Anti-Gay Church Members Indicted For Kidnapping, Brutal Assault On Gay Man
Five members of a North Carolina anti-LGBT church were indicted on several felony charges this week, in the wake of a complaint lodged by a gay man who says church members kidnapped him and assaulted him because of his sexual orientation, according LGBTQ Nation.
A grand jury indicted Justin Brock Covington, Brooke McFadden Covington, Robert Louis Walker Jr. and Adam Christopher Bartley on second degree kidnapping and simple assault charges. A fifth member, Sarah Covington Anderson, was indicted on second degree kidnapping as well as simple assault and assault by strangulation.
The indictment announcements were released on Tuesday.
All members under indictment belong to The Word of Faith Fellowship, a church which has been under fire before for the same behavior, its cult-like behavior and severe treatment of members.
In October of 2012, Michael Lowry, 22, said he was physically and emotionally abused by leaders of the church while being kept in confinement in a dorm-like facility from Aug. 1 to Nov. 19, 2011.
Lowry said 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 said. The abuse, he says, was part of an effort to “expel the demon” that church members believed caused his homosexuality. “You can’t stay on the grounds unless you want God,” he told the news station.
Lowry added that he was frequently accompanied to the bathroom because church leaders were in fear he might be masturbating.
LGBTQ Nation reports:
In 1995, the church was the subject of an “Inside Edition” report on its “blasting” techniques, in which a person is encircled by church members and subjected to high-pitched shrilling sounds, screams and prayers. Blasting sessions can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours….
On Jan. 29, 2013, Fenner says he was threatened with confinement for two days, slapped, strangled and verbally assaulted in an attempt, he says, to free him of “homosexual demons.”
Both the church and the accused deny the allegations.
Fenner left the church and he is now an anthropology student at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
His mother and brother testified against Fenner in the grand jury deliberations, and both are members of the church.
Wait for it.
According to LGBTQ Nation, the church also operates an unaccredited private school, which was due to receive state funding under North Carolina’s new private school voucher program. The program has been ruled unconstitutional by a state appeals court and is awaiting a hearing at the North Carolina Supreme Court.
Watch courtesy of WLOS: