Glossaries

Glossary of Theological Terms   » »
Glossary of Assembly Terminology
  From the beginning the Assembly used language peculiar to the Plymouth Brethren. Over time additional terms were coined to describe unique elements of the Assembly. Many terms listed below fall into the category of "loaded language ", meaning they are hot buttons that elicit a strong emotional response in members and former members.


* all-night of prayer,  ANOP  Monthly prayer meeting held on Friday nights from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m.

* the anchors, the four anchors, anchor group   An eight-part study based on the Bible verse, Acts 2:42, designed to show how the Assembly is superior to all other churches

* answerable sisters  Single women who were selected in the 1970's to run communal house or apartments for several other single women according to Betty's specific training rules. They were trained by Betty Geftakys, and were "answerable" to her on a regular basis for the performance of the women in their houses. This system was later abandoned.

* an Assembly,  the Assembly  One of the local churches in George Geftakys' ministry, and also the movement as a whole 

* AK  An "Assembly kid", someone who grew up in the Assembly

* bb or BB  Refers to the Assembly bulletin board 

* break bread  To celebrate the Lord's Supper. Following the Plymouth Brethren tradition, an outreach became an Assembly when they began breaking bread and a Leading Brother was appointed.

* brother  A man in the Assembly

* the brothers  The men in leadership

* brothers' house or sisters' apartment  A communal living situation run by a leader (not necessarily a Worker) authorized to train people in Assembly ways of thinking and living

* a burden (for a particular individual or enterprise)  Concern combined with an impression of God's will concerning the matter; also often used in regard to a strong desire to pray for a particular individual or enterprise

* Chapter summary  A common inductive method of Bible study improperly distorted to heavily emphasize performance-driven personal application

* Children's Hour  Sunday school

* commended to the Work in...  Sent out as an unpaid Worker who encouraged the outreach in that location while working a full time job to support himself (and family)

* consequences  Punishment issued by "head steward" for "stewardships" being done incorrectly or late in a "brothers' or sisters' house"

* the covering  A Plymouth Brethren idea that being in submission to a properly constituted local assembly provided protection from satanic attack 

* door-keepers  Brothers who were designated to stand at the door on Sunday mornings to insure proper dress and behavior, and screen visitors

* elder  Elders had the same role as in most churches, as shepherds responsible for the flock and for the administration of the church, with the important difference that all decisions were deferred to G. Geftakys

* to excommunicate  To force a brother or sister out of the Assembly. This is always accompanied by allegations of sin, and strict avoidance of the person.

* FAL, FAL's  Former Assembly leaders

* FAM, FAM's  Former Assembly members

* the fellowship The Assembly

* a fellowship  A social gathering for members of the Assembly

* commitment to fellowship, come into fellowship  Decision to join an Assembly

* don't fellowship with  To strictly avoid, to shun

* leave fellowship  To resign one's commitment to belonging & attending the Assembly

* the gathering  The Assembly

* head covering  A scarf or lace mantilla worn by the sisters in worship and prayer meetings, and Assembly weddings

* Head Steward  Person chosen by head of communal living home ("brothers or sisters house") to be in charge of overseeing household chores ("stewardships") and ensure that individuals met all Assembly expectations. Sometimes head of home and Head Steward were the same person.

* the Heavenly Vision  G. Geftakys' concept of what the church ought to be. This "Vision" was the basis of his ministry.

* house meetings  Meetings in brothers' and sisters' houses and training homes for instruction of the residents

* inheritance  The fullness of eternal blessing. This term combines the concepts of eternal salvation with rewards in heaven.

* journey  G. Geftakys dignified all his ministry trips with the appellation "journey"

* Leading Brother, LB  A leader in a local Assembly appointed by G. Geftakys, having lesser rank than Elder

* the Lord's appointments  All the Assembly meetings and outreaches

* the Lord's treasury  The box in the back of the meeting hall where cash offerings were placed, commonly referred to as "the Box."

* mat training  Small children were required to sit on the floor on mats during the lengthy meetings. Mothers were instructed to accomplish this by daily mat training at home during the week.

* ministry  Preaching and teaching

* a ministry  An activity contributing to the growth of the Assembly, such as "campus ministry," "puppet ministry", "juvenile hall outreach," "retirement home ministry," mimes, Spanish ministry, printing ministry, music groups such as New Song and Remedy, etc.

* this ministry, or George's ministry  The Assembly movement as a whole

* morning time, evening time  Personal daily devotions, which included using the Cycle of Devotion and reading a passage of Scripture (other than the passage to be studied for "chapter summary"--see above) to get a "word for the day."

* MTT  Mission and Training Team: a special team outreach effort lasting 6-8 weeks

* outreach  An activity for the purpose of sharing the Gospel and recruiting new people into the Assembly

* Overcomer  A Christian who was victorious over all known sin in his life and was fully engaged in the Assembly's vision of what the church ought to be

* Plymouth Brethren, or The Brethren  A Christian sect that does not believe in paid clergy. See Wikipedia  and The Plymouth Brethren  by Miles J. Stanford. On this site the reference is to the teaching and practice of the early Plymouth Brethren, not present day gatherings.

* prayer tower  Essentially a prayer chain conducted during one day of the week. Two people signed up to pray together in each one hour or half hour time slot throughout the day. The women were required to wear a head covering at the prayer tower.

* recognize  A Plymouth Brethren term which means essentially the same thing as ordination. A brother who is no longer recognized is not allowed to give stated ministry.

* saints  Assembly members as a group were referred to or addressed as 'saints', in the manner of the Plymouth Brethren and the Mormons. There was no implication of special status.

* seek counsel  The required practice of asking advice from leaders. Once given, it was mandatory to follow it.

* seminars  Conferences held three times a year over holiday weekends, in which there were at least seven two-hour lectures (all given by G. Geftakys until at least 1991).

* sister  A woman in the Assembly

* sisters' house or apartment  A communal living situation run by a leader authorized to train people in Assembly ways of thinking and living

* spending time together  Described a couple who had been given permission by the leadership to begin courtship (dating was prohibited)

* spiritual perfection  Same as 'overcomer': A Christian who was victorious over all known sin in his life and was fully engaged in the Assembly's vision of what the church ought to be

* stated ministry  In contrast to the Sunday worship, where any brother who is so led may preach, stated ministry occured at meetings for which the speaker was announced, such as Sunday afternoon meetings.

* stewardships  Household chores (required to be performed to an extremely high standard of excellence as stewardships given by God)

* summer school  G. Geftakys rented a lecture hall at Cal State Fullerton every summer for six weeks to conduct daily morning classes. Contrary to appearances, these were not approved university courses. 

* tape ministry  Weekly meeting centered on G. Geftakys' taped seminar lectures

* Teen Team  Summer vacation ministry teams begun in the 1990s

* The Testimony  The Assembly (which was understood to be a testimony to Jesus)

* training home  A communal living situation run by a Worker to train people in Assembly ways of thinking and living. Could be either a "brothers' house or a sisters' house".

* the Vision  Same as "the Heavenly Vision", i. e. G. Geftakys' concept of what the church ought to be

* a word  A sermon - "words" varied in length from ten minutes to several hours. "The Word," with the definite article, referred to the Bible.

* the Work  The Assembly movement as a whole, same as "this Ministry"

* Worker  Persons selected personally by G. Geftakys to be leaders in the overall leadership of the Assembly movement

* Workers meetings  Bi-weekly all-day planning and problem-solving meetings 

* Workers seminar  Yearly week-long training conference for all the workers 

* worldly  Not spiritual, not conforming to Assembly expectations or legalisms; not supporting GG's vision and ministry as the supreme value.


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