Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: ThePetitor ()
Date: January 11, 2021 09:46PM

Rensil, yes, I agree with all you say.

Just a quick comment at this point, and that is in connection with one very important point you make, which is that you can go to any church you choose. In these days of lockdown, many, many churches have online services that you can listen to at any time.

I would really encourage everyone to make use of that. For those in Struthers, it will increase your Bible knowledge ten-fold. There are really amazing teachers out there who know their Bible and can explain the Christian message and Christian life with clarity and depth. When you think of it, what possible harm could it do for you to watch some of these preachers?

Apart from anything else, your will find them preaching from parts of the Bible avoided by Struthers. (If you are in Struthers and doubt that, just keep a note of the passages used over a year or so and ask why many of the other parts are never referenced.)

As a simple example, Acts 17v 17 says (about Paul), "He reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and God-fearing Gentiles, and in the marketplace with those he met each day. Some Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also began to debate with him."

Notice the verbs - "reasoned" and "debate". That is the scriptural model, but you will never hear that verse preached about in Struthers as it may be the scriptural model, but it is not their model. They simply cut it our of their Bible, preaching that reasoning is not the right way and there is no room for debate with the leaders. What arrogance.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: I can see ()
Date: January 28, 2021 08:05AM

Sounds very much like Kirkby Christian fellowship in Merseyside.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: ThePetitor ()
Date: January 30, 2021 12:19AM

I can see,

I am pretty sure there were strong links between Struthers and Kirby at some point, with the Kirby fellowship or leaders visiting Struthers camps for a while, but they eventually decided to go their separate ways. To be honest, I suspect that was inevitable - Struthers would have wanted to incorporate Kirby as a "branch" and they probably did not want to lose status in this way.

I can't find anything just now, but I am pretty sure there are details of some of this link between Kirby and Struthers on earlier pages either here or the Kirby pages.

Having a quick look did however mean I glanced again at some earlier pages on this forum. In doing so, I found some really interesting comments by other contributors to this forum. If anyone reading this forum has a spare 5 mins, it would ben interesting to glance back at some of these earlier pages to see what was written.

I was for example looking at p23 (over 100 pages ago!) when only about twenty people had come forward to talk about the way they had been abused by the Struthers leaders. Some notable quotes from that page, from lots of different people, are:

    A surprising result of finding this forum and reading the posts is that I would actually like to start attending church again.

    Can anyone tell me who exactly benefits from lifelong attendance--perhaps 5-10 times per week--at SMC?

    … The source of these concerns are people who used to look to you for help and guidance towards God. As the testimonies show you have made it harder for them to find God. Never forget – you took all the responsibility for those people lives. You told them you knew what God wanted for them better than they knew themselves. They had no permission to disagree with you. If they have subsequently suffered pain – or are still in pain tonight – it is because you failed them as a leader.

    To follow a path all your life without investigation of where it is leading is folly!!! to say the least.

    I know several people who have left SMC and they are on fire for God, some in Christian leadership positions, others ministering and helping the weak, living holy lives, preaching the gospel etc.

    At one time i bought every book that came out of SMC, Hugh Blacks writings at least AND the camp tapes , i would listen and read avidly, and where do you think it got me? Thats right no where!

As I said myself on that page:
    We are not the prosecution, we are THE WITNESSES to the horrible abuse you have inflicted. Twenty one witnesses of the hurt you have caused, and plenty more out there. It is not the case that this would go away if we changed our thinking, or even gave up thinking entirely and became passive recipients of Struthers doctrine. The things that happened would still have happened.


