"Serving the Lord...you don't get paid to do God's work"

August 2001
By a former Assembly member

I want to share with others the dangers of the Geftakys group. There are negative effects that come from following George Geftakys and I am living proof that this group can screw up your life.

I have been undergoing counseling for almost five months now because of my involvement in the Geftakys Assembly. Am I ready to quit counseling? No way! There are so many misconceptions that need to be cleared up in my thinking, things that I was taught in this group.

One issue that still comes up in my life is the concept of sin. When I lived in one of their training homes, I was constantly told that if I did not do my chores (called "stewardships") correctly and with a good attitude, that it was "sin." So, if I left a spot on the kitchen wall or forgot to wipe the mirror in the bathroom, I was "in sin," and I was then given a "consequence" as a result of my actions. These "consequences" varied for each "wrong" that was committed. I remember one single woman telling me that she had so many consequences, she had to take a vacation day off of work just to complete them! Talk about ridiculous!

Even now, when I clean my own home, I may get an anxiety attack, because I feel like I did not do a good enough job. I was taught that "God sees me doing my stewardships," so I expected God to count my cleaning mistakes against me, and that somehow, this would prevent me from inheriting the Kingdom of God! You might say, "Whatever!" I often say that now too, but it will still take some time to work this kind of thinking completely out of my mind.

Another issue that still comes up for me is "serving the Lord". In the Geftakys group, serving overrides the member's normal life. It often gets to the point that all of your spare time is spent "serving," going on outreach, meetings, workshops, fellowships, meeting with people, etc. It seemed that their definition of "serving the Lord" was expanded to also include serving the leaders. I cannot count how many times I babysat for leading brothers, helped them move, ironed for them, cooked for them, and all this because I wanted to "serve God." And it was all done for free. There was never any mention of payment. One leader had the audacity to tell me after babysitting his children for many hours, "You don't get paid to do God's work."

I suffer from constant dreams and nightmares concerning this group. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I still think that God will punish me for leaving. Thankfully, the God of my understanding always assures me that this is not so. God loves us no matter what church we fellowship in.

It seems to me that the Geftakys Assembly is not a church though, but rather a group of men and women controlled by one man (George Geftakys). In this sense, some might not even consider them a really "Christian gathering." It also seems to me that they don't actually preach the full truth of the Gospel. And instead often screw up the lives of their members. I am so glad that I got out when I did, but the effects of this cult-like group still linger.

Copyright © 2001 Rick Ross.

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