Update - two and a half years on                   20 May 2013






The Story so Far


This website, and separately the RickRoss discussion forum, both began sharing information about Struthers Memorial Church in September 2010.


Since that time we have published articles and questions in the hope that the teachings and beliefs of Struthers Memorial Church can be more fully and openly discussed. As we indicated at the time - regardless of the involvement of the Struthers leadership such a discussion was going to take place and indeed it has.


There have always been 3 target groups for that discussion:


1     those who were involved in SMC in the past but are not any longer

many, many of whom claim to have left hurt and damaged by the words and actions of the Struthers leadership. The commonest story from these people has been that when they left they thought they were “the only one who felt like this". For many in spite of the fact that the church was failing them; they had been persuaded by years of guilt inducing teaching it was likely to be their own fault and because of something they had done to make God angry. In their time in SMC it was made clear to them it was their own faults and failings that led to them being so badly treated by those who were supposed to be, and claimed for many years to be, their shepherd; and God's loving provision for the Christian leadership of their lives.


2     those still in the SMC organisation

who (if they share the common experience of those who have left) often feel they have little information about:



  • the church they belong to,
  • its spending priorities,
  • its biblical basis for what it teaches,
  • its treatment of those who have left which appears to some harsh and critical


  • its treatment of many still in the church which appears to some harsh and critical.


These are the people who attend Struthers churches but who do not even know who works for their church (and its related businesses) and how those jobs were awarded and how the status of a favourite is achieved. And those still in the church who have many valid and reasonable questions but who know that when they ask about things the attitude of the leaders changes towards them.


3     the public who come into contact with Struthers Memorial Church

Whether through the trading arm via the private school and the cake shops, or become involved in any of the outreach meetings when SMC presents itself as a good place to join. Since this site began we have made it clear that we believe all members of the public should be able to know about what they are getting involved in from the time of their first point of contact with SMC. Only if that is made clear can they make an informed choice before they become more deeply involved. It will then be obvious from the start that the people around them actually believe very different things from what they sometimes seemed to at the time of their first meetings with them – at a mothers and toddlers group, a youth outreach, a musical or a Sunday school for their children.



We do not believe there is anything in that last request that would not have been fully approved of by the two founders of Struthers Memorial Church. They never taught that the church should not be be open and honest about its mystical and particular distinctive beliefs. If that honest information kept people away from the church, the church should accept that disadvantage as unavoidable if they stick to the “truth” as they understand it.


Or they are free to change the teaching.  Pretending to be something else just to bring people in - in the hope they could be won over before they were made aware of the true teachings of the church is disgraceful. Yet many people have now claimed this is part of what happened to them.


The still missing Guide to Struthers Teachings and Beliefs


Still now - two and a half years on - no document exists outlining the teachings, ideas and beliefs of Struthers Memorial Church which people can take away read, ask questions about, and fully understand before they - or members of their families - get involved with the church, school or cakeshops.


We believe such a document should exist and should be in the public domain.


We believe the reason it does not is that if the real and true teachings of Struthers Memorial Church, as they have been presented over the last 40 years - both in sermons and through leadership demands on a one to one basis - would shock and appal people to an extraordinary degree.


We believe that evidence of this is that when we began on this website to examine the sermons Struthers Memorial Church had placed online over a 3 year period, and when we began to expose some of the weird and abusive teachings they contained, these recordings were suddenly and with no explanation removed from public view. Any public sharing of the content of some of these teachings would be likely to guarantee that the school and cake shops were empty of all but the very few who have no independent life outside of SMC.


The terrible consequences of clarity

Further it is the painful and drawn out process of discovering over many years what these teachings and beliefs of the leadership are that has caused so much pain and difficultly for so many people. To ask questions is to be putting yourself forward for criticism and suspicion from the leadership.


They hate and avoid and preach against questions because answering the hard questions limits their ability to act as unaccountable leaders who can:


do and say what they like,

claim what they say and do to be biblical (or revealed to them because they are spiritual),

and then change it when it suits them.

Loyalty to the church is defined as supporting the leaders no matter what teachings change, how these contradict previous teachings, or are applied differently when the leaders are dealing with their friends and family. If they actually address the questions and gave clear answers, they become bound to then act within the answers they have given and they have no desire to restrict themselves in that way.


Yet more damagingly for them - being honest about the answers to the difficult questions would require an honestly about their beliefs, particularly about their view of themselves and their rights as “God appointed” leaders. They would have to state clearly, and write down for all to see, their teaching that “as Gods appointed leaders” they must not be questioned; and their words cannot be doubted but must be seen as coming from God Himself.


They have taught for decades that to question a leader is the same thing as being critical of God.


