History of the Christian Assemblies International
Our assemblies started in Germany, where Scott and his wife, Ree, went as missionaries from Australia in 1976. After three and a half years, the first people were saved, and the work quickly grew. Today, the church is based in many countries throughout the world.
How everything started
The Bible shows that God prepares us all from the womb (see ISAIAH 44:24) and that He leads and guides those who seek after Him. The Lord began to prepare Scott for doing His Work by allowing him to go through times of disciplined training and thorough education in his youth. This included a period of residing on the grounds of the Royal Military College, Duntroon (where his father was stationed as a Major in charge of the School of Signals) as well as attending the Church of England Boy’s Grammar School whilst living in Canberra for a while. This is one reason why these CAI assemblies are disciplined and orderly, not having anything in common with the looseness and "lawlessness" seen in many of the so-called Charismatic church moves of late.
In 1958 the Royal Military College had experienced a powerful move of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit amongst many of the cadet-officers and some of the officers themselves. Prayers were certainly answered; for it was exactly ten years later that Scott was converted by one of his students, Ken, many miles away in Ballarat. A description of this "Pentecostal revival" at the R.M.C. can be read in Chris Coulthard-Clark's book: Duntroon - The Royal Military College of Australia (1911-1986).1
In 1958 the Royal Military College had experienced a powerful move of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit
Having recently finished his studies in History and Languages at Monash University on the outskirts of Melbourne, Scott began his career as a teacher at Ballarat East High School. Ken William K. was a very lively, fourth form student at the school; he was a leader among the students and captain of this and that, and the staff and students had chosen him to be a prefect, as he was a chap who found rapport with everyone. It was already clear early in the year that he was 'different' from most of the other students. Ken was quiet, reserved and yet full of life! First concerns were that he belonged to some 'weird sect', but his balanced life-style and ways soon showed that he was quite a level-headed person, whose beliefs were very similar with 'early grass-roots Christianity' and the ways of the Reformation movement of Martin Luther's time. Intrigued by Ken, Scott began 'a case-study' of the student!
Around June 6th, 1967, Ken came to school excited about 'the end of the world' and Jesus’ soon return due to the sign of the ‘Six-Day War’ against Israel. (See LUKE 21:20-24 - these scriptures show two or more levels of prophecy/history. The early Christians knew from this text that they were to flee Jerusalem when the Roman armies surrounded the city and yet withdrew for no apparent reason. Not one Christian perished, whereas the unbelieving who remained in Jerusalem suffered according to the prophecy in EZEKIEL 5:8-17: One third in the city died of starvation; women even ate their own children; one third went into captivity and the remainder were slaughtered. The scripture
“Jerusalem shall be trodden down until the times …” refers to June 1967.) This stirred up interest and many questions, which led Ken's teacher to enquire more deeply and to get to know the lad's family. From mid-year till late December, many discussions were held around the Kinnanes' kitchen table with both Ken and his sister Robynne. Ken was permitted to go surfing on weekends with his teacher, usually down to Torquay and whenever they were together, the Bible was presented as God's infallible Word. Ken showed evidence of its Divine inspiration and that it could not have been 'just thrown together' by man! This was proven through studies based on science, archaeology, mathematics, history and prophecy, bringing about the realisation that a decision was required. Ken's own conversion a few years earlier had been manifested with a mighty demonstration of power and the infilling of The Holy Spirit - evidenced by speaking in new languages. The young language teacher was amazed at this miraculous language, and irresistibly drawn by seeing confirmation of God’s Words in 1 CORINTHIANS 2:4 and 1 CORINTHIANS 4:20 and many similar descriptions of how God worked clearly (see 1 THESSALONIANS 1:5). He went along with Ken to a meeting of the Revival Centre at the Ballarat Aerodrome, where Pastor Noel Hollins of Geelong laid hands on him and he received the infilling of The Holy Spirit, and was baptised that night by Pastor Lloyd Longfield from Melbourne.
