Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: FalkirkBairn67 ()
Date: April 23, 2024 01:24AM

blackwatch Wrote:
> Welcome FalkirkBairn. I hope you find you're able
> to share your story in time and in turn, get some
> relief from doing so.
I will but have alot to read first And talk to a few family before I do whats not going to be a easy conversion as I really dont want them to read it all here.

As I am hiding no longer with how they controlled my life for many years and made me feel not good enough and what happened was all my own fault.

As I said to a friend the other day I am starting to open my box of memories amd pass trumours I have hidden away for 40 years .thinking I would be pulling out a page at a time, but somehow that one page turns into a chapter.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Daisy69 ()
Date: April 23, 2024 01:30AM

Hi black watch! I’m here because of concern for the children. I don’t think it’s right to scare them, brainwash them into speaking in tongues, shout demons out etc. it’s abuse!
The press need to know, and know they shall!
I agree with what you say about donkey dung! They hide all this, when people first join.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Date: April 23, 2024 07:58AM

I am shook at the activity that has started once again on this forum, only a further testament to what is going on within those walls.

The camps are what put the final nail in the coffin for me. I’ll try to capture the trauma it has left me with to this day, and we are about 7/8 years on from that awful Wednesday night.

I returned to Struthers in the January after facing a real difficult time at home, and threw myself into everything. Quickly it was my whole life, I lost pretty much all of my friends and replaced them with churchies.

As Summer approached,I was desperate to get to Camp but financially I couldn’t manage, so I was going to travel. But a few weeks before I got a text, asking me why I hadn’t signed up. Very quickly offering to pay for the week for me. So I accepted, absolutely thrilled.

I went along, in fine spirit, on a high having had prayer at Cumbernauld a few weeks prior and being delivered from whatever monstrosity was within. The experience itself left me hoarse for days and burst blood vessels in my eyes from the urge to push evil out of me. And scream it out. Now as I stated previously I was quite a normal person, didn’t smoke, so drugs, Sleep around. I was and still am very PG.

So I went along to camp full of the spirit as they used to say. I was glowing. And I was loving camp, it was great. I wasn’t nervous for anything.

And boom. Wednesday night. A tap on the shoulder came. In a room of 400ish people, I’m pointed out. And it’s not discreet, I was middle of the congregation and the wee helper had to squeeze past loads of people. I sat and cried. Absolutely ashamed. My friend hugged me and told me it would be ok. That I could be fixed. This was a good thing.

How could it be a good thing when I was informed in front of 400 people that DR had seen a darkness in me since I was a child… yet had never mentioned it. Had never spoken to me about my childhood ever. I can’t put into words how distraught I felt. I still wake up feeling in that moment. The shame of it.

I remember sitting there after the meeting, doing what I was told. And a lady I had never spoken to in my life comes and takes me up the back. And asks me to confess my sins. I explain that DR had pointed me out and I didn’t know what she could see. But that wasn’t enough, I was to confess the things that I needed delivered from. And she just sat there, staring into my soul. Or so it felt. Soon I was telling her everything I thought it could be. About any wrong thoughts, attractions to other people, jealousies. Literally everything and anything. So she finally turned to prayer. Afterwards she said, I think you should wait and DR will be over to help.

So here I am sat waiting, shame all over me, people at the back sitting watching everything, the youth leader from my church, another young person. I was absolutely mortified. The sweats, the palpitations.

The next thing DR sits beside me, and just says right cmon now let’s do this. With a rough slap on my back starts rocking me, I ended up sobbing my heart out. Shaking from head to toe. Screaming from my lungs. Anything to get the darkness out.

And then she was gone. And I sat there. Shell shook. After composing myself I got in my car and drove. I didn’t know where I was going but I needed time. Quiet. I text DR and asked if we could speak after everything was finished. Before the end of the week.

Next thing I know another young person, the one who had watched my trauma up the back. Was giving me abuse for being dramatic. That she needed DR.

