Grace Gault and then a Bible message from a young man called Andrew, whom I don't recognise (he is obviously someone who has come to the fore since my contact with SMC many years ago). I would be very interested to know who he is. Evidently, from certain remarks he has made, he is linked to one of the Struthers' family networks.

The talks given by Mrs Gault are very much in the traditional SMC "style" as I remember it from years past but Andrew ?? has a somewhat different style -- refreshingly different, I must say. He is a gifted communicator with a wide knowledge of Scripture and his messages are often illustrated and applied in ways that are pithy and more relevant to real life than the somewhat "other-worldly" traditional style previously mentioned, which I feel tends to use vocabulary and allusions that don't really engage with the nitty-gritty of life outside the SMC orbit. Andrew does follow their predictable practice of preaching from isolated texts, rather than unpacking a whole passage or working systematically through a Bible book or epistle. This may of course be due to a lack of theological training or exposure to other church traditions. In that respect, quite apart from undertaking any formal training, I think he could benefit greatly from a visit to one or two websites where he could listen to the fine expository preaching of an equally gifted young man like Paul Washer, or some of his fellow-countrymen such as Sinclair Ferguson, formerly of Glasgow Tron church or Alastair Begg of Parkside Church Cleveland -- all readily available online. However, apart from these relatively minor homiletical and theological shortcomings, I would have to say I can detect nothing in what I've heard said or sung during these podcasts that could be called heretical or even unorthodox. In other words I don't believe SMC is a cult! I wonder, having read through previous posts, if their failings lie much more in the area of pastoral care of their flock than serious doctrinal error.

Apart from all that I was very interested to note that, unlike the strictures of years past, first names were very much in evidence! In my time it was always "Miss Taylor", "Mr Black", "Miss Black", "Miss Jack", etc.! Dress and hairstyles have also had a major refurbishment to a much more 21st century look!! I would be interested to know what other viewers may think!

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Wise Piglet ()
Date: September 29, 2020 03:32AM

I am very new to this page and it has been so helpful for me to read of people’s experiences. My own experiences span 20yrs and I was brought up in this church from a very young age. Like someone else on this page, my experiences are very identifiable and my family extremely well known to the heart of this church. Sadly to say, since no longer attending, no one has ever attempted to meaningfully keep in touch with me or show kindness about my wellbeing, or how I’m doing in life despite spending all of my formative years, adolescence and 20s growing up and developing right in the heart of this church. I have been left as if that period of my life did not exist. In “normal“ life there would be some remanent of human connection and belonging due to such shared friendships, experiences and growing up throughout all of those key years of developing into an adult. I’ve experienced passing my “friends” from this church time in my life in supermarkets or other places and I have been looked up and down and been passed by. In “normal” life this would be a moment of sheer joy and excitement as you both shared how things are and what you’re doing in life and reminisced about all our times and experiences together.

I was left scared, frightened, unsure of my sense of belonging, no support network because I had been taught to shun everyone who wasn’t part of this church. Due to all the power and control dynamics of leaders towards those attending, damaging doctrines, and abusive experiences (On all levels that were overtly silenced) whilst attending, and being told when I left that I would always return there as it was my spiritual home and Mr Black stating to me he was my spiritual father, I had a great deal to work through in relation to all of this and although it saddens me those connections I had for most of my life weren’t true or meaningful, it has certainly shown me how not to treat people and I have went on to have positive, healthy and healing connections and learn the questioning and being inquisitive are healthy and essential skills in life.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: anonymousfornow ()
Date: October 25, 2020 12:16AM

It's been a number of years since I first posted here, and I've been keeping up occasionally with the forum from afar. Maybe I'll share some more personal experiences soon.

It's certainly a testament to the damage Struthers does that so many ex-members regard the place as a cult. The practices of intimidation, coercion, and psychological/emotional abuse, particularly directed toward young people, seem to be ongoing. I do note however that some of the satellite churches seem to have paired down their activities (even prior to Covid), and wonder if this is a sign of dwindling membership and local appetite? I certainly hope so. An organisation that subjects youngsters to exorcisms, techniques of conversion therapy, and seeks to control as many aspects of life as possible (relationships, culture consumed, finances, even what books are read) has no place in 2020.

A positive thing that this forum appears on the first page of results for a google search of this church, for both those looking for information, and those thinking about leaving.

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