I grew up in an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church in Walls, MS. I went to First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana for their youth conferences as a teen. I planned on going to their college, Hyles Anderson College, but was so abused by graduation that the thought of staying would make me physically ill.
At this Baptist Church, I underwent such horrors that it has taken over ten years for me to overcome the abuse. I tried to play along with their rules and fit in by sticking with friends who wore pants or were feminine because it helped take the spotlight off of my own gayness. I cannot count how many times that I attempted suicide throughout high school. I just knew that if they had found out that I was gay, they would kill me. I believed this because it was what Phil Kidd, a prominent Evangelist in the movement taught them to do.
One teacher at school, S.B., noticed I was gay when I was 16. How I knew that he knew was from the day he asked me to stay after class and forced himself into my mouth in the classroom then took my virginity on his desk. After he was done, I was told that if I ever said a word, the church would all know that I attacked him and that was why I was killed. I never said a word until years later because I knew I wouldn’t be believed. After it all happened, it became a regular thing for him to take me into his office and use me up until I stopped crying. I’m okay now, and I knew I was gay before this happened. I just pray that the ones this is happening to in other churches today could know that if they speak up, they can get help. You don’t have to be called an abomination and be forced to take the abominations that you are being given. I pray that, if God is real, that he will save our world from the Independent Fundamental Baptist movement and take these hate mongerers down.
My parents thought they were helping me to find God. It took me so long to forgive them for sending me to that school. I finally realized that they meant well and just wanted me to have a foundation of Christ to build my life upon. They had no idea what darkness laid before us. Had they known how horrific that place was, I know they would’ve saved me. Today, I am proud of who I am and the fact that not only did I survive this church, but that I came out of it stronger and with the knowledge that no matter what I may be told, I am an amazing man who is loved by his friends because of the strength and dignity that I possess. This IFB Church was the worst thing that happened in my life, worse than the cancer, but, in a way, it was the best. I learned to love myself despite the hate of others. That is the most freeing lesson.
I apologize for the less than eloquent writing I’ve done here. I’m going on three hours sleep and am not quite myself. But either way, thanks for allowing me to share.