• Most Recent Happenings
• Overall Status of the Geftakys Ministry
• Current Concerns
• Status of Existing Assemblies Loyal to George Geftakys
• Status of Existing Assemblies that Renounced George Geftakys
• Related Articles
• Past & Present Assembly Locations & Leaders
February 6, 2013 Flora posted an update to the account of her experiences in the Ottawa Geftakys Assembly. She says, "On December 31st, 2012, almost 20 years after I left the Ottawa Assembly, Armand and Nancy Cossette, phoned me. They said that they had just read my account, and they were phoning to apologize to me and to ask me to forgive them. At no time did they deny or refute any of the details mentioned in this story. They simply asked to be forgiven. Both Armand and Nancy sounded genuine, and therefore I forgave them. I trust and pray that they truly bring forth fruit in keeping with repentance..." Armand revealed that the Ottawa Geftakys Assembly stopped meeting two years ago. (Details of this conversation »»)
In April, 2011, Remedy Drive announced a new line-up. Brothers Paul, Philip and Daniel have dropped out of the band to spend more time at home. David Zach is continuing Remedy with three new band members.
July 15, 2008 The Casa de Sion project remains in limbo. The Velascos retain personal ownership of the property and refuse to communicate further with those who contributed substantially to the project when it was under the Geftakys ministry.
July 15, 2008 West Los Angeles had a Teen Team July 25 - August 4. They went through Have We No Rights? by Mabel Williamson.
On June 14, 2008 an Assembly wedding held in Pasadena, between a man from Pasadena and a woman from WLA. There were about 300 guests in attendance from the Assemblies in San Francisco, Sacramento, WLA, Pasadena and Riverside. The format was the same as always: hymns, preaching about the man and women’s relationship likened to Christ and the church, Jim McAllister saying, “You may salute your bride”.
There were differences from past weddings though: there were no headcoverings, and wine was served.
One sad testimony to how narrow-minded the groups still are: The groom’s brother (a former Assembly member) was told he was not invited to the wedding because of negative things he said about George and his followers over five years ago.
Even though this man he had done all he could to reconcile with his own brother, the group still dictates this family relationship. All the rest of the groom’s family (aunts, cousins, and grandparents) were in attendance regardless of their religious beliefs. Several who are church elders and pastors could not tolerate the message and left immediately after the service.
Of the 300 guests, about 80-90 were family and friends from outside the Assembly. The rest were Assembly folks - current and former members, of which many were children (Jim McAllister and Scott Testa accounted for 16 of them). On June 28, 2008 Brent T. had a response to this.
David Geftakys was attending the meetings in George's home in 2007. Someone who helped him with his laptop has said David was paranoid that someone had given him a virus and can now see just what he was doing. This person thought this was strange and delusional, and told him that after checking and wiping it clean everyday, it was not possible. Apparently David did not seem to believe him.
David relocated to the Philippines sometime in late 2007-early 2008 and bought a house there. Since he was scheduled to graduate in January 2008 from the California Maritime Academy located in the San Francisco Bay area, presumably he has dropped out. In his meetings George solicits support for David's "ministry" in the Philippines. We assume David has married his Filipina fiancee.
April 2008: Sometime in mid-2007, Mike Almanzor refused to allow George to continue to give stated ministry on Sunday afternoons, and consequently George Geftakys began all over again with, a weekly Bible study and Sunday service at his home in Plymouth Village in Redlands, CA, located at 242 Carver Circle.
He has also preached recently at a conference in Tanzania. He was invited by a brother named Herbert who is involved in a ministry that builds orphanages. Apparently George is attempting to gain a position of influence in that ministry. Amazing. It's like the Robert Duvall character in "The Apostle".
Following George Geftakys' excommunication from the Fullerton Assembly in January, 2003, many Assemblies disbanded, as members' eyes were opened to the hidden corruption and many dared to step out and attend other churches.