Over a period of six years, several schools witnessed miracles, healings and the conversion of many students
Starting in May 1968, accompanied by a series of powerful moves of the Holy Spirit, many students and staff at Ballarat East High School and other local schools were converted to Christianity. The growth of newly-saved students was such that many could not attend normal "church" meetings, thus, through Ken and his teacher, a group formed by sheer numbers into what was firstly called the "Ballarat Revival Centre" and then "Pentecost Revival Centre". Since Jim Kinnane had experienced years of fellowship in his own walk and was a very good teacher of The Word, the role of leadership was willingly given over to him. As time passed, more students were converted and several mini-revivals broke out over a period of six years. Part of these revivals were even mentioned in the Australian press as The Holy Spirit swept through certain areas of Victoria, and the headlines of the Melbourne Age once trumpeted the heading: ACTS 2:1-4
And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues …
The Ballarat students were in touch with other areas where the Lord was moving throughout the state, and many miracles, including healings, were witnessed in the schools. This was not limited to Victoria, but continued in New South Wales when Ken's teacher went forth to witness mainly in the West of Sydney at Mt. Druitt, Whalan and Shalvey from 1972 till 1976.
The photos below are meant to give "honour" to Ken, who was used by God to bring many to Christ our Saviour, and also to "Pastor" Jim Kinnane and his wife Dorothy, for their tireless quest and patience in teaching and guiding the future preacher in the early years… (ROMANS 13:7).
During these early years, the Lord showed Scott that he was to go to Europe as a missionary. In a dream-type vision, he and several others were shown to choose between a Christian work - compared to one large fire or bonfire (a central assembly with many members in only one location) - and that of a Christian work with many small fires (small house groups), some of which would burn low or even be extinguished over the years, but which would eventually spread throughout the world in a network pattern.
Through prayer and prophecies, the Lord showed the move to Starnberg
In October 1976, he left Australia for Great Britain on board the SS Australis, with another chap called Tony; obeying Christ's command in MARK 16:15-20 to go
"into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature
". Through prayer and prophecies, the Lord showed him to move to Starnberg, near Munich (in Southern Germany). Scott and Ree married in St. Albans in 1977 and then moved to Germany. After many testing times over three and a half lonely years, during which missionary work was also done behind the Iron Curtain, the first three people were baptised and received the Holy Spirit at the swimming pool where he worked, employed as a swimming instructor in the German Army (Bundeswehr). From then onwards, the church developed and steadily grew.
Life in Germany for the Australian couple had been very lonely, as links with the "home group" in Australia had broken down when the work disintegrated there due to extremism in teaching and a distinct lack of love and compassion. Close and personal fellowship ceased in the Australian work after "anti-social" teaching was introduced whereby the brethren were discouraged from socialising with each other, based on a false understanding of 1 JOHN 1:3. The "negativeness" of those days has perhaps led to the strong emphasis on family values and friendships seen in the C.A.I. these days. We are a close-knit family.
During these early years in Germany, Ree suffered miscarriages; Scott had to hold down three menial jobs in order to "keep the wolf from the door"; Ken stopped writing as far back as 1978; and Kersty was born with Down Syndrome. The scripture "whispered" from PROVERBS 26:2 was circulating. A devastating time of testing as seen in JOB 13:15 was experienced. Within a few short years, the promising work that had spread throughout Australia and partly overseas collapsed. It had begun breaking down even as he and Tony left on the "S.S. Australis" for Southampton. Now, sadly, nothing exists of the Pentecost Revival Centres. The teaching was solid, but when discord and disunity is allowed to enter in, Satan can work his evil ways in separating once close friends through innuendo and rumours.