    The idea of an on-fire leadership is such a joke, They do not actually do anything - just talk about how bad everyone else is. They have had 30 years or more to sort out this "cold-hearted congregation". Can you imagine a football manager surviving that record? "Yes, I know we have not won anything for 30 years, but it all the fault of the players. We have excellent managers that are the best in the world, but the players on the pitch just aren't pulling their weight." Nonsense.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Rensil ()
Date: February 04, 2021 03:02AM

Interesting to re-read these old posts, ThePetitor. I don’t think much has changed in SMC since then, judging by their recent YouTube videos. The preaching seems be the same old, same old as it was, with the same content about living in holiness and always ever seeking that deep place with the Lord, using a Bible verse or verses about Israel from the Old Testament. Despite outward cosmetic (literally!) changes, nothing much is different. I thought of another reason why the rules on outward issues aren’t as strict: it’s in response to the OSCR investigation a couple of years or so ago, when they must have had to explain a few things and be willing to alter some, in order to retain their charitable status.

Yes, re the Kirkby fellowship, I believe the link began when their leader, Cheryl, came across Mr Black’s books and, on learning that he was very pro women in ministry, got in touch with him. He of course gave her lots of encouragement to maintain her position as a female leader. He said so publicly. Cheryl then brought a large number of her people up to the Camps. We were all encouraged to welcome and befriend them. But it wasn’t to last. We were never told what happened but I did hear there was disagreement between her and Mr Black concerning the deliverance ministry. After a year or two, the Kirkby folk never came back up. Kirkby has its own thread on this forum and it’s a very grim story. So much for the great discernment which Struthers leaders say they have for people. Yes, ThePetitor, I think they’d have liked to make the group a Struthers branch church.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: ThePetitor ()
Date: February 04, 2021 05:13AM

Hi Rensil, all interesting stuff.

Re Kirby, you are forgetting the Struthers cannot possibly do anything wrong, so they will no doubt claim that God led them to create a link but Kirby then went off in the wrong direction, missing God's high calling. Because of this God of course rejected the Kirby Fellowship and left Struthers as the only true church.

By pure coincidence, the explanation from the Kirby side will be that God led them to create a link but Struthers then went off in the wrong direction, missing God's high calling. Because of this God of course rejected Struthers and left Kirby as the only true fellowship.

I suspect that, at the end of the day, both groups will discover they were both equally close to the truth :-)

The problem with all of this is "confirmation bias" i.e. looking for evidence that supports your position rather than looking at all the evidence and seeing what conclusion it supports. That is something that happens all the time with lots of different groups, from people who think the earth is flat to climate change deniers.

Instead of looking at all the evidence, they get locked into a particular ways of thinking. They do not want the truth, they only want to hear comments that support their position. Of course leaving their fellowship is horrible to contemplate as that means they would be exposed to people who says things that do not confirm their position, causing them to have to think for themselves.

The challenge I would make to everyone - whether you are a supporter of Struthers or someone who thinks they are terrible, or anywhere in between - is to ask yourself how you would know if you were suffering from confirmation bias. How would you know if you were only looking for evidence to support a particular position rather than being a genuine seeker after the truth? Seriously, I do think we all need to ask ourselves that question. Are we really seeking, or have we just given up? I suspect that many in Struthers have actually given up as they realise the formula preached from the pulpit simply does not work.

If you are in the position, there is another option. Just because the Struthers formula does not work does not mean you have to give up - there are many, many people who have rejected that formulaic approach and found a real, meaningful Christian experience. So, no need to be afraid of thinking for yourself, it will actually allow you to find a truth that does not need to be constantly reinforced, but is secure and unafraid of other views and opinions.

On another note it is interesting to hear that sermons are now online again - you may recall that they stopped posting them online after some analysis of what they actually said were added here and on the latigo site ( if any recent readers have not seen that site). Might take a look at some of the sermons and post some thoughts or email them to Latigo to see what they think.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Rensil ()
Date: February 06, 2021 08:05AM

Hi ThePetitor

Confirmation bias - that hits the nail on the head!
The sermons have only been put onto YouTube because of the lockdown, ie so that people can continue to hear the preaching during this period when the churches are all closed. Only Greenock is putting on sermons. To get the Glasgow and Cumbernauld ones, I believe you have to go via Instagram therefore viewers will be monitored. Many Struthers folk used to look down on social media, deeming it worldly, but now they need it to get sermons during lockdown.