In the USA the Assemblies that continued were divided in two camps for the first 12-18 months. The first group renounced George Geftakys, and in some cases made some efforts to change the meeting schedule and the accounting of finances. (It is largely unknown what happened to the overseas Assemblies, with the exception of Samuel Ochenjele's ministry in Nigeria. (Here is a complete list of Assembly locations and outreaches.)
The second group, consisting of the Assemblies in Riverside, Pasadena, San Francisco and Sacramento, remained strongly loyal to George Geftakys and did not accept his excommunication. The leaders consider the testimony of the women that were abused by George to be lies; that it is his word against theirs; that there was no proof; that these women were as guilty as he was before the Lord; that things were not handled spiritually. They believe that there needed to be 2 or 3 witnesses to the actual act in order for there to be an accusation against an elder. They likened it to the false accusations brought against priests in the Catholic church.
These leaders continued to exercise tight control over the members. Essentially there was no change. George preached at Bible studies, gave Sunday stated ministry, and preached at least one seminar to these groups in 2005. Betty was invited to at least one bridal shower.
These two camps were quite distinct and separate at first. The lines have since blurred. On the one hand West LA was influenced to receive George back to the fellowship of the Lord's table (in 2006, was it?). On the other hand, in 2007, for reasons unknown, Jim McAllister's Pasadena group severed ties with George. Also Mike Almanzor's group in Riverside no longer allowed George to give stated afternoon ministry. These decisions apparently had nothing to do with a change in their position on the validity of George's excommunication.
George left the Riverside group in mid 2007, taking about half the people with him to start a separate meeting in his home at Plymouth Village in Redlands, where he conducts weekly Bible studies and Sunday meetings.
(This material also appears in the Intro to the Geftakys Assembly Ministry.)
Many of the folks in the dozen or so Assemblies that continue to meet may be sincere. But abusive practices and teaching are still in place, as attested by a college student who came into the group several years after George's excommunication, and left a year and a half later.
The leaders have not issued meaningful statements of repentance and most of the folks who have told their personal stories of abuse have not yet received meaningful apologies. A note of warning: Women and children are especially at risk, not primarily because the men will make immoral advances, but due to the misogynistic nature of the Assemblies.
These Assemblies are still conducting outreaches to recruit new members, such as Bible studies on college campuses and concerts by Remedy Drive. Most of the groups continue to perpetrate milieu control by forbidding people to read this website or speak with former members. They are very secretive about their previous association with the Geftakys ministry and claim to be "just a gathering of Christians".
George Geftakys has not admitted or repented of his immoral behavior, nor of failing to stop his son's domestic violence. He is beginning all over again with Bible studies and Sunday meetings in his home, with a nucleus from the Riverside meeting, this after being disciplined by the elders of three churches and the majority of his own Assemblies for immoral and unethical behavior.
People are cautioned to beware of his aberrant teaching, his bent for taking over other ministries, his appeals for financial support for himself and his son David, as well as other issues addressed elsewhere on this site.
Women are also cautioned against his romantic advances. His entre is to seek assistance in some way, such as organizing his library. This leads to spending a lot of time together, taking breaks to go for coffee, running errands together, etc. He begins to mention how God has spoken to him about her, and push for immoral intimacies.
George's narcissism drives him to constantly seek sources of narcissistic supply, including the admiration and thralldom of men as well as women.
There is also concern about former Assembly members and leaders who are no longer in association with an existing Assembly, but who are becoming involved in other churches, or are beginning mini Geftakys-type outreaches or home churches on their own. Some of them are still motivated by the elitist Assembly mindset, feeling that they know the Bible better and have greater vision of what the church should be than other Christians.
They appear to be very spiritual, model Christians who are willing to take on responsibility in a church. Pastors concerned about the spiritual commitment of their congregations may be delighted and be inclined to put them in positions of influence as elders, Bible study leaders, Sunday school teachers or mentors. In home groups they may be quite comfortable presenting themselves as qualified Bible teachers, even elders.
