A Michigan church that believes in a type of gay conversion therapy is preparing a workshop intended to "heal" teenage LGBTQ girls, but a former member says her transgender son was prayed for by church members in what amounted to an exorcism.
“My son had three adults laying hands on him — (he was) screaming so loud I heard him from the other room — praying that God will deliver him from (the homosexuality) demon,” Kim Tooley of Brownstown said. “A literal demon. My son thought he had a demon.”
The lead pastor at Metro City Church, Jeremy Schossau, says the church does not employ gay conversion therapies, but Tooley disagrees.
“Jeremy said that they’re not beating anybody over the head with the Bible, and I beg to differ,” Tooley said.
According to Schossau, there is nothing untoward about the church's practices:
"Obviously, we encouraged them to pray! We are a church. That’s what we do," Schossau said. "... I do not recall any specific words which we prayed. We are not what is typically referred to as a ‘Pentecostal’ church and typically do not use language like ‘homosexual demon.’ But I can tell you that we prayed."
Though social media postings announcing the upcoming workshops were removed following several weeks of negative publicity and threats, Schossau said they are still scheduled to proceed as planned.
Metro City Church’s original post about the $200 workshops has been removed from its website, but Schossau said they will still occur. The post appears to reach out to parents and grandparents of girls "by birth," ages 12-16, who are "struggling with the thoughts that they are Bi - Gay or other."
“It doesn’t have to be this way. With God’s help there can be healing, wholeness and hope. Through thoughtful, relevant and biblical counsel we will help your girl be unashamed of her true sexual identity given to her by God by birth,” the listing said.