Also they would have to admit it was their teaching that certain (possibly not all) of the Struthers church leaders have the right and the role to approve or veto who you will marry - if you are a “committed” member of their church.    


Also they would have to put in writing the belief of the executive that some of the salaried jobs they recruit to within the charity should be awarded on the basis of who they "feel" God wants in that job. However if that is what they believe they should straightforwardly say so – before asking people for the money to help fund these jobs.


Also they would have to share with the public their belief they can instruct people in their churches who they are allowed to be friends with or even speak to. You could not make this up - but there are several testimonies on the RickRoss forum about Struthers church leaders bringing this kind of inappropriate interference into people lives


Also they would have to put on record their belief that if they "feel in their spirit" that a born again Christian, filled with the Holy Spirit, is someone they have decided is also demon possessed they will instruct that person that they are to be prayed with by them until deliverance happens. Their discernment is regarded by themselves as so reliable that this judgement is to be accepted or the person should leave the church. Or if they stay - they should expect nothing else from that leader but badgering repetition of the demonic diagnosis. No teaching, no help, no sympathy or counselling – not until they have agreed they are possessed by a demon, agree to the leader’s analysis of the sin which has led to its being in their life, and submit to “ministry” for that.







Everyone in Struthers, and everyone who used to be in Struthers, know that is what happens.


God is not asking us or those attending Struthers churches to pretend or believe anything that is not true.


So given that is what they do - we ask that they simply place that set of beliefs and teachings in a document, place that document online as a Requirements of Membership Guide


and let us all read it.






That document, if it truly described and outlined all the teachings and beliefs of this church, would place them far, far outside the cosy interchurch cliques which it seems some of the 6 SMC directors publicly disdain; and others actively belong to.


It would also read like a horror story – just how much endless enslavement is expected of those who choose to be part of Struthers Memorial Church and how utterly without any biblical check or balance.


In fact we believe the true book of rules, if it truly reflected what the Struthers leadership believe, would be so horrific, so appalling and so unbiblical it simply cannot be written. It would be so outlandish it would be obvious to all that it had no link or relation to any teaching justified by the bible – except in the odd grasp at random verses such as "obey those that have charge over you" where there is no regard for the other verses that limit and properly restrict that authority to biblical leadership levels.


There is clear new testament teaching that leaders can be wrong. When they are wrong there is no new testament teaching that claims we should pretend they are right. There is no pretending in Christianity.


We called for the SMC book of rules to be made public two and a half years ago. We had no confidence or belief that the leadership would be willing or able to do this and that has so far proved to be the case.


The coming choice: charity (benefiting the public)

or private club (benefiting the leadership)


Can we be very clear.


We all live in an open society, People in a democracy such as Scotland are entitled to live and believe and teach their children any thing they want to. The law deals with extremes and that which causes harm to others; and the law deals with those who seek to prevent others from enjoying their freedoms.


If people want to be Masons or Scientologists or hedonists or tree huggers or pole squatting mystics they are free in our society to form their private clubs with secret rules and tell the rest of us to heave-off if we don't like it.


As would Struthers Memorial Church - if it were a private club.


But it is not. It is a charity and a beneficiary of charitable status. This has been granted to them on the basis that they claim (in some detail) to exist to benefit the public AND that they accept the significant responsibilities to the public that charity status requires of them.


Yet it has no guide to its teachings, and such coyness about writing them down for fear of scrutiny, that the real reasons for its existence are not easy for the public to understand. We are suggesting that Struthers by not publishing such a document is hiding from the public information that we believe it is important for people and their families to have if they are in any contact with SMC.


In addition the excellent new guidelines for Scottish charities brought in in 2005 stress that there is a very important new factor that charities have to address and take very seriously - transparency. Persistent and deliberate lack of transparency in their operations and dealings is a valid reason for a charity to loose its charitable status.


It is not an option. It is a requirement. This has to be provided.  


Things are far worse than many of us believed possible a couple of

years ago

Our reasons for believing that this document clarifying the teachings and beliefs is of critical importance have increased a hundredfold over the last two and a half years as our questions remain unanswered; and there are now public testimonies to negative experiences from more than 40 people. Those people claim varying degrees of harm and damage by the Struthers church leaders bringing to their lives bewildering and astonishing rules and requirements. They were bullied into following ludicrously authoritarian Struthers teachings that are not anywhere written down or available for scrutiny by those being subjected to them.


Some people banned don't know what rules they broke.


Some people gave money and later discover it did not go where they were led to expect.


Some people – grown adults - are surrounded by seemingly supportive friends then told by their church leader they are not allowed to be friends with, or even speak to, these people any more if they wish to remain in Struthers.


