Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Wistongirl ()
Date: June 12, 2013 03:15PM

Hi Chris19, Nice to meet you and I don't know if I know you ... difficult to discifer the Pseudos. Anyway, I am rather shocked that after my message you start confessing - in no way was that my intention - far & farthest from it! Anyway, tongue in cheek, they say confession's good for the soul :-) I haven't got a clue if it's you I was referring to - I would imagine the person would still be very heavily involved in SMC as last I heard she was leader of a group in or near the London area - lovely girl who was a twin - I found these girls dynamic, pretty, fashionable and excellent ambassors for christianity in general - they were very active, singing in the streets of Glasgow and outward going which was a refreshing change at the time. Again, having not seen them for 25 years don't know what kind of life they lead today but only wish them well as really lovely ladies - the earrings were lovely large round hoops and it was the first time she gave her testimony and I just couldn't take my eyes of them (I was a child at the time just in case you think I'm barmey) - if you can just imagine how I would see that at the time - so hip!!

On another subject that came to mind - lots of my readings on this blog trigger memories that have been "blocked" for 25 years - was the "tellings off" from the pulpit in what should have been sermons but there were often little deviations from the bible into telling about other people's private lifes. This of course should have been dealt with 1-1 with the person but hey - that takes courage - easier to intimidate from the platform with 100 or so people around. Anyway, I have a vivid memory of one very sunny Saturday evening - I came in late so only seats left were at the front (!) Mary Black was preaching and had a green dress on. She proceeded to tell us all off for sunbathing - something that it difficult to hide if you are bright red in colour - and how it was an anathema to God etc. etc. - Come on how many sunny days does Scotland get in a year - give us a break right? Anyway, after this meeting we all went to another room to practise the choir (at the time with the wonderful pianist Kenneth) and I heard one lady say - I was doing my garden so some people have to do their garden!" She was really upset and I felt for her as she was really beautifully bright red - after reading some previous blogs I realise that this lady was at one time engaged to GR - she was a very talented guitar player - don't know what happened to her but she again was a pretty lady, very very dynamic and brought lots of people to SMC - was an outward reaching evangelistic christian and impressed me at the time. Anyway, to finish this story, the next Saturday night Mary Black was once again on the platform and this time it was she who was bright red - she had been in the sun - now I am not critising her as I love the sun and she had a perfect right to sunbathe - but what was the point of her sermon telling us all off the week before??? So contradictory - and I remember in the Monday night meeting which followed - which was a bible discussion - she did explain some things and I believe regret her words if I remember correctly. It's amazing for me how these clear memories return after so many years and until I saw this blog I never thought about SMC any more - just from time to time if I heard something from someone but SMC & I had changed so much was no longer even interesting to me.

Anyway, have to do the housework (!) - will stop for a while to give others a chance as I'm new and seem to be taking up a lot of precious space ;-)

Greetings to all!

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Wistongirl ()
Date: June 12, 2013 09:43PM

Hi ChesterK55, was just perusing the blog and came on your comment - I was also at the Maurice Cerullo evening in Glasgow in a very big multi-balconied call - I must have been little and I think Johnny Hamilton was with us - it was amazing - I'd totally forgotten this! I also remember we went to outreaches in other Churches like the Baptist and we had visiting singers - a great group of 4 people (a bit abba style) but the second time they came the church was so full that the leaders preached for ages before the visiting group could get on the platform and they looked pretty cheesed off. But Maurice Cerullo I'd forgotten ... thanks for the memory and hello to you!

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Rensil ()
Date: June 13, 2013 08:28AM

O, Chris19, you just made me laugh SO much with what you wrote in your recent post! So so funny!
Well, re the hooped earrings, I was thinking of the girl whom Wistongirl refers to, I.e. the lady who is now leader of the (so-called) London branch-church near Aylesbury, who did wear them. So, I don't think you were the first to dare to wear hooped earrings, Chris19! LOL! Anyway, this girl's hooped earrings didn't last long. As has been said already, Mary Black strongly disapproved of any kind of earrings, so they soon went in the bin and we never saw them worn again. Yes, hair-dyeing was also disapproved of strongly by Mary Black.

You were very brave to stand up to the leaders like you did, Chris19. Most of us were too scared to and feared losing their approval, so we did as they instructed.