So I headed back to Camp after I’d calmed myself down. And went straight to my room. Next morning comes and the youth leader who was sat up the back has talked my friend into letting her into my room. I had sobbed all night. Feeling dirty without knowing why.

And was dumbfounded to be told off as if I was a child. I was 25. Because I stormed off apparently and drove off into the dark. I was belittled completely. I was lost in myself.

From that day on, I lasted another year. Another year with no ‘prayer’ of being watched and pushed into the outside of everything. The paranoia and anxiety that started to built was horrific and still affects me to this day.

They need to be stopped. I am now almost 32. Have been in therapy and still suffer from their abuse.

It’s time to speak up. We need to help those who cannot see for themselves. To see the truth.

I feel this ended up more ramblings but I needed to get it out and felt it was the time.

I’m sorry for taking up so much time but I hope this helps just one other person.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Rensil ()
Date: April 23, 2024 09:03AM

Hi FalkirkBairn67 and welcome to the Forum. I’m so pleased to hear that you’ve been reading the Forum posts from the beginning. It is good that you now feel able to post and share your experiences of your time in SMC. Just take your time with it. There is no hurry. I hope you can also chat more to your family about what happened. It is shocking that so many ex-members of SMC are left with trauma and inner pain after he abuse they suffered whilst in this church.

Free@Last_sometimes, thanks for sharing that harrowing experience of so-called deliverance at a Camp. Please don’t apologise for sharing it or thinking your post is too lengthy. We all need to hear the truth about what happened.
I really don’t understand what was going on, what the leaders were trying to do, nor what was achieved when they prayed with you. If you weren’t aware of doing anything wrong, then why were you picked out for deliverance? Once again, as I said to Rainbow about her deliverance encounter, they should have explained what was happening and why and, in addition, not just gone away and left you. What did they think you would do? Just go and get a cup of tea and a cake at the supper afterwards? They should have checked you were OK.

I also don’t get what this rocking people back and forward is about. Alison Speirs prayed with people in this way too, rocking them and pushing them back and forward with one hand on the person’s back or two hands, one on each shoulder. I used to wonder how she hadn’t made the poor person seasick, with the constant rocking motion! Where does it say in the Bible about rocking people as you pray with them? Nowhere. The Bible simply talks about laying on hands in ministry. And all the constant, loud speaking in tongues in Struthers - again, why? They are obsessed with the gift of tongues and yet it is only one of many spiritual gifts outlined in the New Testament.

Anyway, Free@Last_sometimes, your account of so-called deliverance is similar to that of others on this Forum. It’s remarkably similar to Rainbow’s. There is also a similar account way back at the start of the Forum from Covlass, which you can read.
Sad to say, I’m pretty certain that this sort of thing, this kind of ministry, is still happening in Struthers. I agree that they need to be stopped.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: blackwatch ()
Date: April 23, 2024 06:56PM

Free@Last_sometimes Wrote:
> How could it be a good thing when I was informed
> in front of 400 people that DR had seen a darkness
> in me since I was a child… yet had never mentioned
> it. Had never spoken to me about my childhood
> ever. I can’t put into words how distraught I
> felt. I still wake up feeling in that moment. The
> shame of it.

Absolutely vile creature. Absolutely. Vile. Imagine having the gall, the brass-neck, the total lack of self-awareness to think that you have the ability to see that in others. Shame on her.

> So here I am sat waiting, shame all over me,
> people at the back sitting watching everything,
> the youth leader from my church, another young
> person. I was absolutely mortified. The sweats,
> the palpitations.
> The next thing DR sits beside me, and just says
> right cmon now let’s do this. With a rough slap on
> my back starts rocking me, I ended up sobbing my
> heart out. Shaking from head to toe. Screaming
> from my lungs. Anything to get the darkness out.

