On Sunday May 13, while many congregations across the state chose to honor mothers on Mother’s Day through faith and fellowship, Rev. Charles Worley of Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden North Carolina had a different message to give. In his now infamous sermon, Worley talks of his plan to put lesbians and “queers and homosexuals” behind electric fenced areas and let them slowly die out, a modern day concentration camp for the LGBT community.
Since a video of his sermon hit the internet there has been an outpouring, both locally and nationally, of response against his message of hate. You can watch a clip of his sermon below:
After seeing the video above and verifying the validity of Worley’s words, Laura Tipton, a Social Work major at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C, had to do something. Tipton began coordinating a protest against Worley and his congregation and through social media promotions support of the protest quickly took off. By working with local organization Catawba County Citizens Against Hate, and with increased support from national media coverage, the reported participation for the protest has grown tremendously.
Due to the increased support and the likely hood that supporters of Worley will also protest, the event has been moved to the Justice Center for safety reasons. Initially when the request for the space was made, Catawba County officials denied the request for a number of reasons, including that the request was not made 14 days prior to the protest. Since the initial ruling, Catawba County officials have backed down and are allowing the peaceful protest to take place.
“From the beginning it has been our desire to work with county officials and law enforcement to make sure that the event on Sunday is well planned and safe for everyone in attendance,” Laura Tipton, the chief organizer of the event stated. “This evening we are honored by the actions of county manager Tom Lundy and his staff,” she added.
Currently over 1000 people are expected to be present for the protest from estimates through social media sites.
The protest is scheduled for Sunday, May 27 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Catawba County Justice Center, 100 Southwest Blvd, in Newton, NC.
According to Catawba Valley Citizens Against Hate website there is a large need for volunteers to help with the coordination of the peaceful protest. Individuals interested in assisting with helping guide protesters during the event, please visit eepurl.com/l_mav.
Rev. Mark Sandlin’s post on thegodarticle.com has offered a unique alternative for individuals to show their opposition to Worley’s hate speech and already his idea has been picked up by concerned citizens. In his article, Sandlin encourages individuals opposed to Worley’s statements to make donations to local LGBT organizations in Pastor Worley’s name.
According to Sandlin’s article this would do three things: “One, it helps fund organizations who are actively working against this kind of exclusion and bullying. Two, it puts Pastor Worley on their mailing lists! And, three, it can really show Pastor Worley and others what creative, non-violent resistance looks like – and that’s biblical.”
You can read Sandlin’s full article here.
For more information about Sunday’s protest be sure to visit their Facebook event page.