Those who have left the Assembly after 2002 did not do so because they discerned error or excessive control. They left after the revelations of George and Betty Geftakys' moral failure. Some of the leaders attempted to keep their Assemblies going, but were forced to step down by the members or because their congregations dwindled. Two examples are Omaha, NE, and the San Fernando Valley, CA. They did not understand that their own leadership was harmful.
Probably most former Assembly members are still quite confused about justification and sanctification. The great hymns they sang so often were indirectly contradicted by the ministry, leaving people with two conflicting sets of beliefs dancing in their heads.
The men were trained to imitate George Geftakys, who was a narcissistic sociopath disguised as a super-spiritual modern day apostle. Beyond adopting his controlling and abusive ways, former leaders may have developed similar character issues. Proverbs says, "Like a muddied spring or a polluted well is a righteous man who gives way to the wicked." Those who gave way to George need to detox.
Our concern is that unless these folks have repudiated unscriptural Assembly control, have humbly apologized to those whom they have offended or injured, and have corrected their doctrine of salvation and the church, they will bring into a new church the spiritual elitism and performance-based spirituality of the Assembly.
A good test is whether or not they recommend this website. Are they open with a new church about their Assembly past? Do they freely admit problems, and seek substantial accountability and mentoring? Until they do, they will be stuck in the harmful Assembly mindset.
Since there has been no public message to the contrary, it is assumed that the characteristics of these Assemblies under George Geftakys prior to Jan 19, 2003 are still in place in existing Assemblies. They interpret George's excommunication, the demise of most of the Assemblies, and the information on the websites as the great persecution spoken of in Revelation when many will fall away. They discourage members from asking questions, talking among themselves about issues, talking with people who have left, or reading the websites. The following is the most current information we have as of April, 2008, on the two Assemblies that appear to remain loyal to George.
San Francisco, CA The letter of George Geftakys' excommunication has not been read here. He was invited to hold a weekend conference weeks after his excommunication in Fullerton. It is reported that George held a seminar here in May, 2005. The leaders here are Scott Testa, and Jim Karditzas. Both men lived in George Geftakys' home and were personally trained by him and Betty to be controlling, persuasive and manipulative.
Many people here, as in the other existing gatherings, are earnest and sincere, although they are deceived and unwilling to acknowledge how misguided they are in their gathering. They are ignorant of the basic facts of George's excommunication.
Sacramento, CA The Sacramento group is led by Carlos DeLeon, who reports to Scott Testa. George's excommunication letter was read in Sacramento in a special meeting where brethren were permitted feedback. Publicly, the leadership gave the impression that they were through with the Geftakys regime, but privately they were meeting and talking to Pasadena, San Francisco, and Riverside, with the result that all four Assemblies remained loyal to George.
It is reported that the Sacramento group attended George's May, 2005, seminar in San Francisco. This group is actively reaching out to the community in an effort to bring in new members, with campus Bible studies, probably called "Studies in the Old and New Testament", at Sacramento City College, American River College and Cal State Sacramento. Campus outreaches still use a method of recruitment called "The Four Anchors".
As previously stated, it is not known whether Sacramento severed its ties with George Geftakys when Pasadena and Riverside did so in 2007. It is reported that Leading Brother Dan Matson-Bose has left the group over an issue with one of his children.
As with the Assemblies that remain loyal to George, "It is assumed that the characteristics of these Assemblies under George Geftakys prior to Jan 19, 2003 are still in place...They discourage members from asking questions, talking among themselves about issues, talking with people who have left, or reading the websites." It has been reported that some members do these things anyway, clandestinely.
However, in our view, even though the actual level of control may be less than formerly in some of the groups, there seems to be little change in teaching and practice (or vision, as they would put it). Outreaches and communal training homes are still in existence. To our knowledge, none of the groups have openly and seriously addressed doctrinal issues, nor offered public apologies for perpetrating the controlling abusive Assembly system under George and Betty Geftakys.