Some people see the favourites of the leaders breaking the rules (as they understood them) and if they speak about this they are accused of causing problems and having a “critical spirit”.


The teachings that cannot be spoken


We want to make it clear - we never believed this document would be produced or made public. We do not believe it can be.


We believe the attempt to write down the teachings and beliefs of SMC would be beyond the skills and ability of the present leadership. They have shown no understanding of the issues facing them, no indication they feel any responsibility to the public or their former members and supporters. We do not believe are capable of reconciling each of their own sets of bizarre views into something that would present a consistent picture. Far less in doing so do we think they would manage to successfully define and present all their teachings from the last 6 decades in a way that would enable them to retain the face of public acceptability now so important to keep the school fees coming in.


It should not be forgotten that in every era and to every generation in Struthers one thing has been consistently taught. The claim that the teachings (whatever they were at that time) had been received from God and the leaders spoke as His appointed voice. The teachings regularly changed - but that claim never did.


Of course, if the early teachings had been written down the changes would have had to be explained as the rule book went through various revisions and the inconsistencies became obvious for all to see. You would end up with - let’s say 5 editions of the Struthers rule book, all of which had been claimed in their day to be the only acceptable revelation of God’s word - and yet all different. And no leaders were ever wrong.


Is this inconsistent and impossible? Not if God changes.


Unfortunately for the Struthers leadership the bible teachers that God and His word do not change. For that reason we believe it was the Struthers leaders who got it regularly wrong when teaching that was insisted to be the “spiritual and high and only way” subsequently changed.  


Despite continual claims of superior insight into Christian things none of the current Struthers leaders have ever claimed to have received any recognised pastoral, biblical or theological training. Far from seeing this as a hindrance they seem to believe, and claim, this is a matter of which they should be proud. They have over the years actively discouraged several people in their congregations from seeking formal and recognised Christian training.


But the fact that a coherent and publicly acceptable teachings and beliefs document cannot be produced is the clearest possible indication to the 3 groups mentioned before that the cause of the historical and present problems the church is facing is Struthers Church and its leadership.


The source of the problems are not the hurting people or anything they did. And it is certainly not God. He has given us a very coherent and clear bible with very understandable and easy to follow guidance on new testament church government. If SMC cannot live within those guidelines - and in particular the limits on leadership authority that apply to all new testament churches - then they have to be judged as dangerous to peoples spiritual health and progress. They are then a group that places claimed “revelation” to their leaders above clear biblical directives. We have many testimonies that this has been the case. We have many e-mails from those who have not posted on the RickRoss forum also indicating that this is the case.


So not believing that this teachings document would ever be produced we asked for it to highlight the fact of it's absence.


To hold people to teachings which you are not prepared to properly explain, share with them, and publish is utterly disgraceful.


To involve people in Struthers Memorial Church events with there being no opportunity for them to know about the secret teachings of the organisation before thy come along themselves - or send their children - is deceptive and indefensible.


To ban people from attending public meetings run by the charity, or cutting them off from accessing the benefits the charity exists to provide, are both actions which need to be tested for legality and compliance with charity law. To do this without ever having clearly and properly explained the rules in the first place is an appalling abuse of power.


We hope and pray that the time in which this situation, and this secretive, abusive nonsense, can continue is now coming to an end.  


The required response of those who want to put God and the bible first


So it remains that each SMC leader and preacher “goes up a mountain” and returns and says whatever they feel like to a SMC congregation and no need for any systematic scriptural test of what is said is applicable. Far less so when (it is claimed) to criticise some of the Struthers Memorial Church leaders (a list we have asked for but another thing as yet unpublished) is the same as to criticise Moses or God.


We do not believe that is biblical - or true - or sane - or sufficiently safeguards the people from error from leaders and speakers. In the early days of the Scottish Reformation Scots congregations would sit with their bibles open on their laps as a preacher spoke so that if any heretical or Romish words came out of their mouths they could be tested against the Word of God and that speaker would be sent packing.


We heartily agree with that status being revived between the Word of God and the Struthers preacher.


  • Bible first.


  • Preacher listened to for as long as they stick closely to God's word.


  • As soon as they begin to major on mystical things and visions and God told them on mountain tops - check what they say against the bible.


  • If it is not there – find another preacher (and repeat the process).     


  • If Struthers won't provide another preacher who holds to the bible then take your family and go where you can find one.


So far in our reports and testimonies we find many who regret their time and involvement in SMC. We find many who feel hurt and damaged. We find many who feel the leadership let them down and failed to be shepherds to them – despite the leaders frequent claims that this is what they were called by God to be. We find many who regret the harm done to their families by divided loyalties caused by the call to place the leadership above family and even children in their affections.


We have not yet found one person who has claimed to regret leaving this church.


