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Man Says NC Church Assaulted Him, Held Him Against His Will for Being Gay: VIDEO

Lowry

A 22-year-old NC man claims Word of Faith Fellowship Church, a nondenominational Christian congregation in Spindale, NC, held him against his will and assaulted him after finding out he was gay, the Charlotte Observer reports:

In a statement given to a sheriff’s department investigator last week, Lowry said he was kept in a church building from Aug. 1 to Nov. 19, 2011. He said he was knocked unconscious during his first day of confinement.

Lowry’s former pastor, Jane Whaley, said Sunday that all of his allegations are “lies.” Whaley said Lowry was not held or beaten. She said the church only learned that he was gay when his family did – after watching a news report by an Asheville television station Thursday.

Lowry said he first told his family and church leaders of his sexual orientation when he was 15 or 16. That set off years of harassment and abuse, he said, as church members tried to expel the demon that they believed caused his homosexuality.

Watch an ABC News13 report, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. I don't mean to sound rude, but here's a bit of advice: stop going to that church a few years earlier.

    Posted by: Paul R | Oct 22, 2012 11:38:34 AM


  2. In support of the allegations, the church seems to be a pretty well documented house of horrors, and nothing about this story seems out of character for these crazies. My only question mark here is the timeline. In the video he clearly says he kept it a secret that he was gay until it came out in some church program, and that started the abuse and imprisonment in 2011. But he also says he came out to the church and his parents when he was fifteen, so around 2005, and that he was abused for years because of that. Hard to fit those two statements together.

    Posted by: Brian | Oct 22, 2012 11:40:31 AM


  3. ok, Cooper gets a 2nd-degree trespass conviction for trying to stop the church's actions...while the church gets away with beating young people and abusing them by screaming at them ("blasting"). And we have church flunkies working to intimidate their disabused followers and opponents.

    The cults all start to sound alike, don't they...Scientology? Peoples Temple? Heaven's Gate? Branch Davidians? Raelism?

    Posted by: SC David | Oct 22, 2012 11:45:32 AM


  4. I have unfortunately learned to listen to that little cynical voice inside that says "wait until the facts come out". There have been one or two recent high-profile allegations of anti-gay attacks that have eventually been shown to be the concoction of some poor soul's mental illness. I'm getting the same vibe here, so I'll offer general support to the alleged victim while waiting to hear the full details. I hope it's not true, but if it is, I hope that church gets destroyed by lawsuits.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Oct 22, 2012 12:54:26 PM


  5. This Christian Church is a cult that attacks and abuses young people for being gay. They also stalked and hit this man for being gay, the truth is they are not the only Christian cult in America that is stalking and attacking LGBT people in American. Now that this Christian Cult has been exposed there will be others who also will be exposed. See how this Christian Cult tries to hide the truth and attack the accusers, even when there is proof and video tape to back up the attacks and abuse on children by this cult. Why are the police and courts protecting child abuses and Christian cult criminals? The police and Judges who protect these Christian cult criminals must be criminals themselves who are part of these Christian cults. Somebody needs to expose the police and Judges who are part of these Christian cults who stalk and attack and harass gays.

    Posted by: Rick | Oct 22, 2012 12:58:08 PM


  6. As a former member of the united pentecostal church I know a lot of things like this go on and is never reported. In my youth I attended a pentecostal bible school and endured conversion therapy where I was not permitted to leave the campus without escort for several months. Many hours of daily counseling and prayer and even being randomly attacked in the men's dorm by other male students who had been instructed to force me to a point where I would fight back thus reclaiming my masculinity. Sheer torture and humiliation.

    Posted by: Randy | Oct 22, 2012 1:11:15 PM


  7. As a former member of the united pentecostal church I know a lot of things like this go on and is never reported. In my youth I attended a pentecostal bible school and endured conversion therapy where I was not permitted to leave the campus without escort for several months. Many hours of daily counseling and prayer and even being randomly attacked in the men's dorm by other male students who had been instructed to force me to a point where I would fight back thus reclaiming my masculinity. Sheer torture and humiliation.

    Posted by: Randy | Oct 22, 2012 1:11:20 PM


  8. Another all-too-believable christian freak show. If true, sue this church into bankruptcy.

    Posted by: Jonathan | Oct 22, 2012 1:34:25 PM


  9. My partner of 16 years and I visited this church tonight and found it to be filled with hundreds of friendly loving people. We felt no homophobia whatsoever. In fact, at one point near the end of the service, the speaker asked how many in the congregation have gay friends. David and I nervously raised our hands not knowing what to expect and then realized about 75 other people had their hands raised also. She then asked how many love those gay friends and all the hands stayed up. They openly condone/practice reparative therapy and I hope to have further discussions with them on that topic, but I got no sense that they would imprison someone to try to force change. We already have a church home in the same small town, but the loving welcome we received would make us consider Word of Faith a viable option if we were looking.
    We talked about this case to the pastor, a handful of members, and even Lowry's brother.
    The brother believes Michael isn't even actually gay. He says Michael never told his family he was gay at 16 and he's never had a chance to discuss sexual orientation with his brother. Someone in the discussion brought it up and the agreed-upon recollection was that viewing female pornography against his parents’ wishes was what got Michael in trouble in the first place.
    I haven’t talked to Michael Lowry and know very little about him except what I surmise because I also grew up gay in a conservative Christian community. I have my own emotional scars imposed by loving, well-meaning people who believed I could “pray the gay away”, but my experience with such ministries is that they only attempt change as long as the subject is engaged in the effort. I’m all for prosecuting hate crimes and protesting the haters, but I think caution is called for here. After meeting for myself the supposed “cult” that allegedly held Michael Lowry hostage, I would like to encourage the readers of this site to wait for more of the story to unfold before jumping to judgment.

    Posted by: ChrisNelson | Oct 25, 2012 1:10:04 AM


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