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A Catawba County church is back open after a suspicious package containing a powdery substance was mailed to the church Thursday.
Catawba County Emergency Management authorized Providence Road Baptist Church that it can reopen.
Friday, The church received notice that state lab results confirmed that no bioterrorism agents were present in a white powder sample taken from the church.
Thursday a church staff member opened an envelope that came in the mail and the powder spilled out of the envelope. That man then called police.
HazMat teams were called to the church and went through the decontamination process. The staff member was transported to the hospital as a precaution, but has not complained of any illness.
A storm of controversy has swarmed around Pastor Charles Worley and the Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden after a YouTube video surfaced of Worley giving a sermon about gays and lesbians.
In the video, Worley says it had a plan to get rid of the homosexual population.
"I had a way... I figured a way out - a way to get rid of all the lesbians and queers - but I couldn't get it past the Congress," he said."
"Build a great big, large fence - 50 or a 100 miles long - and put all the lesbians in there. Fly over and drop some food. Do the same thing with the queers and the homosexuals - and have that fence electrified so they can't get out. Feed 'em. And you know in a few years, they'll die out. You know why? They can't reproduce."
A week after the video went viral, thousands of people protested at the Catawba County Justice Center.
One congregation member told WBTV that "hate mail" was being sent to the church and members.
This was the first time, according to officials, that a substance was sent as well.
Congregation member Lawrence Campbell drove up while fire trucks and medical crews were at the church.
"I think it's getting out of hand," he said in reference to all the backlash from the sermon. "It's dumb, it's ignorant, somebody doesn't love God."
Putting powder in the mail, even if it is not hazardous could be considered a crime, said one official, if it was meant to scare someone.
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