The Lord moved, however, in July 1980, by converting two brothers, Günther and Wolfgang, from the German Army, as well as a friend at the German Kaserne Schwimmhalle [the swimming pool at the German army barracks] in Feldafing. Günther was the first to receive The Holy Spirit. The power of God then fell and prostrated the friend so powerfully on the floor at the poolside, that he had to be carried into the pool to be baptised upon acknowledging God's Command as seen in ACTS 10:48. He had been infilled so powerfully with the Baptism of The Holy Spirit - and had also partially misunderstood the teaching in Romans chapter 6 - that he literally believed he would have to die under the waters and be resurrected to new life (ROMANS 6:2-3). This of course occurred spiritually as he was brought up out of the "waters of separation". God's Power and miracles began to be mightily manifested, in answer to senior German Army officers who stated that "nothing will convert our German people, for they are too cautious and sceptical to accept what a foreigner might say". Well, God's Word is alive - Christ lives.
The first missionaries went out from the new German work to Scotland and France in 1985
The first meetings were held in the couples home in Landstetten (near Starnberg), a small village close to the German Alps and Germany's highest mountain, the "Zugspitze". After 1980, as more people were added to the newly-growing assembly, then called Pentecost Revival Movement (German: Pfingsten Erweckungsbewegung), many received the Holy Spirit as on the day of Pentecost (ACTS 2:1-4). Numerous healings were also seen throughout the German Army and Luftwaffe/Airforce, as God promises in His Word. Small "assembly groups" (based on John Wesley's administration which can be seen directly described in the Bible, and similar to pastor David Cho's work in South Korea) began to grow throughout all of Germany.
The first missionaries went out from the new German work to Scotland and France in 1985. In the following years, house groups started in Switzerland, Austria, Holland, and Denmark. Later on missionaries also went to Poland, Sweden, Russia, and England.
At that point, following prayer and advice also from others, a new name was adopted:
CHRISTIAN ASSEMBLIES [EUROPE] INTERNATIONAL
On our logo, one sees the flame of Pentecost, representing the Holy Spirit (ACTS 2), along with the "sword of The Word" and the "trumpet described in Joel".
In the 1990's, missionaries also went out to Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Canada, true to the scriptural command to
"enlarge the tents" (ISAIAH 54:2), in 2004 a new assembly group started in South Africa, and in 2005 in Italy. In 2008, missionaries went to Spain to establish the work there and in 2009 a group went to Greece. God willing, we will continue to send out missionary groups.
After many years of prolonged illness, our former senior pastor Scott passed away in August 2015.
In 2006, a series of events brought to light that sin had occurred in the life of our senior pastor Scott over a number of years. God-given commandments had been disregarded and following a number of allegations of abuse, he was charged by the Australian authorities.
This came as a shock to the church as such behaviour was never condoned and in fact was openly preached against. Whilst the actions of one individual cannot be taken to represent the church as a whole, the church, which has been under new leadership for several years, wishes to express regret at any actions of Mr Williams that were inappropriate or have caused harm of any kind to members of the church. We are truly sorry for this and it is our desire to reconcile with those who were affected, wherever possible.
In cooperation with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) measures have been put into place to avoid such occurrences in the future. A high standard of personal conduct is required of all Christians and the Assembly continues to hold its members to the standard shown by scripture and the law.
The leaders of the church would like to make the following statement regarding the brethren who made an attempt in 2006 to bring certain matters to light within the church. This principally concerns Steve F, Martin T and Günther F, but is also true for any and all brethren who made honest attempts, in 2006 and subsequently, to bring to light misconduct associated with the founder of Christian Assemblies International. We would like to acknowledge that these attempts were made in good faith and with the aim of helping to bring the misconduct to an end. Regrettably, at the time, those reporting the misconduct were not believed, and negative statements were made about them to the remaining church members, leading to their departure from the church. The current leadership has apologised to these brethren, particularly Steve, Martin and Günther, and wishes to make it a matter of public record that we now recognise that they acted with the best intentions of the church in mind. Since these issues were brought to light there has been a complete change in church leadership, a full review of our teaching and practices, and introduction of various measures to ensure that no similar situation can ever arise in the future.
This album shows photos of the early history of the PRC and CAI
Into the Present
Now that you've learned the history of our church, read on about our church today.
- 1. Allen & Unwin, 1986. ISBN 0868618837