Struthers Memorial Church and the RickRoss Witnesses






Date of 1st post



(quotes cut and paste from the Rick Ross Forum so contain some original spelling and typing errors)










Aug 1

Initiator of the discussion in 2005


Concerned about negative character changes in an American friend who had moved to Wales and joined Struthers Neath


She found a church there and has completely changed, saying her former bible studies were 'groups of little faith' etc. I'm familiar with the signs of cultic/abusive churches and I think this one fits the description






Aug 31

First reply to Ohio after 5 years


Has family in Struthers and attended one camp




Oct 4

Described in great detail how she was bullied and hurt in Struthers Cumbernauld and massively traumatised by the control and restrictions the leader of the church seemed to believe she had the right to placed on her life. She was banned from speaking to anyone in the congregation then banned from attending on the basis that the church leader “discerned she was a lesbian” based on no evidence whatsoever.


they are dangerous people. It nearly cost me my faith and my life. It still bothers me some of the stuff they said to me, but what bothers me more is those who are affected by this, getting hurt and destroyed and possibly being turned off God for life.


I myself was accused of being a lesbian and the worst sinner Diana Rutherford had ever met. Others have been accused of being full of evil, terrible Christians, mentally unstabe, witches etc


The Petitor

Oct 12

A member of Struthers for many years who was then utterly rejected by the Struthers leadership. Has been seeking answers as to why this happened to them and what it was they did wrong. Until the RR forum appeared they believed that they were the only person who had gone through an experience like this in Struthers


In my case.....it was made very clear to me that the leaders know more about me than I do, but they refuse to talk to me. That leaves me in a difficult position – they know more about me than I do, but they will not tell me what it is. I really can't see any way out of that catch 22 situation.

Anon 201062

Dec 8


Claimed to have knowledge of  Struthers teaching, the Cumbernauld church and claimed Covlass was lying.

Claimed to know all complaints on the forum arose from people being “bitter”


Claimed he could “find” 50 people happy with Struthers for every one who had a complaint. That would now be 2500 people which is about 8 times the combined membership of all the SMC branches.


The church has no "policies" as such other than biblical teachings.


some facts that have been massively mis-quoted by some who are obviously bitter at their experience.


for everyone that has an issue with the work god is doing there I can find 50 who have been set free, healed or are finding a freedom in god that is a result of the work the leadership has done, and the work that god is doing in that place




Dec 13


Now if the only positive or negative risks on carrying out the unction are on the "hearer" then fine. No problem. But time and time again it turns out that such unctions are to tell ANOTHER person what the hearer thinks the lord is saying. At this point the risk of the "leap of faith" being taken be the possibly "unctioned" becomes a risk that is transferred to the party being "prophesied" /"discerned".







Jan 1

20 years attendance at Struthers. Left due to the unaccountability and ever changing teachings of the leadership. Saw the Struthers leaders focus on personal “spirituality” became a cover for selfish living and not reaching out to others. When they finally did leave they realised they had been living in limbo for years and could now grow both as a person and in biblical understanding.

In my opinion – cult or not – Struthers Memorial Church has a lot of HONEST soul searching to do. The leaders need to get proper training in reading and interpreting the Bible from an accredited, mainstream christian school.


I know for a fact that several faithful and devout people – christians for over 20 years in Struthers - are depressed and have needed medication to get through normal life. There are also some cases of serious mental breakdown in people associated with Struthers.



Jan 4

Claims over 30 years involvement with Struthers.


As might be expected some people can only manage to maintain this outward show with the support of pills and anti-depressants. This might be because the promised spiritual breakthrough in life the leaders claim will happen if you can maintain this holiness activity seems to never arrive for any but a well connected few.




Jan 17

Claimed heartless and appalling treatment from the leader of Struthers  Falkirk and has been asking for an explanation and help from the Struthers leadership for 30 years. They have not replied to his letters.

I have been left in limbo for nearly 30 years as the leader of the Falkirk church and at least one other person I was close to refuse to talk to me


All I have asked for over 25 years is for someone to sit down with me as an equal and talk to me, to explain why certain decisions were made, what I had done wrong, what I was meant to do


Archbishop Laud

Jan 24

A member of Struthers for many years eventually left due to inappropriate attempts to control his life. Gives serious and considered reasons for what the church was doing wrong.

