Intro to the Assembly Ministry of George and Betty Geftakys

M. Irons

George and Betty Geftakys began their Assembly ministry in 1970 on the foundation of elitism - "Only here will you become part of God's true vision for the Church." Small high-demand legalistic 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 were revealed.

The following series of brief articles give a birds-eye view of the Geftakys Assembly ministry. Readers who are already familiar with the Assembly are referred to The Geftakys Assemblies - an Overview and Irons' History of the Geftakys Assembly Ministry for more in-depth coverage.

 


History of the Geftakys Assembly Ministry

Stairsteps - Exclusive Brethren, T. Austin-Sparks, Madame Guyon, Reality Therapy, 
      the Jesus People

The Assembly formula developed from:

[Read more...]

Assembly Distinctives

George patterned his Assemblies after the Brethren concept of "simplicity of gathering": [Read more...]

Problems with Assembly Teaching and Practice

Within a few years cultic tendencies began to appear:

[Read more here... and here.]

2003 Implosion of the Geftakys Ministry

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. Some may still remain loyal to George, but most have renounced association with him. Read more about the demise of the Assemblies....

Challenges Facing Former Assembly Members

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....

Current Concerns

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 bland groups of simple Christians.

George and Betty Geftakys are not entirely out of the picture yet, either. They have meetings in their home for worship and Bible study at Plymouth Village, and have younger assistants who are actively recruiting. Now in their mid eighties, George and Betty cannot be considered innocuous. Read more about continuing issues here....


Introduction to 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  »



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