Just a wee correction, Wistongirl. Hope you don't mind. The lady you mention re doing her garden was never engaged to GR. I 'm not sure what you meant when you said that you got that "from reading some previous blogs". Do you mean the posts on this Forum? That has not been said on here, that GR was engaged to someone. I think you are getting that mixed up. I can't say more here, because I don't want to go into detail. Yes, there were some lovely people in the church back then, but for many, it has turned sour. Staying within the confines of the restricted life one has in SMC, has not done these people any good over the years. They become just like the leadership often, and take on their ways. It is terribly sad.
I'm just glad for those who left and have had an enjoyable and normal life.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/13/2013 08:34AM by Rensil.

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Wistongirl ()
Date: June 13, 2013 01:05PM

Hi Rensil, I can't seem to find the page again - will have another look later when I have time - was referring to something I read on this blog where DR was going out of meetings, and coughing and moving up seats & someone wrote that she "stole" someone else's fiancé (who was DR). I must have mistakenly thought it was this lovely long-haired guitar player with the "sunshine face" as this suddenly came back to me as a memory when reading that part of the blog. Thanks for the correction and of course I don't mind :-)

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Rensil ()
Date: June 14, 2013 02:33AM

Hi Wistongirl
Yes, I know the story you're referring to now, by Cbarb. That was about another girl and not the lady you're referring to. Just to clarify.

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Wistongirl ()
Date: June 14, 2013 04:42AM

Hi again Chris19, I was interested in your reply and therefore went back in the blog to read your first entry ;-) I was also singled out as a chosen one and although it was never said in words exactly was also led to believe that I would lead a single life. This from a very young age & I must say towards the end before I left, it had got to the stage where I had virtually turned my back on my own parents (god-fearing people in SMC) and also on my best friend as it was inferred that they had not chosen the highest way. I am so ashamed of this period in my life and of my arrogant attitude to people who were close to me - and these people (whom I turned my back on and thought I was better than) still love me today...

It also played to my ego all this favouritism and attention, and made me feel important. I really internally thought I was better than some others and it took me years (& a psycho-therapy) for me to realise that I was just miss-madame tout-le-monde. Now whilst on one hand I do agree with you that the leaders did not set out intentionally to do us harm, they must somehow have realised what they were doing to me by leading me in this direction and isolating me from my own family & friends within even SMC. The pressure became too much for me in the end and I cracked and actually left from one day to the next, not gradually (is it possible to leave gradually I don't know?). I just remember always being tired (well with a very busy job to hold down and out at meetings virtually every night in the week is it any wonder?) and never sure if I was pleasing or "on form".

Although you are not the original "earrings girl" (sorry my dear) - I have a funny feeling we know each other well and am very happy to have re-found you "by accident" on this website :-)

Rensil: thanks for your precisions and apologies for any misunderstandings on my part - in fact it was sudden memories which were coming back from reading some of this blog and in fact absolutely not important vis-à-vis the real discussion on this forum - I will keep to the subject in future :-)

Greetings to all!

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: cbarb ()
Date: June 14, 2013 08:06PM

Hi guys

LOL, you guys crack me up - I too remember trying to hide the 'holes' in my ears under one of these wee head-square things that became all the rage after the crocheted berets!! Remember those? We used to tie them at the back of the neck and you could pull the edges down to cover your earlobes. Of course I did eventually get found out and had to let those first holes heal up. But I'm now sporting TWO holes in each ear so I guess I'm doubly doomed (or would that be quadrupally doomed) :-)

We really did have a lot of DON'Ts to remember and not very many DOs, didn't we? :-) And it was never easy since the DON'Ts were different depending on who you were.

And hey, Wistongirl, don't worry about remembering things wrong - you'll find a lot of corrections of various memories on the forum - this is how we get clarification about memories, which we've suppressed or just forgotten over time. It's one of the things I love about this forum, if you don't remember something as clearly as you'd like to, you put it out here and, for the most part, you'll find someone who is able to give you the clarification or add to your knowledge or answer a burning question. That's why it's so helpful to post here because the clearer you remember things, the easier it is to put everything in perspective and see the whole pattern of mind control and spiritual abuse, which has gone unchecked for so many years. It helps to bring closure to many issues which might have plagued you since childhood and it helps to lift a few burdens you didn't realise you were carrying through the years.

