As authorities are investigating reports of abuse and imprisonment that a gay man brought against Word of Faith Fellowship Church, a nondenominational Christian congregation in Spindale, N.C., an inside source has said that all of the allegations are a complete fabrication pushed forth by a gay activist.
"This guy – is nothing but a gay activist who has tried to close this church up. He has tried to influence this kid, Michael Lowry. Sam and Jane are nothing like that and I will probably be testifying at court if there is a case. They have never ever abused me or any of my friends that I have brought down there," Chaplain Gerard Dols, who works at the Salvation Army A.R.C Program, shared with The Christian Post in a phone conversation on Friday.
Last week, Michael Lowry, a 21-year-old gay man who was a member of the church, gave a statement to local authorities detailing his alleged imprisonment from Aug. 1 to Nov. 19, 2011. He claims that he was abused, kept from his family, and church members had tried to forcefully make him change his orientation.
"The doors were locked, it was jail," Lowry said of his ordeal, claiming that others were imprisoned as well. "You weren't allowed to speak to your family. Many of the men had wives and children but they weren't able to communicate with them."
But Dols, who says that he has personally known Sam and Jane Whaley, the pastors Word of Faith, for the past 30 years and used to attend their church, says that Lowry is being persuaded to make up this story by a man who he calls a gay activist with a mission to try and close down the 750-member church. Dols, who describes himself as a formerly gay man who left that life behind when he became a Christian, was featured in the 2008 Academy Award-winning movie "Milk" as the "Boy from Minnesota." His character, a young gay man, seeks out the help of Harvey Milk, the real-life first openly gay man to be elected to public office in the United States when he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1978, but was assassinated that same year.
Dols repeated to CP that the Whaleys "never ever abused me or any of my friends that I have brought down there." He explained that the "gay activist" he believes has been influencing Lowry previously has been arrested at World of Faith for trespassing, and that there has been a restraining order placed against him because he calls and emails the church all the time.
The chaplain revealed that the man, whose name CP has chosen to withhold, came to Word of Faith ministry ten years ago looking for help, which the church initially offered him by providing him a place to stay. But when he started stealing from the church, they had to tell him to leave – and ever since, he has been coming around trying to cause trouble, disrupting and yelling at services.
"It's so laughable, and it's so sad. Sam and Jane are some of the most loving people I have ever met. They live and walk in love. Yes they do have a deliverance ministry, but all they do is they help people."
Jane Whaley confirmed to CP that Dols is indeed a close friend to the church, and once again denied all of the allegations against Word of Faith. She also said that the church has been persecuted for several years by gay activists who are opposed to their stance that homosexuality is a sin.
"We're not against any gay person. But the Word of God teaches that any sexual vices are a sin. But at the church we love everyone," said Whaley.
The church has also put out an official statement on its website stating that "there is no truth" in any of the allegations being made by Lowry.
The Christian Post has been unable to contact Lowry.