Follow breaking news @lgbtqnation
North Carolina

Man recants story that church held him against his will for being gay

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

SPINDALE, N.C. — A North Carolina man who accused his former church of holding him against his will while he was physically and emotionally abused him because he is gay, has recanted his story.

Michael Lowry, 22, said last week that he’s sorry for filing charges against Word of Faith Fellowship, and for hurting his family and the church.

Michael Lowry

“I know I’m going to have to pay for the things that happened,” said Lowry, surrounded by his family.

In October 2012, Lowry told a sheriff’s investigator that he was imprisoned in a church building at the Word of Faith Fellowship Church in Spindale, N.C., from Aug. 1 to Nov. 19, 2011. He said he was knocked unconscious during his first day of confinement, and the subsequnet treatment was the church’s way of trying to cure him of being gay.

He had previously filed an abuse complaint with the sheriff’s department in February, 2012.

It’s unclear what will happen next, but Lowry could face charges for filing a false police report.

He said he told police and the FBI last week that he wasn’t abused. Both agencies had been investigating his allegations against the church, and the Rutherfordton County district attorney had already presented the case to a grand jury.

During an interview with Associated Press, Lowry also said he lied about being gay.

He said he made up the stories after his parents gave him an ultimatum: Give up pornography or leave. He said he decided to leave home.

Lowry said no one coerced him, and that recanting and returning home to live with his family was his own decision. He also said he is attending Word of Faith services and that his family and church has forgiven him.

This is the latest twist in the case that began when Lowry filed charges last year against the controversial church. Founded in 1979 by Sam and Jane Whaley, Word of Faith has been accused for years of enforcing extensive control over its congregation

The church was investigated twice in the late 1990s for its treatment of children but was cleared of any wrongdoing.

Sheriff Office Detective Sergeant Jamie Keever said Lowry met with him last week, and that the investigation was continuing.

Associated Press contributed to this report.
Share this article with your friends and followers:

Archives: , , ,

Filed under: North Carolina

23 more reader comments:

  1. I wonder what tortures were promised if he failed to recant his story.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 10:34am
  2. theres an awful lot of “recanting” and “false reporting” going on regarding issues such as this and acts of violence against LGBTQI . . . . starting to see a pattern here.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 10:34am
  3. I don’t believe it for a minute that he made it up. I grew up in a fundy cult. They are experts at using shame and loss of family and future to keep people in stagnant, painful lives. I also know many people, including myself who have been shipped off to “homes” or “schools” for people who don’t march in step with the values of the group.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 10:35am
  4. This whole thing sounds … weird. I read the original article about the charges he filed, and then this one, and something about it doesn’t sit right with me. I wonder if we’ll ever know the real truth.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 10:35am
  5. I hate hearing stories like this… Stop making up stories about the homophobes! What they REALLY do is bad enough, but when you lie about them it makes our cause much harder!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 10:38am
  6. Not suspicious. Not suspicious at all.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 10:38am
  7. no we wont evr no the truth..as intended

    Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 10:38am
  8. wouldn’t surprise me if he isn’t actually gay, and he and the church are doing this intentionally to try and make gays look bad. We’ll see if he ends up actually getting into any “false police report” trouble. If he is truly gay, then I feel very bad for him. But I wouldn’t put it past religious groups to try and pull some “fake gay person” stunt to make gays look like liars and bad people.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 10:45am
  9. It’s not very often that you hear someone outing themselves falsely… I mean, let’s be honest here, who would do that intentionally if they WEREN’T gay? Just a thought.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 11:03am
  10. the gay community is having a hard enough time with the churches and homophobes.. weird and sketchy stories like this do nothing for the case. a set back if anything.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 11:16am
  11. Something in the content of the story, as well as the timing of it, leave me feeling uneasy. There is more going on here than is being reported.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 11:33am
  12. I smell payoff.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 11:50am
  13. And America wonders why some people don’t believe in God in this country. Its bc of sick church going christians like this that make it that way. Somebody needs to slap them around with a couple of bibles n see how they like it.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 11:56am
  14. dudes a wack job because of this church, needs to get as far away from it as possible

    Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 1:37pm
  15. I hate this state

    Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 4:06pm
  16. Wtf?

    Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 8:03pm
  17. Sad

    Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 8:04pm
  18. … & lied-ABOUT-being GAY! Thank-GOD-he’s a stupid STR8!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 8:09pm
  19. That poor guy 3: i feel bad for him!
    I was once locked in a closet at a church when I was 4, but it wasn’t cuz I was a lesbian, it was for wearing lipstick.
    Still, poor dude 3:

    Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 8:22pm
  20. K read the story &i retract my last comment,
    New comment: Wtf!?

    Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 8:24pm
  21. Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 9:25pm
  22. Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 10:52pm
  23. …bitch puleeez!

    Posted on Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 4:49am