This is absolutely horrible. And all a total fabrication, a piece of theatre, an act, a way of stirring things up and causing 'a scene', a total self-indulgence on her part. But most of all, it's emotional abuse of a vulnerable individual.

Always grateful to read your contributions - thank you.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: ThePetitor ()
Date: April 23, 2024 08:21PM

Quite a lot seems to have happened since I last posted.

S30, welcome to the forum! There is some very interesting detail in your comments, including things like a leader encouraging your mum to divorce your dad in front of you. As well as most likely being terrible advice, speaking openly about something like that, especially in front of a teenager, is in itself is abusive. How on earth can that be a wise thing to do?

James Chapter 3
17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

You also ask if anyone else found it hard to go to another church. I have heard from a number of ex-Struthers folk over the years, either directly or through things like this forum. One thing I have observed is that most who have previously experienced other churches manage to settle somewhere else. Most who have only ever experienced Struthers struggle to do this. Not all of course, but it seems to me that there is a bit of a pattern there.

That makes me wonder what we might be able to do to help those with little other church experience.

I do not have an easy answer to that, but it is one of the reasons I go a bit theological on this forum at times, as I think it may be helpful to see some thinking about the Christian faith from people who have experienced Struthers and “the hell that is the aftermath of attending Struthers Memorial Church” as Rainbow so succinctly puts it.

And, while I am quoting Rainbow, I 100% agree with the comment, “Please. If you are reading this and still go…. Just consider what is being said. We actually care and are trying to help by sharing our stories.

As I read though the many, many comments and testimonies on this site, I see that as the single most consistent theme – care for others.

In fact, I hadn’t meant to make this link, but the posts here are largely in accordance with the Bible verse above about wisdom. It is pretty clear that the same cannot be said about much of the practice in Struthers though, as these practices do not meet the above criteria and the leaders do not show Biblical wisdom.

One final thought re settling into other churches is that there are a lot of good resources online that can help you understand the consensus evangelical view (if that is what you are looking for). At the moment, my go-to is anything by Tim Keller, but I am sure there are other useful sources as well. Listening to some sound teaching can help separate out Struthers doctrine (some of which is fairly mainstream) and their practice (some of which is fairly abusive).

Rensil, I do not often disagree with you, but I am not sure that they teach, “God must come first, Struthers church is second and then your marriage/family comes third (or last).” (see p168). I think there is plenty of evidence that they teach, “Struthers church must come first and how you relate to God is secondary and must be subject to our teaching.” To link back to the previous point, that is EXACTLY why people find it difficult to settle into other churches when they leave Struthers. If the Struthers leaders were really teaching people to put God first, people who left would not have this problem settling into another church. How could that be a problem if they were already in the habit of putting God first and (in accordance with scripture) judging what was said? It is because they are so used to having a leader interpret scripture on their behalf that it becomes so difficult.

FalkirkBairn, welcome to the forum! It is unfortunately all too common for folk to feel they are the only one that feels the way they do – one of the great things this forum does is clearly demonstrate to people that they are not alone in their experience. I look forward to hearing more of your story if and when you feel able to share it but, even if you don’t - welcome, and you are not alone!

Lots more I could comment on, but will leave most of it for now. I cannot really leave the stuff about “deliverance” though, that is just to big and too horrific. Will add another post about that.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: ThePetitor ()
Date: April 23, 2024 08:30PM

Rainbow and Free@Last_sometimes, I am beyond words. The stories of what happened to you both are just horrific. It is however good that you have been able to share this level of detail. Thanks to you both.

Free@Last, thanks also for adding in information about how you were feeling before and after these events, not just the experience itself. That is a very telling testimony that shows the impact of these sorts of practices. I wonder if the fact that you were happy and full of the spirit was actually the problem, as they were jealous and wanted to make sure others would not see you as someone to emulate or turn to. I think there might be quite a lot of that sort of “putting people in their place” approach in Struthers (even though the Bible of course says that the correct way to put people in their place is to think of them more highly than you think of yourself!) I can think of one very musical person who could have been a brilliant positive influence, but was frequently “put in their place”. Looking back, I think that might have been because there was a danger they were too successful and influential.

