A church in North Carolina has been accused of falsely imprisoning a man who was a member of the church after he came out as gay. The church is called Word of Faith Fellowship Church and it’s located in Rutherford County. And it isn’t the first time they’ve been accused of seriously creepy behavior:
As the Charlotte Observer reports, 22-year-old Michael Lowry says he was physically and emotionally abused by leaders of the Word of Faith Fellowship Church while being kept in confinement in a dorm-like facility from Aug. 1 to Nov. 19, 2011. The article cites statements given to a local sheriff’s department investigator last week in which Lowry, 22, claimed he was knocked unconscious on the first day after being confined.
“They hit my head with fist(s), and I was out on the floor…held my hands and feet down, and were pushing on my chest,” Lowry told ABC 13. The abuse, he says, was part of an effort to “expel the demon” that church members believed caused his homosexuality, according to the Observer. “You can’t stay on the grounds unless you want God,” he told the news station…
Former members interviewed by the Observer in 2000 say they were told where to live, where to work, what to read, how to dress and even when to have sex with their spouses.
I don’t know if this church is affiliated with the larger Word of Faith movement, but it sounds like they are. That is a movement among charismatics and Pentecostals and it’s deeply weird.