Home › Forums › Ex-gay/reparative/conversion therapy survivor stories › First Stone Ministries: Undergoing Conversion Therapy in Oklahoma
bdewaynejonesMemberFebruary 25, 2019 at 11:12 amPost count: 1
In 2014, a homophobic sermon at my mother’s church caused me to have an emotional breakdown and eventually led to my coming out that same day. My mother took me to two different counselors in Oklahoma at two different Christian counseling institutions. In the meantime, she began to seek comfort through her preacher, who directed her to First Stone Ministries, a conversion therapy center in Oklahoma City.
We had an initial visit, where my ex-gay counselor, Stephen Black, introduced himself and explained how he had overcome homosexuality. He told my mother and I that he was openly gay in the 1980’s, until he went to a party at his friend’s house, whose family were devout Christians. Black told us that he had a change of heart and told his friend he was going to become Christian again. She asked him, “If you’re Christian, does that mean you are going to stop being gay?” After that, Black admitted to being cured of homosexuality, became an ordained minister, and started work as a therapist at First Stone Ministries.
I attended First Stone Ministries for several days, although I cannot remember how long I was there. Most of my time consisted of one-on-one counseling sessions with Black, where he explained to me that same-sex attraction is a result of a problematic past. He pointed to a time when he was molested as a child and said that his same-sex attraction and confusion of his sexuality stemmed from that moment. Black said that my same-sex attraction was caused by my parent’s divorce and the lack of a father figure in my life. He would constantly ask about my sex-life, which was non-existent at the time, and would call me a liar when I told him that I was a virgin. My ex-gay therapist would continuously rant about how someone cannot have homosexual desire without having previously experimented with a person of the same-sex.
When he asked about my personal life, I would tell him my hobbies: reading, writing, listening to music, and art. He labeled these activities as feminine and claimed that they strengthened the sinful feelings I was having. Black told me that I needed to stop involving myself in activities that furthered what he called the gay agenda. He told my mother that she needed to read over the essays I was writing in my High School English classes and said that they would present a narrative on how I had given into sin.
I cannot remember most of the exercises I did with Stephen Black, as the time is a blur in my head.
On my last day at First Stone Ministries, Stephen Black was going on one of his usual rants and I had an emotional breakdown. My mother came to pick me up and was directed to Stephen Black’s office. I asked Black if I could have a private conversation with my mother. He stepped out and I told her that I did not want to go to First Stone anymore. She resisted at first, but then saw how terrified I was of the place. When I asked for her car keys, she gave them to me and stayed in his office as I ran down the hallway towards the front door. When I was almost to the waiting room, one of the ex-gay therapists, a blonde woman, stood in the way and looked at me for what seemed like eternity. She stepped aside and I ran out the door. The outside air felt fresh and I felt freedom when I was out of that place. I unlocked the car and laid down in the passenger seat. About forty-five minutes later, my mother walked out of First Stone Ministries and drove me home. She told me a few days later that she won’t take me back, or to any Christian therapist again.
We never talked about First Stone until about five years later. When I was attempting to bring back suppressed memories in the winter of 2018, I called First Stone and asked for the dates that I attended therapy. The woman who answered the phone told me that since I did not want to be there and did not finish the program, my file was deleted.
PhoenixModeratorFebruary 26, 2019 at 10:26 pmPost count: 18
- This topic was modified 11 months ago by Anthony Venn-Brown. Reason: formatted paragraphs
Welcome to the Abbi family, I can resonate with some of what you described of your personal journey.
The endless counselling I have had over the years.
It seemed that I was hearing the same thing from both Christain and Secular counselling.
The reason why i was craving to be accepted and loved by men, is because I had a overbearing mother and a passive father.
Not having an ideal relationship with Dad added to my dysfunctional behaviour.
To hear from both sides it must be true
No we know that these statements are a lie and deceiving.
Thanks Wayne in being so honest and open about your own journey.
Take care and Bless
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