As an aside, I would also be interested to know who the person was that you did not know but took you up the back and asked you about your sins, as being given that sort of role is part of the rewards system in Struthers.

A few observations about the whole demon thing. Others have helpfully commented on the personal trauma so I will stick more to the doctrinal side. Not in any particular order, just some random thoughts. I am not arguing for (or against) the existence of demons by the way, just pointing out what is said in the Bible when demons are mentioned.

    [1] Anytime demons are mentioned in the Bible, everyone around can see that the person is possessed. Whatever we believe demons are, there is never a single case that a leader can “see” a demon yet the person themselves is unaware or indeed that the people around are unaware.

    [2]As far as I am aware, there is no other church on the planet that believe Christians who have the Holy Spirit living in them can be possessed. There are in fact a number of verses that indicate that is not possible. If Struthers do uniquely believe this unusual doctrine, they should be explaining it, quoting verses that they think justify their position.

    [3]There is no example in the Bible of a Christian coming to any sort of leader for deliverance.

    [4]When demons are cast out in the Bible, there is never anything the person can do to assist with this or to stop it happening. They certainly do not have to speak in tongues. It would be bizarre if they did, as that would contradict point one above that, by definition, believers cannot be possessed.

    [5]When demons are exorcised, it is instantaneous. There is not a period of prayer.

    [6]As far as I am aware, the is never a case of laying on of hands for this purpose.

    [7]Some (like the cannanite woman's daughter) were cured remotely so even being in the same building is not necessary.

    [8]When demons are exorcised, everyone around know it, because the person is an instantly a different person – calmer and more content, and "clothed in their right mind". That seems to be the opposite of what is happening in these stories from Struthers, where the individuals are confused and traumatised. These stories from Struthers do not have the hallmarks of a work of grace.

    [9]I can find nowhere in the Bible that suggests you deal with sin or spiritual growth or anything else in this sort of dramatic way. The Bible teaches principles and approaches like, “do not live this way” or “think on these things”, not “go to a leader who will pray you into a new place with God”.

There are of course also broader principles relevant here such as “perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4). How is that working out in the stories we are reading here, and indeed across Struthers?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/23/2024 08:53PM by ThePetitor.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Daisy69 ()
Date: April 24, 2024 01:18AM

This needs reporting, if anyone wishes to dm me, I will explain why.
If this is allowed to continue, something terrible could happen.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Daisy69 ()
Date: April 24, 2024 04:03PM

The exorcisms are wrong, no ifs no buts. The question is, why are educated decent people saying the same thing.
As petitor says, where in the bible does it say to do this?
And where in the bible does it say that a modern day person, knows everyone’s sins.
It’s a cult hiding in plain sight.
We all have options, stay silent or go forward to save children from going through this.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Rainbow ()
Date: April 24, 2024 08:25PM

Afternoon folks, hope all is well.

Free@last I cried as I read your post. It resonated with me. The horrific reality of it. Clearly we both experienced very similar experiences. Thank you for sharing.

I too stayed at the church for sometime after this traumatic experience and then had similar happen at a church camp. In all honestly I cannot remember the full details. I genuinely think I have subconsciously blocked much of it out. I was taken from a hall to a corridor and I was sat on a bench to wait. I believe Alison Speirs popped her head out the door and told me to come in. It was her, Rhian and 2 men but I genuinely can’t remember who. Like you free@last my ‘friends’ were all very aware of what was going on and that I had been singled out. Even after one deliverance session they believed I was unclean and needed further deliverance. I can’t really share more detail as I have mind blanks and I’m really keen to stick to facts and absolute truth so that nothing is said against me.

