The Geftakys Assembly in Charleston IL
Leading Brothers have been Bob Tucker, Art Farlow and Pat Schout. Bob and Karen Tucker and the Farlows are still meeting. Pat and Elia Schout left in the summer of 2003 to attend another church, and are now running Bethany House Bed and Breakfast in the large conference facility Pat built for George's ministry.
On April 14, 2006, Brian Tucker posted an update on Charleston:
I'm not sure about all the details around the former
Tuscola/Charleston Assembly, but I have seen some things over the past
couple years that I think are good signs. My parents [Bob and Karen
Tucker] are involved there, but I have not attended any meetings myself.
There is not the same pressure to attend all the meetings. My parents have missed entire Sundays just to spend time with family when I'm visiting, and that's fine with everyone. No money is flowing into anyone's pockets. Decisions are made together, such as when the meetings should be scheduled during the week. They want to know what will work for everyone, not place burdens on people. Everyone is included in these group discussions, not just the leaders and not just the men. They wholeheartedly condemn and reject George as a leader, and call for his repentance.
My impression of them, without having attended, is of a small sincere group of believers who meet in their homes. No more, no less. They kept some of the things they liked from the Assembly format, such as open worship and no paid clergy. But they have renounced many of the more cult-like and unhealthy aspects of former Assembly life. They don't have 'training homes'. They have no animosity whatsoever towards those who quit meeting with them.
On a personal note, I have seen my parents enjoying life in a way they never could in the Assembly. They have a mortgage and various hobbies and interests that they would never have been able to pursue when they were wrapped up in the busy-ness of frantic Assembly life. They are free to simply enjoy life. It's great.
I have to admit I was kind of nervous that they wanted to keep meeting this way, in the beginning. I thought everyone would be better off just walking away, and finding more 'normal' churches. But every church has its problems, and if they enjoy meeting this way, who am I to judge them for it? As long as unhealthy, controlling spiritual abuse is not taking place, I think they should meet however they wish. I haven't explored doctrinal issues with them in depth, mostly because that is not what is of major concern to me, so I can't speak to where they are at doctrinally.
Clearly, former Assemblies are as individual and varied as the personalities are that compose them, which is in itself a good sign. Some of them are still very unhealthy and cultish, but not all of them. Can anyone else offer personal insight into where things are at in the other groups?