(some of the problems seen)

*  anti-intellectualism, bordering on a blasphemous belittling of God's gift of rationality

* unhealthy level of reverence for leaders

* cliques galore, masquerading as spiritually-advanced groupings

* head-in-sand avoidance of social and political issues

* inverted sexism




Feb 27

Claims bad experiences in Struthers. Felt for years as if they were the only one seeing Struthers in a bad light

I am beyond ecstatic to have found this forum. It sounds strange I know, but for a good two years I though it was just me. Clearly not. I had some really bad experiences in this Church


We do understand them, we just object and question, and a Church that is "open" should be willing to respond to the questions that have been posted online, rather than shun them as bitterness or an attack.



Mar 11

Attending a Struthers branch and feeling controlled, restricted, intimidated and accused by the Struthers leadership - but, like some others, not getting a clear explanation as to what the leaders are claiming it is they are guilty of.

I am currently attending one of the branch churches. I recently started attending another church too after various restrictions were placed on me. I have been told that I need to repent but I do not know of what I need to repent.


I have also felt very intimidated by control. I was told I was putting family first when I missed a meeting to attend a family birthday party.



Mar 17

Was in Struthers for over 25 years. Concerned for years about unbiblical and unloving practices they saw in Struthers. Discovered via the material about SMC online that many of the reservations they already had were confirmed by multiple witnesses.

I honestly had no idea that money from Church collections went towards funding their School. I'm certain that many if not most of the present members are not aware of this;


I also found that rules made by the church leadership can change but with no announcement of the fact or instruction to the members.


healing ministry.....people are afraid to say they are ill because that indicates that there is something wrong in your life, or you don't have enough faith or you've lost the healing you had, so basically, it's your own fault. Some people have experienced great confusion and upset on this matter.


I know there are other people in Struthers church who are unhappy but are too frightened to leave



Mar 21


Claimed she came onto the forum not to answer questions but to tell us she was doing well. (Did not indicate whether or not she was a salaried church employee)


there are those of us who enjoy Struthers Memorial Church


Mar 22

Many years in Struthers Cumbernauld. Felt hurt, intimidated, controlled and criticised, afraid and eventually suicidal.


Shared details of 4 very specific situations where people had been banned from attending Struthers Cumbernauld.

I had been attending Struthers for most of my life.....I had been deeply hurt. To the point where I was just about to take my own life. I didn’t know the difference between right and wrong anymore. I red what it says in the bible, but when I went to the church the pastor/leader preached completely differently


When I was in Struthers I was in fear. I was scared to do anything. ............ Why was I scared, because everything you do you get watched and made you feel intimidated and scorned upon.



Mar 24

Many years in Struthers Cumbernauld. Felt hated, criticised and controlled from the start. Stated she had lost her relationship with two of her family because of the church.

When I went there at first no one was allowed to talk to me. The Pastor of the Cumbernauld branch seemed to hate me on sight. The time I was there I was emotionally abused.


by the time I had left I was quite ill, as I had lost the ability to know the difference between right and wrong. I had developed posttraumatic stress syndrome a condition that soldiers get in a war, also the shock of it all has made 50% of my hair fall out. I still get flash backs and really bad dreams, that hang over me for days at a time. I have also lost two of my family through this woman Pastor


Out of it

Apr 2

Actually 2 people - a husband and wife who had been in the London and Cumbernauld Struthers branches. They disputed some of the detail lovealways shared of their story. But both accounts agree that the wife had been banned from Struthers Cumbernauld and it was publicly announced that the reason she was given for being banned was that she had been “practicing witchcraft” while staying in Diana Rutherford’s home.


I also suffered very badly at the treatment by SMC like so many others on this forum. It has taken years to rebuild my live after losing everything, even my marriage was tested because of the abuse of SMC.




Apr 5

Brought up in Struthers in the 70s and 80s. Felt fear and excessive control


Noted how many of those who were in their generation in the church subsequently left.

having been brought up in the church thro the 70's and 80's.....i have to say things haven't changed very much!i would say that quite tellingly 95% of my peer group(including myself) are no longer there.


Miss Taylor ..........growing up she absolutely terrified us all,very very intense with zero time for anyone not completely willing to bend to her will.this is where the control freakery (heavy shepherding)....... comes from



Apr 28

Had been a child and a teenager in Struthers. Felt exhausted trying to perform and live up to the required level of control and the number of meetings


Leaders attempted to control their career choices to those which better suited the church

It was exhausting keeping up with what I was allowed to do. I attended meetings every single night of the week and twice on a Sunday – and similar to what others have said, absence was always noted and strictly followed up.


It seemed to lie on the shoulders of a few people in a kind of ‘magic circle’ to determine what was kosher, like foreign holidays (at my time forbidden, now ok)


Leaders attempted to steer me away from my chosen career in favour of being a teacher, and I know it still happens... another form of control!




May 11

Attended Struthers for years. Felt pressured and intimidated to conform


Had to relearn what the bible meant once they left.

I also spoke to a girl who the people didn't like and was told to stay away from her, when I refused I was ostracised. Eventually she was told to leave the Church and I left anyway.


When my friend committed suicide I was told I shouldn't be hanging around with people like that anyway. That really hurt me because I knew I was not 'doing anything wrong'



May 12

Parents were members so taken to one of the English Struthers branches as a child and teenager.


Sees the problems as stemming from excessive control by the leadership, and not the fault of the congregations.

My main beef with SMC was the amount of control levied by the leadership, there was no TVin our house, popular culture was banned and if Mr B could have fitted into a horse and carriage and got a horse hair shirt to fit then Im sure he would.


My Dad used to tithe a 3rd of his wages, not a percentage which would have been intelligent, a 3rd. Were did it all go ? Who accounted for it ?



May 17

Had been part of the High Wycombe group which originally was established when an Anglican group from a local parish in Buckinghamshire attended a Struthers camp in the early 1980s and caused a schism in their old church when they returned. The female leadership of the Struthers faction mainly sought to control and influence women


Many years ago, certain SMC members run the youth group in Buckinghamshire. Certainly this was a female dominated group and favour was given to the women and to one teenage male, who always wore a suit and tie, and received birthday presents, when all other males did not.


The Anglican Church, saw through them and kicked them out, and they left, taking the females with them. Such was their control.



May 18


Had also left Struthers but thought they did so on good terms.


Thinks Struthers is a good church and leaders should be obeyed and people should sometimes be made afraid in churches. People not liking being told what to do is not due to controlling demanding leadership with no boundaries, he claims, but because of the sad modern scourge of “pervasive individualism”


I am not here to defend Struthers as a perfect and infallible church, not even the leadership would say that and indeed I remember Grace Gault saying that if anyone could demonstrate they were wrong from scripture they would change their position (as any sensible christian would do). Did anyone do this before they left?


As for the alleged "control" of leaders, I think this very much exposes the individualism that pervades society and the church in general today. People don't like being told what to do - period. You see it everywhere and it is a sad sight.



June 22

Brought up as a child and teenager in Struthers Glasgow in the 1980’s. They have family who still attended.


Felt controlled and damaged on into later life. Had Struthers parents who “severely whipped” him and indicated he was evil for asking questions about the church and its leaders.


Claimed the forum had validated their feelings and made them consider returning to a (non-Struthers) church.

We were told that TV was evil, modern music was evil, certain clothing was evil, hairstyles were evil etc. As a result, I grew up in the belief that all these things were evil and would corrupt me and my life would be ruined. My family often told me to either bring my friends into the church or to shun them as they weren't in the church and as a result


there was someone called Miss Taylor and I remember being absolutely terrified from her. She seemed to be very disturbed and almost maniacal when she preached.


There were frequent occasions when I was a child when I questioned the church and the people who lead the church. This frequently resulted in severe whippings when I got home as questioning this church is considered sinful and evil and noone should ever question the guidance of the leaders of this church.



Jul 13

Had a long term friend who was involved in Struthers and she observed her becoming a clone.


Was involved in a non Struthers housegroup led by a Struthers person.


Was subject to a deliverance session in SMC where after much shouting noise and tongues speaking - nothing happened

It can seem the ideal way, the highest way and they present it like that but i think there is a lack of wisdom . I think its aimed at single people , it provides a noble alternative to a relationship maybe, ( check out the number of single women who minister in the church). You can leave there feeling very "down" very unworthy ,very negative and i don’t think these feelings come from God


“I was sad to see my friend transformed into someone that made me just a little embarrassed when she spoke”.


what stands out again and again besides the individual instances of "spiritual abuse" is the fact that (in my opinion) they present a wrong view of God...trying to put their so called standards of holiness into practice just left me feeling empty and puzzled.




Aug 1

Former child growing up in the church in one of the outlying branches. Agrees with much on the forum


Now in a healthy church she can now grow to become what God intended her to be

I was deeply hurt by many people in this church and, .... I do believe that SMC need to look within their own walls before they can grow and move on. I went from being an extremely happy and outgoing child and a deeply surly and withdrawn teenager solely because of the treatment received in SMC. This carried into my adult life causing me to have a deep mistrust of people and transferring that into a deep inability to trust God.



Aug 16

Someone who was picked out and groomed for leadership and in that felt massively restricted and controlled and obliged to live up to demands from the leaders without any safeguard or biblical (or even reasonable) boundaries.


Left and is now in a God centred rather than leader centred church


A decade after leaving met with the Struthers leadership to tell them how damaging their treatment of her had been. The leadership feigned complete surprise at any suggestion they had ever damaged anyone.

As a teenager who was hungry for more of God I made the fatal mistake of placing trust in leaders who purported to know how to help me in my spiritual quest. I was encouraged to lie and deceive my parents in order to keep a connection with the church and looking back I now believe the leaders wanted there to be estrangement because it would (and did) increase my dependence on the church and give them more sway over me.


Over the course of several years I tried to leave several times. My absences were always followed up and pressure bought to bear. I was told that I would miss God's plan for my life and I would always feel what I had snatched (ie marriage and kids) would be second best. Most times I caved in quickly, repented and rejoined the fold,


not all the leaders held people’s struggles in confidence and on occasion details were passed on to others not directly involved in the “counselling”. This was an outrageous breach of trust and confidentiality but as they were unqualified and not ordained there was no code of conduct or governing body to appeal to.



Aug 20

Left Struthers in the last year after attending for over 20 years. Was in one of the outlying branches but had most problems with the teachings and control coming from those at the SMC centre. Now found a healthy and bible based church which has helped her resolve her problems caused by Struthers. Now feels “free to be vulnerable in church with my loving Christian family.”

I do have issues with the main leadership in the west though,which is one of the reasons I left the SMC movement! I have had experience of feeling inadequate and not part of the "in crowd" I was in SMC for over 20 years.


I always felt I never quite made the grade! I am now looking to where God will take me in my walk with Him,although I do still have to deal with the fact I have no friends outside Struthers and will have to almost try to rebuild my life!


I have found a wonderful amazing church and made lots of friends in the church. I have felt accepted and loved in a way i have never felt before. (i never relised i wasn't before).I have had to work through a lot of issues that have arisen because of my time in SMC such as feeling inadequate and not feeling "good enough" i have come to see that it is by grace i am a daughter of the King....i in no way feel intimidated but feel loved and valued. i cant believe that i spent so many years living under the restraints and domination of the main SMC church



Aug 26

Many years as a member of Struthers from teenage years and agrees with much on the forum. Exposure to the leadership’s repeated teaching made them feel worthless and inadequate.

First of all, as a teenager I started to go along to meetings with a few of my friends and very quickly changed from a happy outgoing child who belonged to various groups and organisations, to a teenager who felt worthless and inadequate and never quite good enough. The messages that came from the front via various people were that God's love only came through a lot of human effort which involved giving up friendships, hobbies and attending every meeting.


I don't remember at any time being taught of the grace and the mercy of God's love. I don't remember being taught of the unconditional love of God nor do I remember this ever being displayed by any of the leadership or by those “in training” for leadership. I do however recall harshness and heavyhandedness and an awful lot of unhappy, miserable and very burdened christians.



Aug 28

Many years in the church and deeply committed to it which became a feeling of being trapped. A situation which lasted years.



My experience was years of commitment in Struthers, the last 10 or so where I felt bound in to something with a feeling of not being able to escape.


Why, when Bible classes were run, were females allowed to lead the group (at that time comprising mostly young boys) on their own but when a male was on the rota he had to be accompanied by a female? (This was nothing to do with 'Disclosure' but to do with the church leader not trusting the spiritual condition of men.)



Sept 6


Attended Struthers Glasgow from 89-93. Worked in the bookshop with Mr Black. Not involved for the last 20 years but regards Struthers as a deeply “spiritual” place

I think this website is in danger of becoming a free for all that denigrates the fine reputation of many people.


Having not been there since 93 I am not in any position to speak about the way the leadership is formed etc, the point of my post was to give my own empirical standpoint about my time there; it is not for me to take any other view apart from what I experienced there and the people I met there



Oct 5

Was a member of Struthers Neath, Wales and claims he, his family and his friends were subject to treatment so ungodly he now regards Struthers Memorial Church as a dangerous cult

Several years ago I was a member of Struthers in south Wales. It is most definately a cult. What happend to me, my familly and friends is appalling and most definately ungodly.... I would just like to say that I echo all the negatives mentioned in this forum, and plead with everyone out there to never get involved with this highly dangerous cult.


People need to know the truth about Struthers, they need to be warned. I am quite happy to talk to anybody including people from Struthers about my experiences


...free indeed!

Oct 6

Was an ex Struthers member. Made one partial post making one point as quoted

(as a ex Struthers member) it was generally considered and often voiced that they were on a 'higher spiritual path' than other churches



Oct 18

Former member for many years still having trouble coming to terms with life after leaving Struthers and wanting to stop SMC interfering with and worsening relationships within his already broken family

I find myself in an unbearable position. I did try to go back for a while but the guilt that I felt was too strong to bear, because I could not attain the level of commitment that is required in SMC.


My x-wife who is also a member of SMC and I are no longer together and my daughter lives with her. So here is my unbearable position since coming back from summer camp this year my daughter has refused to have any contact what so ever with me, no explanation what so ever.





Oct 19

Former member who was first in SMC 25 years ago and has painful memories of their time there. Only questioned the teaching and practices fully after they left concluding there are severe problems.

I have seen, and know of other, good family and friend relationships ruined on the basis of a few words from an SMC leader with no justification or explanation. Often it just looks as exercising power for its own sake perhaps to test and reinforce that a leader is always right and must be obeyed.


...concerns about SMC leadership already expressed by others but I share many of them – especially in relation to the refusal to explain or accept questioning of teaching or decisions, the lack of openness,use of discernment, lack of support for non favoured or vunerable members, and the fostering of an isolationist community.






Lintar 123

Jan 6

Long time member involved in Struthers Glasgow and Struthers Cumbernauld. She and her husband were subject to massive and inappropriate control via the pressure to keep up meeting attendance virtually nightlyand suffered bullying from the Struthers leadership. She was accused by the Struthers Cumbernauld leader of being demon possessed and banned for a time attending their church services.

I remember cutting myself off from everything and continuing to feel a failure every time I left a meeting. We went to meetings every night and I remember vividly being banned by Diana Rutherford for something horrible that she accused me of doing at a house meeting in Cumbernauld. I know in my heart I hadn`t done this action.


Immense pressure was on our marriage and me personally, and ever since I have been treated for depression


was threatened by DR who told me that I was causing my husband to backslide and that I was demonised and would never be able to leave the church. I believe there were sermons about us when we did leave




Jan 24

Grew up in SMC during the 70, 80s and 90s. Deeply psychologically scarred by the teaching and practices they were exposed to; and the terror resulting from exposure to repeated teachings on the demonic in front of children.


Their quoted post given here is shared in full as it is one of the most alarming and disturbing on the whole discussion thread

for a child it was a truly oppressive environment to grow up in. Week after week, month after month, I was forced to sit through long "hellfire and damnation" sermons as well as VERY detailed discussions - and indeed physical displays- of "demon activity/possession and deliverance"! You wouldn't take a child of 8 years old to see an adult horror movie, so why was it deemed acceptable to speak of such horrors in front of children, and indeed permit them to witness the "blood curdling" screams and physical torments of someone being "delivered"? As a result of such sustained exposure I grew up with very deep-seated fears which developed into serious Anxious Depression in adolescence, and adulthood. In fact, 90% of the children raised alongside me in Struthers are being treated for some form of mental illness, ranging from Depression, Bulimia to Bi Polar Disorder and Psychosis.



Jan 24

Grew up in SMC and had both good experiences via involvement with certain of the people there; and bad experiences when people put rules adherence before the requirement to be loving

I personally am eternally grateful to certain people within SMC who were key to me today still experiencing a close and personal relationship with ...Jesus Christ

I also have other less pleasurable moments of experiencing the disappointing behavior of those in positions that should have known better and seen the less Christian side of people as they were more concerned about what they believed in than loving those around them



Mar 22

Concerned about the Struthers Cumbernauld pastor and the effect of her being in a church which teaches and acts in the way that SMC does.


Raises the issue that parents of children she teaches in her full time job as a primary teacher in Cumbernauld may be concerned given her involvement in the problems being testified to in SMC.

(to Lintar123) I do feel that we have to get the message out to a wider community so as to prevent the things you and too many others have suffered. If as you say a great many of these pastors are teachers and they like to get children into the church, then the local authorities in Greenock and Cumbernauld should be aware of what is going on and they would learn a lot from reading peoples experiences on this forum.


having read all the posts on the forum, people have to be aware that if young people become members of the SMC and go to the youth clubs that they could be subjected to emotional abuse that could leave them traumatised and depressed for years


no Pastor has a monopoly on God and everyone has a basic right to to be treated with respect and not to be deliberately physcologically damaged. This would be called bullying in any other walk of live and these Struthers pastors have a duty of care to their members.


None of the SMC leaders seem to have any qualifications in theology or any other christian sciences and, from the sermons I have heard, none of them seem to really understand the teachings of the bible at all, so what qualifies them to tell you how you should conduct your daily walk with God?







Jun 16

Brought up in the church the daughter of the then leader of Struthers Port Glasgow near Greenock. Attended 6 or 7 meetings a week on all except one night of the week. Felt controlled, condemned, criticised and unloved by the heartless and judgemental Greenock leadership and their clones.


She admired her parents who had never conformed to the SMC model and ultimately left SMC.



lived for my first 16-18 years of life in constant fear of the main church leaders in Greenock finding out how bad I'd been and announcing my atrocities to the whole church, from the platform (yes, that did actually happen to many perople who attended the church and 'strayed from the path of righteousness').


I do remember a particular incident which shook me a lot at one of the camps, when a guy collapsed with an epileptic fit and instead of calling an ambulance the leaders started praying in tongues over him to 'cast out his demons'. As a young kid I was petrified that those demons would find me!!


None of my family attend SMC anymore and instead they attend a different Evangelical church where the people are REAL and the pastors don't put themselves up on pedestals to be revered by their adoring congregation and I have to say, my family are all so much happier and fulfilled in life than they were in those days of constant self flagellation and guilt about not being good enough for God.




Jun 18

A person with no previous connection to SMC who attended a wedding at Struthers Cumbernauld and could not believe the appalling, condescending and heartless attitude of the person leading the wedding service.


“It was a sick parody of a wedding service”.


Wanted to complain to whatever authorities the Cumbernauld leader worked for and discovered there were none. So found the forum and immediately came to share their deep shock at what they had seen and heard.



I attended a wedding last week of two friends of mine in Cumbernauld and had to stop myself from walking out of the ceremony, the female minister basicaly launched a character assassination of the bride, the couple have a young baby and the entire ceremony was based around how they had had sexual relations before marriage, done everything in the wrong order but atleast now they were putting things right, she even informed the congregation that the couple had been having problems but she wasnt going to tell everyone exactly what they were but the groom had to pray more!!!! She then informed us that half of the marriages she had conducted had now split up and people dont take marriage seriously any more.... it was a sick parody of a wedding service and I was so angry that I came online to try and find out who the ministers church is and who her superiors are to make a complaint about her..... instead I found this website and I'm absolutely shocked, I'd never heard of Struthers before, but everything I've read on here is basically everything we witnessed at the wedding, I am now seriously concerned for my friends and their young family.



Jul 2

Followed the forum for a year before posting. Former attendee of Struthers Cumbernauld. First experiences were positive then found their life coming under rigid and inappropriate control of one person. Was taught that to disagree with the leader was to be “evil personified”


Left 10 years ago and still trying to rebuild a healthy belief system.

'Cumbernauld' is ruled (and I mean RULED!) by one person and woe betide you if you disagree with her on anything! In my experience anything that was said in a "Bible" study that didn't correlate 100% with her view meant you were to be looked on as suspicious at best, or seriously rebellious at worst. This meant that for at least the duration of the next meeting (possibly the next two or three meetings) dirty looks were, at periodic intervals, thrown your way. If you're really bad the preaching starts being directed at you.


I found that very quickly I came to believe the following (which is time and time again reinforced):
* Struthers is the best Church in the UK (if not the world!), all others are full of compromise and backsliding
* The Church leader in your branch is the best in the Struthers movement
* You MUST be obedient to your leader in all things
* There is no hope for you spiritually if you leave


The Cumbernauld leader controls the church by fear, this is NOT a goldly fear, but a fear of what she might reveal about you. The atmosphere in that church is so unhealthy and the deference to the leadership ridiculous.



Aug 2

Former Struthers member who found the forum helpful in getting a healthy perspective on their time in SMC and their life since leaving. Their parents also left the church and now live in a more healthy Christian freedom. Interestingly in all their time in Struthers they never went to a camp.

can I recommend that you read your bibles for yourselves so that you won't be shortchanged by your leaders quoting parts of verses to you out of context, to make their points. This happened to me and the verse in question meant the opposite from what it was being used for when read as a whole and in context. That was a very wrong thing of the leader to do if it was done knowingly. But maybe they just didn't know their bible



Aug 3

Person still attending SMC (at the time of their first post) but seeing it differently because of discovering good online Christian sermons; and the questions people were asking on the online forums and the perspective that enabled

Fairly recently, I had the great privilege of sitting under the ministry of a pastor who had been properly trained in biblical scholarship. His exposition of the word was a real eye-opener to me. Why? Because it was totally different from the sort of 'teaching' we get at struthers. This was a structured, methodical, intelligent and faithful interpretation of the passage. I can honestly say I have NEVER been exposed to this type of preaching before - it was simply in a different class.


Looking back now, I'm amazed at just how much of the preaching at SMC is pretty mean-spirited and oppressive. HOW DID I NOT SEE THIS?


I'm really saddened that there are so many people that have been badly damaged or deeply hurt in some way at the hands of SMC down through the years. (Is the figure in the hundreds?) In my area, I can think of no other church that has a similar shameful testimony.


There's no question or doubt, I will be leaving Struthers.



Aug 8

Followed the forum for over a year before posting. Former attendee of an Inverclyde branch of Struthers who grew up in the church. Recently returned to Christianity and discovered the concept of grace - which was never communicated in SMC where it was taught God’s favour was conditional on your “holiness” performance.

My overriding memories however are of being ranted at, particularly on Saturday nights, and being made to feel like the lowest of the low.


my prevailing memory is of being told that you are unclean and unworthy and that every aspect of you needs to change in order for you to be acceptable to God. Maybe that doesn’t sound very terrible in itself, but as a child getting that message several times a week for more than 16 years is destructive


a thing that has really struck me since returning to God and attending another church. Until now I had never understood the concept of grace. Grace is the foundation of Christianity, the foundation of our relationship with God and yet I spent the first 17-18 years of my life attending a church which did not communicate this message to me.



Dec 4


Indicated they were not an employee of Struthers and implied they were not a current member. Felt that the online analysis and discussion of the publicly available accounts was “casting aspersions” on people he liked within the Struthers charity.

“(which is the thing that ticked me off about this forum)”


Generally and persistently argued for a few weeks that the forum concerns were largely invalid (and to him implausible partly because he found the Struthers leadership “a few unimpressive women”) But finally agreed that accountable oversight in Struthers and a complaints proceedure would be a positive thing.


Let me be clear, I am in no way answering on behalf of SMC. This is a personal view on my reading of this forum.


From what I know of members they are a well-educated, articulate and capable bunch many of whom hold highly responsible jobs in secular employment. To suggest they are deluded to such an extent by a few unimpressive women strikes me as highly implausible, hence my points.


This has manifested itself in some, frankly, implausible accusations which by association reflects badly on decent people.


Good oversight, with external advice, would be a positive step I will agree with you on that.



Dec 8

A contributor to many discussions on the RickRoss forum and who has weighed-in in support of the quite proper questioning of Struthers








Jan 24

Former member of Struthers. Disagrees now with the teaching they were exposed to based on a fuller understanding of the bible.

you have no right to point out the short falls in others when you have sins and shortfallings in your own life. Unless the SMC leaders think they are without sin in which case you are mearly highlighting your own short fallings as this can't possibly be the case as the bible clearly states that no man is without sin.



Mar 1


Former SMC attendee up to 10 years ago. Remembered a Struthers member mentioned on the forum who committed suicide; and that George Marshall had been healed in the 80s from Manic Depression


some of you may remember george marshal, bald head big beard, i remember his testimony but not when he gave it, as i have not been to smc for about 10 years it must have been before that. He was very open and honest in talking about manic depression and also about his healing.





Cornelius Dredd

Mar 8

Attended SMC meetings and camps as a teenager. Desperately badly affected and damaged by the teachings and demands placed on him. Feels lucky to have got out even though his belief system has been damaged.

Currently, I'm under (medical and psychological) reconstruction. My belief system failed me and mentally, well I collapsed. Part of my recovery involves regulating my "fear of God"


A God of love would not ask this....so I spent too many years daring to think this way in secret. How glad am I to have stumbled upon this discussion? Very glad indeed. I feel an affinity with many here


Ruinous leadership, lives blighted. That's the link. I see it throughout the thread.



Mar 13


Grew up in Struthers, attended the school, their family are still members and they have friends there. Is well aware of the issues discussed on the forum. Yet wants to defend the church and recommend it to other people though she openly rebelled against many of the teachings, pursued a relationship the leadership wanted her to end, and no longer attends. Says it is a safe church full of lovely people as long as people realise that the leaders do not ALWAYS correctly bring Gods instructions.


