“They hold me down, pin me down, and I’m crying, and they keep speaking in tongues.”
The First Assembly of God Church in Blackwell, Oklahoma is under investigation after some of its congregants pinned down a gay man in a deluded attempt to try and pray away his homosexuality.
Sean Cormie told KFOR-TV, NBC’s Oklahoma City affiliate that he attended the church with his partner Gary Garner after his parents urged them to. They had been persistent ever since Sean came out as gay last year.
“I wanted to go to church to make my mom proud and make her happy,” said an emotional Sean. He said the service was normal until the end, when the pastor, Bill McKissick, started preaching about how homosexuality is “an abomination”.
15 members of the congregation circled around the couple, before pushing Gary out of the church and pushing Sean to the ground. “I was so embarrassed,” explained Gary. “I felt about two inches tall when they started all this.”
One person even went as far to punch Sean in the face. “They hold me down, pin me down, and I’m crying, and the Holy Spirit just comes through me, and they keep speaking in tongues, praying over me,” continued Sean. “I was just crying, ‘Mercy.'”
Sean reported the incident with the Blackwell Police Department, which has led to the 23-year-old being threatened by strangers, even by his own family members who he believes set him up.
“I love the pastors with all my heart, but what they did was totally wrong,” he added. “I want some kind of consequences out of it. I want it to be heard and known because it really saddens my heart.”
McKissick and his wife Tami issued a statement on Facebook, saying the church “is comprised of people from all different backgrounds” and that they would “never condone restraint of a person unless they were engaged in violent activity”.
They wrote: “There is much more to this story, and we are cooperating fully with law enforcement to bring all of the facts to light as a rush to judgment is not in anyone’s best interest.”
The Blackwell Police Department have refused to comment because the incident is still under investigation.