I always felt very uncomfortable around Diana Rutherford. I think it was a mutual feeling. She believed it’s because I was demon possessed. I believe it’s because I’m a good soul that should trust my instinct. I believe she is a very dangerous woman that has been put or fought her way into a position of power and authority.

I remember her testimony. I’m sure it started with a story about a boyfriend who she split up with as God told her to. I’m sure she talked about how he threatened to commit suicide as he was so broken. I always felt very saddened by the pride she showed in herself for how she treated a young man that then wanted to take his own life due to how he was treated.

Are there any other male leaders in the church apart from Andrew Jewell?

I remember when I knew them back in uni days the gossip and chat between Andrew and rhian and their chosen student group was horrific. Nothing was private. You spoke to Andrew or rhian in confidence then you could be sure that the full group would know and they would have a good giggle and gossip about it. I heard it with my own ears and for a short period was one of these individuals. I am sorry my part in that.

I was in cedars living room one day when a member of the church called to speak to Elaine, apparently to apologise for some upset. Alison said she wasn’t available and hung up. The room went into hysterics laughing, scoffing and making jokes about this ‘ridiculous’ person for even thinking they could phone. It was horrific, cringe worthy and shameful.

As for sermons - I’ve not really talked about my thoughts on this. Leaders would stand up and announce what god had asked them to speak about. I know for a fact that more often than not it would be linked to a member of the congregation, some of their behaviour etc.. and it would be purely targeted at them. The leader would have picked a verse from the bible, taken it completely out of context and would then try and string a full sermon around it. Dutiful followers would nod, hmmmmm, praise god. While those with their head screwed on would be a bit lost wondering how it all was meant to make any sense.

The rocking while praying - yes I remember that. I don’t understand why they do it. I think it’s a power trip of some sort.

I remember when dancing in the spirit broke out in struthers. Not sure if they still do it. Elaine and rhian were encouraged to lead that and would use much of the floor space. However I do know that some members who were not on the inside group also followed suite. I know that they were asked to calm it down and eventually stop doing it. Just those anointed were allowed and that is the exact statement that they were told.

I didn’t have a mobile phone while I attended. I wish I had. So much could be recorded now as evidence. I expect they have rules of no phones in meetings for fear of this happening.

It saddens me that what happened to me is still happening. Lives are being ruined. Not just of those attending struthers but the families and friends of these individuals who receive awful judgement and treatment because struthers has convinced it church members that they are the only ones living gods highest plan for their lives and living the truth.

Married couples in struthers, living miserable lives as they never chose each other. Attending meeting after meeting, wishing they could live a different life. But also living in fear of doing so as they will lose everything. Pursuing careers that they didn’t ever dream of. Constantly soul searching and looking for deeper issues that God wants to free them of. This is fact. And if leaders read this and don’t believe it then you should spend sometime looking after and caring for your congregation. Get to know them, find out the truth. It is breaking people. It has broken so many people. Please stop now before any more lives are ruined. I know that the God I believe in wouldn’t want anyone to have been treated in this way. A God of love, Struthers Memorial Church shows no love. I encountered horrific Narcissistic behaviour, manipulation, unkindness, Gossip, spiritual abuse and severe and serious wrong treatment of children under 18. This was not just from my peers and members of the church. The worst of it came from the leaders. Hugh Black, Mary Black, Alison Speirs, Elaine mckenzie-Smith, Andrew Jewell, rhian Jewell, Diana Rutherford. Put in a position of trust, to influence and build a future, happy, confident, Christian generation. And you abused your power with young children and adults. Destroyed lives, and now have many sitting in your congregation week after week in fear and misery, now teaching a new young generation to behave the exact same.

It’s time to break the cycle!!!

I will say I had few dealings with Grace Gault, I found her to be quite quiet so I can’t comment. I also had no issues with Jennifer Jack. Jenifer offered was still up and coming during my time so not at a level of influence.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 04/24/2024 08:42PM by Rainbow.

Options: ReplyQuote

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
This forum powered by Phorum.