Rensil, thanks for the update on the musical band. I'm glad they still use musicians regularly, I just couldn't seem to remember having heard them play for sometime before I left but then, I did attend fewer Greenock meetings in the run up to leaving the church for good so I probably missed a few meetings they played at.

Well, thanks for the chuckles guys.

As always biiiiiiiig love and huge hugggggggs
God Bless xxxx

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Chesterk55 ()
Date: June 14, 2013 08:10PM

Hi Wistongirl

And thanks for saying hello and sharing so many 70s and 80s memories here. You will have noticed there is a receptive audience here from that era.

As we have said a few times we do all seem to know each other probably because Struthers was never all that big. We have also said before some of us have been able to meet up in groups where the geography permits to catch up about old times and fill in the gaps from the day people left the church and were basically cut off from everyone. That is until we all heard about what has gone on since on here. One thing you would probably be totally amazed at is how many people who you will remember as “in with the bricks” have left and now see leaving as one of the best things they ever did for their lives and their families.

The Maurice Cerullo thing must have been 1982 or 83 in the Kelvin Hall. Didn't remember that Johnny Hamilton was there so thanks for that info. You and other people might also remember that on the platform as leaders of that event along with Maurice Cerullo were about 6 of the men from the Tranent Struthers church (up to that point still also very much part of Struthers). Since a lot of us were at the Kelvin Hall that Saturday evening the attendance at the Greenock meeting was very, very poor. So the next week Mr Black preached 100% against involvement in any other inter church stuff and in doing that left the Tranent people high and dry. After their involvement being publicly criticised they could crawl to Mr Black and apologise for being there, or remain in Struthers but under public condemnation. So as a church they left Struthers. Basically they were sacrificed because Ms Taylor was (I think childishly) upset the people had chosen another meeting that night so everyone had to be punished.

Part of that public slagging off and harsh criticism of another Christian ministry that night in Greenock was the condemning of people who fell to the floor after ministry and clapped at any point in a service. (Honestly Struthers were the weirdest Pentecostals ever) If you left in 89 that would be just before clapping (as part of the cringe worthy action choruses in the appalling Saturday night “children’s chorus time”) and falling to the floor under ministry were suddenly all the rage. All that was said after Maurice Cerullo was conveniently forgotten and falling down after ministry spoken about as if it was something new and only ever happened in Struthers. Among the worst selling books produced by the church were several with dull and incomprehensible testimonies of people who had fallen down in Struthers meetings. As I say not great sellers.

It is interesting to note that one of the 6 current Struthers directors is now on the committee of the very busy and effective Inverclyde interchuches initiatives and has worked openly and publicly for many years with many other churches. If the Struthers leaders now think God says it is okay for him to associate with interchurch groups either:

that is hypocritical,

what are claimed to be God's instructions for Struthers church only actually apply to some of the people in it,

or perhaps the Struthers leadership owe the Tranent people an apology.

In any event it makes one thing clear – in Struthers in 2013 you don't have to actually agree with the policies of the church to be in a position of leadership!

Another thing we have noticed a lot since 1989 is how many people who left then went into full time Christian ministry. The latest count is 10 people we now know who did that and found the place of service Struthers always promised people but never actually gives them. All of these 10 when they left were of course described to be loosing God's highest calling, etc. These 10 now run churches some of which are bigger as individual churches than Struthers is as a group. Dozens of others found fulfilling roles in Christian churches and were able to use their God given gifts at last.

Finally for now so sorry to hear that you like so, so many others needed psychological help to get over your time in Struthers. This is now a terrifyingly familiar theme on this forum.

Really great to have your memories and input. Thanks so much.

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Wistongirl ()
Date: June 14, 2013 09:05PM

Hi Chesterk55, thanks for your reply and reminding me of the Tranent guys - I seem to remember they were all guys - can't remember their leader's name but he was a pal of Johnny Hamilton and the guys were all really good-looking and very dynamic :-) :-) Anyway, back to the subject (!) The Maurice Cerullo night I now remember I was on a sort of fancy balcony and my Dad & Johnny were behind me - I don't remember the Tranent people being on the stage but it would make sense as that Johnny was there if they were involved right enough and he knew literally tonnes of preachers and was enriched by lots of different ministries. I don't remember the telling off the next Saturday - what a hoot! I must still have been dreaming about this great evening in Glasgow...