That’s the trouble with making rules. You have to keep them. Or do you? Cult-like groups are notorious for changing their rules and teachings. It’s one of the signs.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: anonymousfornow ()
Date: March 31, 2021 12:09AM

It may be of interest to you all that the Pudsey (Leeds) branch of Struthers has folded.

There is information here from the local C of E parish church who are looking to take on the building to run as a community centre []

Maybe only ten years ago there were hundreds of young people passing through the youth clubs and Sunday school, with a regular congregation of about 40/50 people. The leadership has spent a great deal of energy in excluding those who don't quite follow the rules, so here we are.

The community will be much better served via these new proposals.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Rensil ()
Date: April 12, 2021 07:54AM

Thanks for letting us know the news about the Pudsey branch, Anonymousfornow. Didn’t know that had happened. I remember back in the 1980s that there was always a large contingent from the Pudsey branch who came up for the Summer Camps. I know that some of these will have passed away by now as some were older. But the numbers coming up to the Camps and Conferences did dwindle over the years.

I know that Pudsey even used to hold its own Saturday night meeting and that some members travelled there on Saturdays from surrounding areas and stayed overnight in the church (sleeping on cushions on the floor) and then attended the Sunday morning meeting, before travelling back home, often by public transport. That meant almost their whole weekend was taken up with meetings and then it was back to work on the Monday. But this was expected of those who had joined. OK if people are on mission or similar, but to attend and then be told all the things you are not allowed to do and that you’re there to sit in a meeting and sing your heart out, then listen to sermons and pray in tongues.

I’m sure the Struthers leaders will give some spiritual explanation for the demise of the Pudsey branch, but I can’t think what. Pudsey was one of the churches seen in Miss Taylor’s vision of the fountain which she saw starting in the Greenock church and spreading out all around the UK. But There aren’t many Struthers groups in the rest of the UK. Why not just be honest and admit that churches of all denominations are in decline and that Struthers is no different from all the others.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: ThePetitor ()
Date: April 12, 2021 04:12PM

Hi Anonymous for now. Thanks for passing on that info, and thanks also to Rensil for the additional background info.

Not at all surprising, but there seems to be a bit of misinformation and misdirection by the Leadership. The report from Pudsey Parish Church says, "The small Fartown congregation have taken the decision to stop meeting in person after COVID-19" which implies they will continue to meet virtually.

Their website is however no longer available, and Pudsey no longer appears on the main struthers website either. If they are continuing to meet virtually, you would have thought they would still be listed as a fellowship.

As you say Rensil, the leadership will no doubt come out with some wonderful spiritual explanation - but probably only if they have to. I suspect they will just say nothing at all as they are not answerable to anyone. Who in the congregation could actually ask them where this fits with the overall vision? I don't think there is anyone left with the strength of character to do that - everyone with any real strength was pushed out because they were "a disruptive influence".

Don't know about other people on this forum, but every single Christian biography I have read shows someone who is a disruptive influence - people who had something important to do and did not let difficulties stand in their way. But those left in Struthers are largely shadows of what they could have been - and indeed could still be if they could see they actually have real personal value and are more than fodder for the leadership's increasingly incredible belief they are the only people who have a direct line to God. Come on folks - look around you. The whole edifice is crumbling, and that is because they have not honoured God - they have instead boasted of their own spirituality and insight.

I read an interesting post recently that I think is quite relevant - "God told me to love my neighbour, He never told me to love my particular church. If there is a choice between loving my neighbour and loving my church, I will always chose my neighbour." Seems to me that Struthers want you to do exactly the opposite: in a choice between church and neighbour, they want you to love your church. Why not reach out to some others in the church to ask if they are going through hard times, or help out at a charity, or contact some members who have left to offer your support? These actions would demonstrate love for your neighbour and would open up a whole new Christian experience.

One final dig, which is that I find it funny how God tells them when to buy a building or open a new branch, but does not tell them in advance they are going to close one. Can't remember seeing anything about that in the New Year Prophesy!

