On Sunday, between 1,500 and 2,000 people from Catawba Valley Citizens Against Hate and other groups in a protest outside Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden, North Carolina, where Pastor Charles Worley had recently suggested gays and lesbians be rounded up in camps behind electrified fences. The demonstrators were met by dozens of counter-protestors who supported Worley’s message of hatred.
On Friday, a power box shorted out at the church, though the fire marshal doesn’t believe the incident was connected to Sunday’s demonstration.
According to the Hickory Record, Worley was warmly received at the pulpit:
Church members and about 100 visitors from in and outside the area gave Worley a standing ovation when he approached the pulpit. A few members stood up from the pews and spoke out in favor of Worley as officers watched and intervened when one particularly longwinded member spoke.
The atmosphere was a vocal and jubilant one. The sanctuary was mostly full, with the vast majority of the crowd singing and crying out in joy. Many threw their hands up in praising the Lord and in support of the pastor.
“I appreciate all the support,” Worley said, buoyed by the loud cheers and applause of the congregation.
More videos from the protest: