My name is Lydia. I was 15 on Feb. 18, 2004. I spent 14 years as a member of a California gathering of "saints". With the exception of spankings for any wrong doings, my childhood was not abusive physically but emotionally. My parents were committed to the assembly, and were even pursuing becoming Workers when the Assembly began to dissolve... thank God George didn't want that!
We weren't allowed to pierce our ears... even though I noticed that sisters down south were allowed to wear earrings. I wasn't allowed to date (which I didn't mind). Boys were not allowed to call us on the phone, which I didn't mind either, as I didn't have a boyfriend, but my older sisters did.
At age thirteen I was ready to take my relationship with God to the next level, baptism. At a North Coast Conference, I asked a leading brother from my assembly if it was okay. Well... my older sister (she's 22 months older) hadn't yet expressed an interest in baptism....and they weren't sure if I was ready. The leading brothers and my father decided that I should have a "one month test period" to see if I was ready.
Well, at the assembly camp-out a month and a half later my sister, two guys our age, and myself were to be baptized. One of the guy's father (a leading brother) wasn't able to be there and couldn't baptize his son...therefore no one got baptized. Nearly half a year after I expressed my interest to be baptized, I finally was.
My father was the first to leave the assembly gathering in our hometown. He stated that he was not leaving fellowship, just the group. He was still in fellowship with God, therefore he was still in fellowship with the "saints". We are now members of a local Baptist Church and are doing very well.
I don't hate George for betraying us...I did, but now, I pity him too much. I am constantly praying that he will repent for his pride. I also don't hold him fully responsible for this betrayal (though he is mostly responsible). We enabled this by giving him our total trust and loyalty, and for the idolization we gave him.
~ An ex-Assembly member