Federal Bureau of Investigation agents were on the scene at a Maiden church Thursday after church officials received a letter containing an unknown white powder.
The church is home to Pastor Charles Worley, who has achieved national notoriety after proposing to “get rid of” gays and lesbians by herding them into enclosures surrounded by electronic fences until they died off.
Catawba County Sheriff Coy Reid would not comment on what he believed the powder might be.
“We won’t know until it’s tested,” he said. Reid was also unsure how long it would take FBI hazmat officials to determine the true nature of the substance, which was found around 9 a.m. inside a letter addressed to Providence Baptist Church.
Rev. Worley’s remarks have prompted protests from those who viewed his words as hateful and advocating genocide. But his statements have also been defended by supporters who said he was simply emphasizing the traditional Christian teaching that homosexuality is sinful.