Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Date: March 21, 2024 10:27PM

Rainbow… I love your name.

I left about four years maybe five now ago… and can say that back then taking young folks aside into side rooms was still very much practiced.

I always remember supporting a young person with an English essay and being reprimanded because the essay told of the young persons struggles with sexuality. I was given what for because I never shared their secret and then the young person was taken in and told off for having these thoughts. It was harrowing to watch. I’m very supportive of all and believe love is love no matter what direction that takes you in. I know some disagree but that’s just my views on the matter. But to treat this youngster with such contempt for trying to process their own feelings. The story spoke of a sexual assault that happened to them and rather than support them with that, the focus was on their struggles with their sexuality.

And this essay was found by parents raiding through things so the young person was very much put on the spot. Rather than dealing with such an issue at home like most families would, it was handled inside of the church with DR as the morale compass.

All very disturbing and was the last straw for me within those walls.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: blackwatch ()
Date: March 21, 2024 10:32PM

I don't read any of what you say as being judgmental. However, might I gently say that you are perfectly entitled to be so. It may be that your well-placed reticence to be seen as being overly 'judgy' of others comes from how you were treated at Struthers.

Being encouraged to harm yourself is a criminal offence and indeed, the law around emotional manipulation and control is very stringent nowadays. I'm appalled to hear that you were encouraged to do this to yourself.

Your comments and observations around the inner circle are well noted. I hope you'll continue to share some of your experience and observations :-)

Rainbow Wrote:
> I am sorry for what you have been through.
> I also find the marriage situation very odd. I
> believe many of them have been arranged marriages
> and unwanted by the individuals. I would be
> concerned that if the behaviour continues that
> couples of the future could end up being related.
> I was a student when I attended; vulnerable and
> away from home. I have no children of my own but I
> look at my friends children and can’t imagine how
> anyone would think it is acceptable to treat them
> the way that many young people in struthers were
> and are treated.
> I was taken away many times by individual leaders
> to be spoken to in a private room. Does that kind
> of behaviour still happen? Should it happen?
> One very upsetting situation was being advised by
> a leader that I should self harm in order to
> resist the temptation of doing something. She said
> this was advice herself and Miss Black were given
> by Miss Taylor. For many years I believed this to
> be normal behaviour. I have scarring as a result.
> A life long reminder of what I experienced.
> I have many sad, real and frightening stories of
> my time there. I believe they try to strip your
> life away so that you become dependant on them. If
> you obey and do all that is asked of you they will
> find you accommodation, a husband or wife, private
> school education for your children and a job.
> There is an inner circle that have achieved this
> elite status. At one time I dreamt of achieving
> that; now I thank God that I didn’t make the cut
> it and was asked to leave.
> Not all parents of children at the school pay for
> their education themselves. Many come as
> offerings/gifts from church members.
> I read that a lot of you live with shame, fear of
> bumping into current members of the church. Sadly
> I have this too. I was made to believe ghat I was
> one of life’s failures, with no hope of a future
> or living on the highest path that God had for me.
> I was constantly encouraged to look at my life and
> find deeper things to change and ask forgiveness
> for. I’m sure there was one leader who claimed she
> could see demons just by looking in our eyes. I
> lived in fear. It’s very sad that this continues.
> Overall, on the surface struthers memorial display
> behaviours of holiness, they preach it and claim
> to live that life. This is not the behaviour of
> many, many church members. Many who are very much
> part of the inner circle. Speaking from the
> platform, leading children’s meetings. Stories of
> adultery, bullying, violence, abuse, drug taking
> and alcohol.
> I am not passing my judgement here. I am just
> sharing that, as many of you have already said, it
> is not what it seems.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Daisy69 ()
Date: March 22, 2024 02:11PM

One thing any member has to understand, is that anything you say to anyone there, isn’t confidential.
It’s repeated to the leadership.
No child should be taken to a side room, underaged alone, under any circumstances.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: ThePetitor ()
Date: March 22, 2024 08:41PM

Welcome folks, I am once again amazed to see new folks coming out to share their stories - and to discover they are not alone in their experiences.

I am disappointed that there is not yet any reply from standbyfive, but I guess I should not be too surprised. It seems to me that is the way of those in and around Struthers (or in this case, not around, but still impressed with).

The overall attitude is “This is MY truth and you cannot take it away from me. It does not matter what you say, how many people are hurt, whether prophecies come true, whether we only preach from certain verses and ignore others, whether we twist scripture or make up ideas that are non-scriptural. None of that matters because I am sticking to my version of things.”

I happened to see another example of exactly that on the blog of the London branch of SMC today.

(As an aside, I am not sure what the London branch is these days – I do not think they own a building, meet weekly or have more than two or three people (perhaps just one!) yet they for some reason cannot join with other Christians and be part of another church, they have to set up their own branch. Why is that?)

Anyway, to return to the point, the thought for the week on the London blog included:


But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33)

Notice that it doesn’t say ‘seek to be greatly used’ or ‘seek to be famous’. Let’s get things in perspective. The most important thing we will ever ‘do’ in life is ‘seek God first’.

Hmmm. There are probably some verses that say seek God first, but this isn’t one of them. What this verse (along with a few thousand others) says is seek His Kingdom first, and that includes things like justice, kindness and mercy. And that is exactly why “all these things” are not being added to them.

Daisy69 you say that things on this forum are reported to the leaders of SMC. If that is the case (which I am sure it is) they will in this week alone get a report that:

(a) Someone was advised to self-harm as a way of resisting temptation;
(b) Someone who raised an issue about a sexual assault did not receive appropriate support;
(c) Someone was told off for not passing on information that was confidential;
(d) That someone cannot go to the shops without rogue thoughts, and;
(e) That a blind eye is turned to pain, hurt and damage.

That is the fruit of misinterpreting scripture. If they actually read words like “seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness and (also quoted in the London blog) “do justly, love mercy” they would get the report about what has been said on this forum and say, “OK, folks there are some real concerns out there. We need to suspend all our services for a month while we reach out to these people in humility to apologise and ask them what we can do to resolve the issues and make recompense.” That would be seeking the Kingdom of God first (read the stories and parables Jesus taught if you do not believe that).

Instead they will simply double-down, effectively saying “I know the Bible says to seek His kingdom first, to love things like justice and to put others first, but we are not going to do that, instead we are going to seek a thing called ‘deep worship’ first, even though it is not in the Bible.” This is not scriptural folks, it is in fact the opposite of scripture.

As Matthew 6v23 and 24 say,

“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.”

Struthers preaches the opposite of this. They say,

“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, try to forget about your brother or sister and focus on the experience you are having.”

I genuinely cannot comprehend how they can preach the opposite of what is says in the Bible and still claim any sort of affinity with Christianity.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Daisy69 ()
Date: March 22, 2024 11:35PM

Hi petitor,
What I meant was, that nothing is confidential in the church.
If someone tells another member, something in confidence it’s repeated to the leadership.
For child protection reasons, no child should be taken to a side room on their own. Whatever the age of a child!!!!
Leadership!!!!!!! I hope you read this and listen!!!!!!!!!
Laughing my head off reading about the London branch.
Do me a favour no other church is true. Of course they wouldn’t go to another church.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Rainbow ()
Date: March 23, 2024 02:04AM

Thanks for the welcome. I have always found your posts very interesting and factual to read.

Yes I understood daisy69 to mean that within the church, anything that you said would be taken to leaders. And that was certainly true in my time there. However, I do agree with you also, as I remember well that the church and leaders were very aware of this forum. I believe they called it ‘an assault from the devil’.

I expect more and more people will start to share their stories over time. I think the recent division within the church may have given some confidence to speak up. A realisation that the ‘force’ isn’t as strong as they and we believed.

I remember fellow students being encouraged to disown family and cut ties. Wives being told to leave their husband as they weren’t following gods will for their lives. And then sadly forcing couples together that had no feelings at all for each other - because it was apparently Gods will. Personally I believe it was a way of tying them down to the church, and control and power for the leaders. Which also makes me wonder, why do we call them leaders? Most churches use minister or pastor? What are people’s thoughts on this?

It was mentioned earlier about singing songs over and over, and the ‘rule’ was - all eyes should be on the leader at the front. I forgot about that and looking back what a strange thing to demand. And it was expected. It was often preached that if you couldn’t look at them in the eyes it was because of your sin. It is instances like this that add to me forming the belief that it is a cult.

‘A system of religious veneration and devotion directed towards a particular figure or object’.

Who were we obeying….deep down. Who were we really obeying. God or the leaders?

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 03/23/2024 02:14AM by Rainbow.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Daisy69 ()
Date: March 23, 2024 02:41AM

Hi rainbow
You are so right.
One of the most awful things I heard, was a prominent figure, who I won’t name, say that god told them to dump their boyfriend, because they weren’t godly enough.
It was publicly disclosed like a badge of merit. The prominent figure even said how their boyfriend turned up at church to speak to them heartbroken.
Who the hell thinks it’s right to talk about that sort of stuff.
They totally control relationships and monitor every aspect of members lives.
The preaching is very risky too

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Daisy69 ()
Date: March 23, 2024 02:45AM

They control members lives but still manage to expect people to tithe.
Also there is another bailout for the school. Money is being drained from the church.
Members are gladly giving to support it. Was originally meant to be one final bailout. Saw a pig fly

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Daisy69 ()
Date: March 23, 2024 02:51AM

Leadership clearly tell you that if you don’t do what they expect, you will lose friends and family.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Rainbow ()
Date: March 23, 2024 05:21PM

100% spot on. And honestly. I hate the fact that that is truth. Well done for saying it.

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