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NC_Gay_ChurchA North Carolina church that has previously faced allegations of harassment and child abuse is the subject of a new investigation launched after a 22-year-old man claims he was held against his will for being gay.

Michael Lowry, who began attending Word of Faith Fellowship Church in Spindale, N.C., as a child, filed a complaint with police earlier this year and has met with investigators multiple times over the past week about the allegations, according to police.

Lowry claims that he was kept in a church dormitory for months in 2011 after telling church members he was gay, according to the Charlotte Observer.

Lowry told ABC News affiliate WLOS that he was knocked unconscious by church members in Aug., 2011, as they read him scripture because of his sexuality.

“The pastor said to find out what my darkest secret was, and I was like, ‘I’m never telling,’ Lowry told WLOS. “They hit my head with fists and I was out on the floor, they held my hands and feet down and were pushing on my chest and I could barely breathe.”

The Word of Faith Church was investigated for child abuse and founder Jane Whaley was convicted of abusing a congregant. The conviction was later overturned. The church also sued North Carolina’s Department of Social Services in the 1990s over the child abuse charges, obtaining a $300,000 award and having the child abuse charges expunged, according to court records.

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