Man accuses NC church of stalking, abusing him for being gay

Word of Faith Fellowship in Spindale, led by Sam and Jane Whaley, has been accused of enforcing extensive control over members. (1995 AP file photo)

Word of Faith Fellowship in Spindale, led by Sam and Jane Whaley, has been accused of enforcing extensive control over members. (1995 AP file photo)

RUTHERFORDTON, N.C. — A man claims he’s being stalked for helping a 22-year-old man escape a North Carolina church that abused him for being gay.

But Jerry Cooper says the harassment won’t stop him from encouraging others to leave the Word of Faith Fellowship church.

He says he helped Michael Lowry leave the church. Lowry says the church held him against his will and tried to cure him of being gay.

The four church security team members accused in the case have declined to comment.

However, church officials say the allegations of stalking and abuse are unfounded. They say Cooper is determined to destroy the church.

Church founder Jane Whaley says she is upset the church is again a target after spending millions in the past fighting other accusations that she says are false.

Credit: The Associated Press.