The Geftakys Assembly in Placentia, CA

Jack Hanson, Joe Bush, Kurt Byword, Tom Summerford, Sterling Bennett, Ron Womack


History

A Geftakys Assembly was begun in 1984 at the Round Table facility of the Placentia Women's Club to relieve crowding at the Fullerton Assembly. Leaders appointed by George Geftakys were Joe Bush, Kurt Byword, Tom Summerford, Jack Hanson (J. Robert Hanson), Sterling Bennett, and Ron Womack.

As in all Geftakys groups, the Placentia Assembly was not autonomous; the leaders were directly accountable to G. Geftakys, and sent the local tithes and offerings to Fullerton after paying for certain local expenses.

Following G. Geftakys's excommunication from the Fullerton Assembly in January, 2003, the Placentia Assembly renounced him and severed all ties with him. However, members were discouraged from reading this website. Newcomers since 2003 have not been informed about the Geftakys origins. Read more here about the Geftakys Assembly ministry background.

A New Name - 'Placentia Christian Fellowship'

The group still meets on Sundays at the Placentia Round Table, using the name 'Placentia Christian Fellowship'. They have a website and are on Facebook.

Current Leadership

Jack Hanson has emerged as the strongly dominant leader, followed by Ron, Joe, Sterling, and Chris Sapia from the former Huntington Beach Geftakys Assembly. Kurt Byword and Tom Summerford stepped down from leadership and left the group. Tim and Ginger Geftakys attended for a time after they left the Fullerton Assembly, but have now moved on. Jack and Sue Sapia share ministry in 'The Pastoral Corner' section. Jack blogs as J. Robert Hanson (he expressly forbids linking to or quoting from his blog without permission).

3D Bible Study

In addition to the Sunday worship meeting at the Round Table, the 'Events' page on the website indicates a mid-week combination prayer meeting / Bible study at the Hanson home. Here are some pictures. The method of Bible Study has not changed, although they now call it '3D bible study' instead of chapter summary.

The group remains in touch with several other former Geftakys Assemblies, notably the groups in Goleta, West Los Angeles, Pasadena and Annandale. Jack Hanson and Tim G. have traveled to the east coast to speak at meetings in the Annandale Assembly. Samuel Ochenjele from Nigeria visits once a year.

Beliefs and Teaching at PCF

The April 25-29, 2012, "Highlights" section of the PCF Facebook page is a window on the teaching of the group. On April 25 there was a quote, "We are laboring to get to our heavenly home." This is performance-based teaching, which is either unaware, or  ignores, or does not believe that Jesus has already secured our place in heaven by his complete obedience on our behalf. A quote on April 26 made a clarification, "Getting into the Kingdom is not based on what we do, or how much we work, it is all God's way!" Bravo! The fact that clarification was needed indicates that Geftakys teaching still informs doctrine at PCF. How much clearer it would be to say, "We are laboring on the way to our heavenly home, we are "serving the Kingdom", rather than "pursuing the Kingdom", "laboring" to get there.

Jack and Sue's 'Pastoral Corner' emphasizes surrender as the key to the spiritual life. The tone is inspirational rather than stridently exhortative and threatening, as it was in the Geftakys Assembly days. The 'Quotations' page lists higher life teachers such as Finney, F. B. Meyer, McCheyne, G. H. Lang, Jessie Penn-Lewis.

Changes in the Group

Taking a name is a departure from the Geftakys principle (carried on from the Plymouth Brethren) of strongly opposing taking a name. Photos on the PCF website seem to indicate that there have been other changes as well. They show a worship band, and women without head coverings. The topic for the Sunday morning preaching service is announced ahead of time on the website. Privately they state that finances are handled differently now, but it is unknown whether this means full disclosure.  

Statement of Faith

In a departure from their Geftakys ministry background, PCF publishes a statement of faith. There is no reference to the foundational Geftakys/Brethren teaching on a split rapture, but there is a heavy emphasis on unity in the fellowship.

As Placentia Christian Fellowship is not forthcoming about their history in the Geftakys Assembly ministry, it will be up to visitors to discern what other beliefs may be in operation beyond the statement of faith.

Outreaches

PCF has Sunday "Afternoon in the Park" outreaches, presumably at Tri-City Park in Placentia, which are announced on the website. It has been reported that they have a campus '3D Bible Study' at Fullerton Community College. The students in attendance set up a book table on Tuesdays with gospel tracts and invitations to the home Bible Study.

What about Treatment of People?

Serious allegations have been made regarding the former Geftakys ministry. Significantly, Jack states on his website that there is very little in his own life history that he would rework if given the opportunity to go back and make different choices. Presumably, this means that he does not regret his support of George Geftakys for thirty years nor his behavior as a leader in the Assembly system.

Brent T. said on the assemblyboard, about former Geftakys Assembly leaders:

"Zealous repentance...means public correction, and public change of behavior in a clear, exercised and unmistakable manner, for the purpose of correcting error and/or false teaching." For example, "I led God's people astray by refusing them access to the truth about George. I promoted .... "

To that list must be added, "I mistreated people, for which I deeply apologize." Jack has not done so with former members whom he treated badly and deeply offended.

The PCF site and Jack's blog give the impression of low-key humility. But judging from how Jack handled Samuel's visit in 2003, authoritarianism and intolerance of disagreement still operate beneath the velvet glove. At least one other former Assembly also maintains control Geftakys-style, as testified by a college student who experienced a painful exit in 2006 a year and a half after 'coming into fellowship'.