Clapping? No don't remember that - I do remember the lifting of arms coming in and everyone was doing it - I remember it took me a lot of courage the first time to do that and then it was the in thing to do. It has triggered a memory of 2 things however: 1) just before I left I was at a camp in Wiston and I was with some new girls from (I think) Falkirk that I was encouraged to be friendly with and horror of horrors they started to DANCE and if I remember correctly Mary Black who was at the front also started to sway or dance and asked them to come out to the front to dance. I stayed quite firmly where I was - I guess this was dancing in the spirit? Anyway when I think of all the school dances I had to miss in my young years because it was just not allowed and here they were DANCING - takes the biscuit. The second thing was also a few years before that - also at Wiston (see why my Pseudo is Wistongirl?). Well that night there were about 2 exorcisms happening in the hall (I guess before they happened in the famous Blue Room because it was all very new this exorcism business) and at one point my friend (born & bred like me in SMC) said something to the effect of "I'm going out I can't handle this" and we went out in the middle of the service. I don't remember anyone catching up with us to explain things and we were youngish teenagers at the time. I do remember lying in my bed (I think Cbarb mentioned this too) thinking "where do these demons go?? Do they fly into me??" Interesting subject demons: the demon of drink, the demon of drugs - is there a demon of food?? (ok only joking on this one guys).

Last night I also went on to see what the Latigo site was and was impressed by the hard work put in there. I had a good read through the site and was surprised to see Chris Jewell on the board - I remember well his mother who organised the camp kitchen at the time. A very capable woman on the organisational side of things and at one point a right-hand woman of Hugh Black (way back at the time we had the bell tents in the field). She subsequently left to live in her original home area south of London and we all lost touch. Just to put the point across of the turnover: I saw a photo of the SMC 60th anniversary posted by someone called Eric Wiley - an excellent photographer by the way, and when I scanned the photo (with my eyes that is to say) - which was a very full church hall - I could only see 3 people I knew. Now perhaps people have changed a lot - 25 years is of course a long time - but it proves the point of a high turnover. Mind you, when I looked at the photos of the young people (Led I think by the grandson of the above-mentioned lady) they look like a lovely bunch of dynamic kids - perhaps we did too right enough?

Anyway, nice to meet you & a very good day to you all!

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: lintar123 ()
Date: June 15, 2013 03:26AM

Oh.. the Wiston camps....the caravans and tents which we paid a packet for and we had to go to both camps. We missed a family funeral during one of them. A regret which will stay with me forever. It was there that Rosemary McCauley preached refreshingly, once or twice. What about Allison Black? She didn`t feature much in the team. So many sad memories of people (including myself) being brain washed and shoe horned into the SMC life. I wasn`t born into it but I found it bizarre from the start. I also wore the beret...just remember one headscarf wearing girl at the time. Today we had a "bring your wedding album "to work day. I did manage to laugh when I tried to explain, why my family were alarmed when they all started to "speak in tongues" during the "service". Were they really even qualified to genuinely conduct marriage ceremonies? Am I married? We had to have Flora sing and we got married at some unearthly hour in the morning. Only a handful of people there. I didn`t look at myself in the mirror and I wore no make-up (vanity) and how we managed to "get together" as man and wife is a miracle, because of all the hang ups we had about sex. It was tabooooooo and preached about often! Absolutely no alcohol at the lunch! I bought the first wedding dress I tried on because of them too. Flowers were plastic and there was no extravagance. Hardly knew my bridesmaid, although, she was a lovely person, and I think she also left later.The sun did shine, though, 27 years ago. We had no "normal" courtship. Knew nothing about each other. It wasn`t was the way it was if you were in the struthers clutches as we were. I even remember the arrival of mrs Speirs and friend... from Millport. Late 80s. And yes, I recall the musician who was hospitalised because he took ill. What difficult and galling memories for any young person. It must have been difficult for those born and bred in the clutches. I also remember the blue room was where you went to talk to the glazed eyed Mary Black as she listened to your problems and set you right (according to her).Oh dear! It is sometimes too sore to remember. Often wonder about the lovely Mr McIlree and the Gilchrists.

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