Growing Up In A Pentecostal Church... and I'M GAY

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Joined in 2007
March 20, 2007, 11:37

Well, my story of Pentecostal life began when my family and I joined a big church in Adelaide when I was 5 years old. Everyone in my immediate family within a short period in 1975 became born again. For me, this has meant that I have pretty well grown up in a Pentacostal Church environment. And we epitomised the ‘perfect’ christian family. Well, at least everyone else thought so. In truth my parent’s marriage was precarious for many year to come. But that’s another story.

Anyway, from that early age, I went to Church twice on Sundays, attending Sunday School, went to the homes of other Christian families after the morning service… and my brother had bought me my first bible – a living bible – which I was determined to read from cover to cover – I did that, until i got to Lamentations – OMG that was hard reading.

However, when I was 10 years old my best friend and I were playing in the garage one day, and ended up naked. To this day, I don’t know how or why it started. But it happened. Anyway, soon after, my family moved to the Gold Coast. We started going to another church, called Christian Outreach Centre. It was pretty much the same – twice on Sundays, lunches at friends places, weddings. I also remember having a crush on my grade 5 teacher, who happened to be male. I also used to fool around with some of my friends, which inadvertantly led to us being naked. At this stage, I remember thinking this was wrong, but not really knowing why. I didn’t even think about it being ‘gay’. I had never heard the term.

However, by the time I reached grade 6 / 7, and puberty had begun, the kids in school began labelling me ‘gay’. I couldn’t work out why? I knew it wasn’t something, that anyone wanted to be, as it meant being ‘different’. I sure didn’t want to be ‘different’. During Grade 6, my family had moved to Brisbane. Why did we move so regularly? My father was in the real estate game.

High School was particularly confronting. I felt my attraction to boys growing. I was going to an all boys school, and certain boys in my year thought it was fun to single me out as ‘gay’. Why me? I spent hours trying to work that out? In the end, I thought it must be my fault. High School ment less fooling around with other guys, but occassionally I would encounter another guy around my age, and things would happen. I don’t think either of us understood what we were doing. It just felt good at the time.

Through out the years, my family and I continued going to Christian Outreach Centre, and outwardly my own life was very Christian. Inwardly, I was in turmoil.

By the time, I reached Year 11/12, I had better understanding of what ‘gay’ meant. I was also frustrated at why? Kids at school were still labelling me. And occassionally, I would meet another guy from school, and we would fool around. Was it the lack of a close relationship with my father? Was it because I related better to my mother? However, I idolized my older brother, and wanted to be like him. During my final year in school, my parents divorced. Us kids were like, ‘phew! Finally!’

For about a year after school, I stopped going to church.

But then a school friend took me along to church again. I think now, that if I hadn’t gone back to church then, I probably would have ended up being ‘out’ in my early 20s. But that wasn’t to be.

Over the ensuring 10 – 12 years, I became more heavily involved in church – music ministry, song leading on Sunday morning & evening services, prayer groups, became a youth leader, ran the youth house, regularly took the communion part of the Sunday morning service. I was an up and coming young person, who would end up in ministry. Everyone thought that I would eventually marry the pastor’s daughter.

However, I was still grappling with my ‘gay’ tendencies. I would have regular encounters with guys in gay saunas (these were safe and were frequented by alot of ‘straight’ married men). But, then I would feel bad, scrubbing myself down in my shower at home, and sometimes crying & pleading with God, as I sat on the tiles on the shower floor. How could this be happening to me? I had grown up in church. I should have been protected from this? (these were the questions in my head at the time)

I would also throw myself into reading the bible, searching for that all important answer, had private prayer times, did affirmations – I had some really amazing times privately with God, and then experienced the ‘Toronto Blessing’ – laughter, holy rolling around the church floor, visions. I had received prophecies about getting into ministry, and being the instrument for some incredible miracles.

But how could I do these things? I was sinning in the most terrible way, and yet I was experiencing things far above anything that anyone else was experiencing. Here was a God, who could perform other miracles, but couldn’t set me free from being ‘Gay’.

When I was 26, I had my first relationship, with another guy in Church. He was married. We went away together for a ‘guy’ weekend, never expecting what happened next. We had our own ‘Confession’ tour during our bonding, and then ending up fooling around. It didn’t stop there – we then planned times to get together, when his wife was not around. This went on for 6 months. We both felt guilty, but still enjoyed the intimacy that we had together. About a year later, I left that church. The pastor felt that I betrayed him, and got stuck into me.

