There is a serious problem at Solid Rock Church in Elk River, Minnesota. The problem is that
Bill Matthews' Ministry is in essence a cult designed to serve his needs and those of his family.
Bill Matthews has deceived the people of his congregation, the Assembly of God Ministries and
the AFCM Ministries. He has used cult techniques and deception as tools for usurping the
property and rights of his congregation (formerly Elk River Assembly of God). The facility and
property, which were once a part of the Assembly of God Ministries of Minnesota, were in fact
systematically stolen. They were stolen first from the Assemblies of God and secondly from the
members of his congregation. It appears that most people currently active in the congregation do
not have a clue about Matthews' disaffiliation from the AFCM Ministries (pages 27-28).
Bill Matthews' Ministry meets 100% of all five characteristics common to cults as defined and
published by the Cult Information Centre (page 15). He scores a 74% rating on another cult
attributes list (page 54); a 85% rating on the use of mind control techniques (pages 55-56); and, a
100% rating based on image orientation. The author of this report spent nearly 4 years at this
church observing this ministry. Looking back, there are clear milestones and markers where Bill
Matthews systematically gained control over the church. During this process, hundreds of
members of this congregation left. Like other cults, there is a shrinking down process that takes
place as the true "cult" nature of the ministry becomes clearer to its members. Posing as a born-
again, spirit-filled, on-fire preacher for God -- Matthews proclaims that he stands on the Word of
God. However, the facts are clear that he does not. He twists God's Word (Bible) to gain
advantage over people, groups & organizations. Often, this is very subtle.
Bill Matthews' Ministry is easily compared to the Heaven's Gate Cult by simply examining the
attributes of cults, their mind control methods and the blind often mindless following of many
people. Sack's cartoon of people throwing away their brains (page 5) sums it all up. We search
for easy answers. And, we wind up following a charismatic leader who seems to have them. We
are then dragged through a confusing morass of difficult spiritual concepts. Sure of one thing.
We love God and don't want to rot in hell. The cult leader appears to have all the answers: so,
we choose to follow him. Lazy, we easily forget God's Word.
The sad part about this particular ministry is that its potential for greatness did exist for a
season. However, Matthews' appears to have caved into greed and the easy exploitation of
people. Powerful corrupters of the human existence, both power over people's lives and easy