On the positive side, most of these groups have made efforts to change, particularly regarding the number and length of meetings, and the accounting of finances. There is also recognition of other ministries.
"Vandyke" on the Assembly bulletin board observes that not all existing Assemblies are the same, and there is a greater degree of openness in some of them than previously. In at least some cases, the Assemblies have warmly received visits from former Assembly members. Brian Tucker reports positive changes in the Charleston Assembly. Former Geftakys Assemblies in the following locations continue to meet, to the best of our knowledge. Those in blue link to a page of further information.
Fullerton, CA ??
Goleta (Santa Barbara), CA
West Los Angeles, CA
Hong Kong, China*
La Vesinet, France*
Olesa, Abrera, Cobrera, Spain*
*No information available
July 15, 2008 Readers ask, "Why were some Assemblies shaken to the ground, while others were not as effected?" Here is the editorial 2 cents. I think the answer is that in order for GG's demise to have an effect, there had to be an influential person or two in an Assembly, or enough ordinary members, who were able to engage their critical thinking to break out of the mind control to the point of renouncing the system and leaving.
In the SFV and Omaha, on the other hand, the leaders wanted to carry on, but after a lot of public debate, the members all left, so the leaders gave up. Similar scenario in Annandale, but the Workers carried on with just themselves - 4 couples, of whom 2 have now left.
San Francisco, Placentia, Pasadena, Riverside and Sacramento are a different story. They all have leaders who are ambitious to keep something going, to the point of hiding their past association with the Geftakys ministry, continuing the GG-style control over the members, and being willing to keep information from them by forbidding them to read this website.
Other groups most likely continue with one of GG's second lieutenants who really liked to "wear the pants" rising to the fore, or even someone who was on the sidelines under GG now seizing their opportunity to lead. A few groups seem continue for the sake of friendship and familiarity, and are not concerned to exercise critical thinking. These all have something to lose if they were to break out of the mind control and really look at things.
Probably a few groups continue without a strong leader solely because of the mind control - they truly believe the false teaching that other churches are worldly, that the only correct way to worship is the Assembly way, headcoverings are essential, etc.
The situation is probably more nuanced than I've described. The mixture of mind control (denial), ambition and the comfort of the familiar is murky from the outside. A visit to each Assembly might clear up the picture. Well, that's just my 2 cents. What do you think?
November, 2003, Becky W.: "When the facts change," said economist John Maynard Keynes when asked once about his shifting positions, "I change my mind. What do you do, sir?" I love this quote. When confronted with formerly covered up facts about the Assemblies and its real history, we all have choices to make. We can change our minds about our involvement in and support of it. To me, that's called "repentance".
"Or we can stick our heads in the sand--'Don't worry, be happy'. We can attack those who brought the facts to light. i.e. shoot that messenger. We can pretend we're made of teflon and were absolutely unaffected by the corruption, false teaching, and aberrant behavior of the unrepentant main leaders and their training, and the resulting effects in all of our lives.
"If we stay in an existing Assembly we can keep doors of fellowship open with those who leave, or we can tell ourselves and other members, 'Have nothing to do with those who leave.' You can even choose to actually say things like, 'They all had issues in their lives they were unwilling to face,' 'They speak evil,' 'Are you going to write about me on the website?'
"We who leave can talk about it, or not. We can encourage others to talk about it, or we can reinforce the code of silence by discouraging discussion. We can learn from those out longer, and other Christians in many places, or we can say, 'God is sufficient for us, brother.' So many choices. I'm sure I've left out many more."
Chuck Miller appeals to the Assembly leadership with the question, "Have you considered the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ to unbelievers as well as other believers?"
A SLO Assembly member encourages people to ask questions of former Assembly leadership.
This account of Steve Irons' visit with Samuel the first week of October, 2003 explains the issues he has with the teaching we received in the Assemblies.
Mark Campbell describes the defense mechanisms used by an Assembly member to prevent honest evaluation of his or her involvement in an abusive system.
There are valuable lessons to be drawn from the history of early Brethrenism.