We have many who have begun to find what they were looking for and not finding for many years in Struthers. They have come into churches that have new testament leadership. That have clear and well argued biblical teachings, consistent and caring treatment of all members, opportunities to use the gifts and ministries of all believers, and full transparency of finances, salaried appointments and a vision for their churches future they can believe in and support.


Everyone can see Struthers Memorial Church is now facing many public questions about its teachings, beliefs and practices. Every week for the last 2 and a half years new information - and regularly new people  - have been going public with their concerns. Yet still they are not prepared to place in the public domain a simple document outlining what they teach and believe.


“But we have a statement of faith...!”


The weak and generic “statement of belief” that limply sits on the information-free Struthers church website is no more revealing about what they really believe than a fly the air.


Many people have been banned from attending Struthers public meetings. But no one has been banned for any reason relating to their failure to comply with any part of that "statement of belief". They were banned for breaking the other as yet unpublished rules - often inconsistent and often unfairly applied. Then after a few years they were likely changed anyway.


Where are the mentions on the church website of the beliefs in:

  • “strong” pastoral authority,
  • the right of the leadership to ban people at will,
  • that “words of knowledge” are unchallengeable,
  • that God speaks to a certain few of the leadership about all church direction,
  • and that women are more “mystically spiritual” than men. (The lady founder often mentioned that)
  • that questions are a sign of lack of Godliness (see the Question of Questions)


Since we are talking about it we would also request that the executive make up its mind. Is the Struthers “statement of belief” the one on their website that includes the words at the end:


“And the ministry of deliverance”


Or is it the one in the Struthers charitable company founding trust deed that is exactly the same except it omits these final 5 words? It seems they forgot to mention this important part of Struthers teaching. Or was it thought that keeping deliverance and demon exorcism teaching out of the sight of OSCR would make the granting of charitable company status more likely? If so - we think that is probably a correct assumption.


But we also think that to hide part of what is taught and practiced within the Struthers charity to give themselves advantage in some context is dishonest.


If a church is claiming “holiness” that seems (to us) to say that it is claiming to be a place of unusually righteous leadership who are closer to God and less compromised that most Christians. Then to hide part of your controversial beliefs from the charity regulator in the hope of gaining financial advantages seems at odds with the scrupulous honestly you would expect from “advanced” Christians. Or is there no conflict between holiness, righteousness and hiding your true beliefs and teachings if you only do so:


"in the interests of the charity"?


– in other worlds you think you will get more custom in your shops and more school fees in your bank account if you are more selective about what information you share in public?


Let’s not argue that might be illegal

Let’s not argue that might be deeply dishonest

Let’s simply now say we are not going to let it go by un-remarked


Sort this out


The Struthers charitable company can fix this in a day


Publish the teachings and beliefs document and silence us.


We and others can then test your teachings against the bible; and we and others and your own congregations can then see if you apply your teachings fairly, consistently and lovingly across all your churches. They will see whether different standards apply if you are a leader, or friend of a leader.


And people considering any involvement in any part of the SMC charitable company can know that the organisation they are getting personally and financially involved in is one they fully understand and support in all its elements from the start.


That is of course is what we all thought we understood when we all first got involved; but then later discovered a hidden unwritten rule book which had been deliberately hidden from us until such time as suited the leaders to start applying its secret rules to our lives.



Can we point out that if any – and we do believe any – other Christian church was asked for this there would only ever be one of two possible responses:


1  Here it is!

Our guide to our teachings and beliefs is already produced and available. How could we consistently train leaders and inform members of what they were joining and supporting if it was not?


2 It does not yet exist.

But you are giving us the chance to share and publicise the beliefs and teachings which we believe to be a source of special blessing to our church. We believe these teachings come from the heart of God and we are very proud of them. So we have grasped this opportunity to share these and we believe in doing this so all people can see - and will be able to understand - the value and special insight of our church. So we will as soon as possible publish our book of teachings and beliefs.


But maybe there is a 3rd


We have strong and deeply held beliefs we think are derived both from the bible and the special revelation given to our founder. We believe this to be a special means of God speaking to the people of Scotland now and will soon herald a revival. But some of the teachings are severe and could be seen as authoritarian so although we are proud of them and of our church we have to keep certain things secret and hide these from view. This is because we cannot justify them biblically in any way that would stand up to scrutiny. And we fear people would see us negatively if they knew what we really believed and might stay away from our churches, our school and our cakeshops.



The time might be coming when Struthers Memorial Church needs to tell us all what it really believes no matter what the consequences for itself.


And it may need to repent of the damaging and false teachings of the past and become a church which can be open about its teachings and does, at last, have nothing to hide.


Two and a half years on - we are not there yet.