George and Betty Geftakys began their Assembly ministry in 1970 with a vision for more authentic gatherings of God's people. More authentic, and superior - "This is how you can become part of God's true vision for the Church." Small high-demand Assemblies under Geftakys control sprang up across the USA and other countries.
The ministry came apart in 2003 when George's serious moral lapses were exposed, and cultic aberrations throughout the whole system became evident.
The following snapshots are a quick birds-eye view of the Geftakys Assembly ministry. The articles The Geftakys Assemblies - an Overview and Irons' History of the Geftakys Assembly Ministry give more in-depth coverage. The memoir, "The Girl at the end of the World: My Escape from Fundamentalism in Search of a Faith with a Future", by a Geftakys granddaughter, paints a graphic picture from inside the heart of the group.
George and Betty combined strands from several sources and modified them to suit their purposes in shaping the Assembly:
Within a few years cultic tendencies began to appear:
In January, 2003, George Geftakys was excommunicated from the Fullerton Assembly following revelations on this website of a decades-long cover-up of his son David's domestic violence, and his own immoral relations with several Assembly women. Most of the Assemblies disbanded that year, but a few still continue to meet. They do not reveal their origin in the Geftakys ministry. Read more about the demise of the Assemblies....
The spiritual betrayal was devastating, topping off what, for many members, had been years of spiritual abuse. To borrow a quote from Eugene Peterson in Working the Angles, "The sheer quantity of wreckage around us is appalling: wrecked bodies, wrecked marriages, wrecked careers, wrecked plans, wrecked families, wrecked alliances, wrecked friendships, wrecked prosperity.
"We avert our eyes. We try not to dwell on it. We whistle in the dark. We wake up in the morning hoping for health and love, justice and success, we build quick mental and emotional defenses against the inrush of bad news, and we try to keep our hopes up.
"And then some kind of crash or other puts us or someone we care about in a pile of wreckage....Are there any promises, any hopes that are exempt from the general carnage? It doesn't seem so."
Peterson was not referring to the Assembly "crash" in 2003, but the description is tragically apt. "Wrecked faith" can be added to the list. Read more about the challenges following the crash....
Most of the former Geftakys Assemblies have disbanded. However, there are still concerns about the former leaders who are developing their own ministries, or have become involved in other churches.
They were trained exclusively in "the schoolroom of the believer", i.e. trained by G. Geftakys in his beliefs and practices. Many have not perceived the cultic structure of the system they led. They have not publicly acknowledged abuses nor apologized. They may be expected to bring their hidden Geftakys baggage over into a new context.
Former Geftakys Assemblies that are still meeting no longer identify themselves with the Geftakys ministry. However, Assembly beliefs and practices are still deeply embedded. It is disturbing that these groups are actively hiding their Assembly past and are positioning themselves as independent groups of simple Christians. Read more about continuing issues here....
Background of the Geftakys Assembly Ministry »
2003 Implosion of the Getakys Assembly Ministry »
The Assembly Lifestyle »
Problems with Assembly Teaching & Practice »
Definition of an Abusive Group »
Current Concerns »
Challenges Facing Former Members »
List of Past & Present Assembly Locations & Outreaches »