I have found a depth of faith and confidence within God because of the foundation of Christ that was taught. It may seem as though I am committing "outer sins" (surely all sin is the same) as I wear makeup, drink alcohol etc, but I know if I was to die today I'd be with Jesus. ... SMC ...are lovely people and you will find God within their fellowship. Stay true to who you are, though. This I will caution you; do not accept that what is said from the leaders is the exact word from God all the time.



May 14

Former member initially coming onto the forum to confirm the CovLass account of the excessively harsh and angry child removal she witnessed in Struthers Cumbernauld.


Was a young person in Cumbernauld who was oppressed by the preaching and teaching - and pointed out how the teachings and messages changed according to fashion. Very poor (and extremely lucid) opinion of the Struthers Cumbernauld church leader.


Got out of Struthers very easily - possibly as result of seeing things clearly.

My opinion of DR: Oh I really really hope she is reading this. The woman is the furthest thing from a christian I have ever had the misfortune to meet and to have her in such a position of power is a complete joke. She publicly humiliates people (one youth meeting consisted of listing all the young people who were not in attendance and going down the list one by one telling everyone who was there what the absentee's biggest faults were), she lies (telling people they can do one thing, then later on denying she said it and saying they couldn't do it because of a particular "sin" - wearing make-up), she breaks confidences (frequently uses examples of people she has delivered, the infamous Wednesday night meetings at camp,...she uses emotional blackmail ("if so-and-so doesn't admit to this, I'll tell everyone from the platform"), she mocks the mentally ill ("they're all just very self-centred"), she turns people against each other, breaking up families and friendships which take years to heal if they do at all which some of you have obvious personal experience of....she's doing so much damage, far more damage than good. The church has a terrible reputation which I didn't find out until after I left



June 8

Former member who grew up in the church. At one point she became identified by the leadership as someone they were grooming for future leadership and extra pressures were put on her life. She chose to leave and ultimately needed professional psychiatric help to get her life back together.

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




July 1

Grew up in Struthers as part of a church family. Felt sickened and suffocated by the culture. Left having lost their faith.

I myself drifted off in the mid 90s, largely because I had become so sickened and suffocated by the culture in SMC, and also felt sidelined and ignored because I wasn’t one of the shining examples who were trailblazing the ‘youth’ of the church at the time




Aug 31

Had been a member of Kirkby Christian fellowship at the time of its links to Struthers. Major critic of Kirkby on its own forum thread and noted with interest the link with the Struthers discussion



Happy Survivor

Sep 1

Former member of Struthers Greenock who had just left the church the weekend before first posting.


Subjected to much control by the leadership and betrayal by “friends” of things shared in private which were quickly reported to the Struthers Greenock leader - then followed up  with alarming nastiness.

Whilst I was attending SMC I once innocently asked a fellow member why Mrs Gault was not like other pastors I had known. I did not intend to criticise nor to be insubordinate. Mrs Gault got to hear about my question and I received a tongue lashing from her by phone one night shortly afterwards. I can still recall how I lay in bed that night believing that I had been rejected by God Himself. All the lights went out for me that night. I later asked Grace would she ever forgive me and she replied that she has a very long memory. I think I knew then that I was a failure in her eyes and always would be.



Sep 4


Came onto the forum claiming she could answer questions - then refused to answer the question “are you a spokesperson for the Struthers leadership?”


Initially it was thought she was objecting to the notion that some of the rules in SMC were “insane”. It then became clear what she really objected to was the suggestion that there were any “rules” in Struthers church at all.


She then apparently wrote several personally insulting messages which the forum moderator did not allow to be posted and was banned from the forum for repeatedly not keeping to the rules she agreed to when joining.


Happy Survivor: what are these "insane rules and regulations"? ... Are you just making stuff up? Again, exact quotes please and I will go away and check who said what


(of Struthers Church)

There are no "rules" that I am aware of.


.....or ask for a rule book which sets out membership requirements. You know there is no such thing, so stop the nonsense.





Sep 9

Describe themselves as “another survivor”. In the church in the 80s and 90s.

Miss Taylor was an awful old woman and literally gave me nightmares. I am sure that she was responsible for the more extreme rules. Then Mary Black took on the role of Puritan in chief. I always thought HB was more benevolent although obviously not so good with the money ;-)