Hope all readers of the forum are managing to survive in these trying times.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: ThePetitor ()
Date: April 30, 2021 10:51PM

Those who have been around for a while will know that I occasionally post information about the finances of the church. All of this info is from the annual accounts.

The reason I am posting this now is that I have heard that the bookshop/ coffee shop in Falkirk is not opening again when lockdown is eased. That made me wonder what is happening on the finances front, so I have pulled together the latest figures, which are up to December 2019.

I enclose these below along with some figures from earlier years for comparison.

2009 (11 churches listed on website)
 . . . . . . . .  . . Income . . . . . Expenditure . . . . . Profit (or loss if negative)
Shops . . . . . . .  . 387,387 . . . .. . . 377,561 . . . . .  .. . . . 9,826
Conference . . . . . . 114,949 . . . .  . . 113,769 . . . . . . . . . . 1,180
School Fees . . .  . . 364,375. . . .  .  . 522,518 . . . . .. . . . -158,143
Church * . . . . . . . 583,812 . . .  . . . 373,791 . . . . . . . . . 210,019

 . . . . . ……… . . . Income . . . . . Expenditure . . . . . Profit (or loss if negative)
Shops . . . . . . . . 353,220 . . . . . 419,493 . . . . . . .  -66,273
Conference . . . . . . 99,710 . . . . . 108,887 . . . . . . .   -9,177
School Fees . . . . . 577,001 . . . . . 737,552 . . . . . . . -160,551
Church * . . . . .  . 349,203 . . . . . 315,877 . . . . . . . . 33,326
Investments . . . . . .16,283 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16,283

TOTAL . . . . . 1,395,417 . . . . . 1,581,809 . . . . . . .. .-186,392

2019 (9 churches)
 . . . . . . . . . ... Income . . . . . Expenditure . . . . . Profit (or loss if negative)
Shops . . . . . . . . . 355,372 . . . . . 427,866 . . . .  . . . -72,494
Conference . . . . . . . 93,838 . . . . . 135,006 . . . .  . . . -41,168
School Fees . . . . . . 589,272 . . . . . 699,708 . . . … . . . -110,436
Church * . . . . . . .  332,995. . . .  . 274,164 . . . . ….  . . 58,831
Investments . . . . . . .15,265 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15,265

TOTAL . . .  .   . . 1,386,732 . . . . . 1,536,744 . . . . .   .-150,012

* I have separated out the conference form the church total in the accounts.

Some observations

The school seems to have run at a loss of over £100,00 per annum, often more than this, funded by donations made to the church.

The shops originally made a profit, but have recently been losing about £70,000 per annum, some of which is of course the salary of the manager. The solution offered in the annual accounts is to seek more volunteers while still paying the manager. Obviously nothing about the minimum wage here.

Church income is dropping a little each year.

The conference used to roughly break even (+ £ 1,180 in 2009) but has recently made a loss (- £ 9,177 in 2018 and minus a remarkable £ 41,168 in 2019). There may of course be good reason for this – funding of places for people who cannot afford it for example - but it is a bit difficult to judge when no further information is given. In any normal organisation, there would be clear information about why the conference had moved from a small profit to a reasonable loss, then to a rather large loss.

Leaving aside this detail, it is interesting to note the bookshop in Falkirk is closing. I presume the leadership will say how wonderful it all was and how God greatly blessed this work over the years it was open. Amazing how everything is always wonderful and blessed, even when there really is nothing to show for it. Other than Christ, none of the Biblical characters were that good - they all made mistakes and got things wrong, but not the Struthers Leadership. Every one of them is better that Moses, David, Peter and all the others.

The big question is what exactly was the purpose of this book and coffee shop? Why is the Falkirk one closing but (presumably) the Greenock one staying open? Was the purpose/ vision different or the same? Was one making more of a loss than the other, and will the overall manager's salary be affected as there is now only one bookshop? Can't wait for the next episode.

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