At this stage, I started attending the Garden City AOG in Brisbane. It wasn’t long before I was drawn into youth leadership, youth music ministry, home group, and eventually running a course called ‘Turning Point’. Before this happened, I decided to confess my ‘big problem’ to the youth pastor. He was actually pretty cool about it all, and he told me that there were other guys within the youth with the same issues. From here I attended the Turning Point course. It was a really good course, and I still have the books. I eventually began running this course, too.

Unfortunately, I was still having the odd encounter with guys outside church. Why couldn’t I control this? Why was I so weak? It also wasn’t long, before I began finding the ‘other guys’ in the youth group, who grappled with their ‘gay tendencies’. I ended up fooling around with one of them. But then I met a guy, who came forward on a altar call. I was talking to him out the back room, and I sussed that he was gay. Boy, was I right! Some time later, we slept together. Imagine my disgust in myself. How could I take advantage of a guy, who was trying to get his life right. I must be really sick!

I suppose after this experience, I began to give up and just give in. I don’t know that I was depressed, but it was just like ‘why bother trying anymore?’ I dropped out gradually from church, giving up responsibility after responsibility. My friends would talk to me about committment. How could I tell them? I felt like I was dying on the inside. I was 32 yrs old.

Over the last few years, I have become more involved in the gay community, and am frequently out on the scene. I have met some really nice people and some really shallow people. (Not being judgemental here – LOL). I realise that ‘gay’ people are loyal and committed, and others are there for self-promotion and for you to make them feel better, and buy their next drink. Actually, if you take the alcohol away, that pretty well describes lots of people in Church. (Gosh. how bitter does that sound. No, just really pragmatic!)

Where to from now?

I have a really good career in Brisbane.

I have recently taken the incredible step of coming out to my family. That was really interesting. Fortunately, mine didn’t follow the trend of some of the horror stories that I have heard. My family still love me – Mum just doesn’t believe that it is the ‘right’ choice. Choice?! Mmmm – Oh, well, I have had 36 years to get use to it. I suppose i should give Mum some time too.

Relationships? Have had my share of them over the last 3 – 4 years. You learn alot about people. But you also learn a lot about yourself. My journey continues…. in the words sung by Judy Garland – ‘Some where over the rainbow’

Well, I hope my story is interesting…. and maybe even encouraging… you will have to let me know.



Joined in 2005
March 20, 2007, 13:04

hey jason welcome to the site… hope to hear your thoughts and get to know you a little… cheers jannah

Joined in 2007
March 20, 2007, 14:07

Tx 8)

It will be nice to get to know u all. u seem very caring.

Since leaving church, I have missed getting to know other people who have gone to the same sort of churches.

It is always funny trying to describe a pentecostal / charismatic church to some people, who have never been to one. It is usually like, ‘well, we clap our hands, the songs are fast & the church is very like the churches from the USA in the south’. At this point, they usually go ‘ahhh’



Joined in 2006
March 20, 2007, 18:12

Hey Jason, thats a great story and so glad you shared D What a journey you have had from such a young age……….Im sure we will hear more from you, cant wait wink Oh yeh its true, when people havent been to a pente church before, people find it hard to understand, they do see lots of clapping and raising hands and think “what the?” shock I used to think the same until i got saved and u certainly see it differently then, but in a great way D

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
March 22, 2007, 00:33

dont you jsut love it Jason that we can now connect……at least over the the internet but we’ll soon have you meeting other wonderful F2B people in Brissie who have also been on the journey.

Such great people i almost thought of moving there.

I remember when i came out I actually thought I was possibly the only person in the entire world who was gay and had come out of a Pente church……can you believe that. 😀 ROTFL!

now through telling my story and the internet….we are no longer alone. thank god.

thanks for sharing your story…..hope to see you share some thoughts in the other discucsions…..i’m sure we will all benefit.

so welcome my dear man to your family……gods gay and lesbian children….the gentiles of the 21st century

Joined in 2007
March 31, 2007, 21:43

WOW my friend – what a totally amazing story…I’m so proud of you.


Joined in 2007
July 18, 2007, 21:43

This story really touched me.

Thanks for sharing it.

Joined in 2008
March 5, 2008, 09:56

Totally related to your story!! You are definitly not alone.

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