For Matthew Fenner, a crowd of parishioners gathering around him in a church sanctuary after a prayer service was a sign of trouble. Within minutes, he said they began to berate him because he was gay. One woman told him he was "disgusting." Then for two hours, they pushed and hit Fenner, screaming at him as they tried to "break me free of the homosexual 'demons,'" he said in a police affidavit.
Nearly two years later, five Word of Faith Fellowship church members have been indicted for kidnapping and assault in connection with Fenner's beating. But the case has opened new wounds in the rural North Carolina community where the church has been a lightning rod of controversy. Read More