Local church listed on 'hate map'

There are 892 hate groups across the country-- and there are plenty in our own backyard.

MAIDEN, N.C. -- When a group or organization is labeled as a "hate group", many would wonder what it did to land on that list.

Max Williams is a long time member of the Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden, North Carolina. Maiden is about an hour northwest of the City of Charlotte.

“We have one of the most loving and giving churches that you could ever know about,” Williams said about his pastor.

The reason some are asking about his pastor now is because Pastor Charles Worley’s church is on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s so-called hate map.

Worley was recorded saying “put all the lesbians in there. Fly over and drop some and build a great, big, large fans, 150-mile long, and put all the lesbians in there. Fly over and drop some food.”

He also said this about gay men: “Do the same thing with the queers and homosexuals and have that fence electrified said I can't get out. Feed them. And you know what, in a few years they'll die out because they can't reproduce.”

That recording was posted on YouTube

Members like Williams were shocked however to find out their church was on the hate map.

“What are your thoughts about this map when it shows your church on their house being anti-LGBT,” asked reporter Mark Boyle.

“That's not true. That's just absolutely not true,” said Williams.

NBC Charlotte wanted to get Worley’s feedback on the story about his church labeled as "anti-LGBT" on the hate map, so we knocked on his door. His wife said he was not able to come to the door because he was not feeling well.

Meanwhile, we also wanted to know more about the Southern Poverty Law Center's so-called hate map and where it comes from.

Mark Potok works for the law center and helped create this online database for education purposes. NBC Charlotte asked him how a church like the Providence Road Baptist Church landed on its map.

“We listed these groups as anti-gay hate groups because they engage in the propagation of known falsehoods. And what that means very typically is that they accused gay men of being child molesters, sexual predators at vastly higher rates than straight men,” said Potok.

Additionally, there are more than just anti-LGBT groups on this map in the Charlotte region.

One was the KKK listed as operating in the Hickory area and two Black Separatists groups active as well.

Across the country, there are hundreds of groups listed from Neo-Nazis to racist skinheads.

Corine Mack is President of the Charlotte chapter of the NAACP and was disturbed by the list and map online.

“I'm sad. I was actually shocked initially when I saw it because I didn't know it was such a vast amount of group,” said Mack.

Potock says his colleagues generate the hate map annually and use several different types of resources to make sure the lists are as accurate as possible.

“Our purpose is to educate Americans, many of whom think groups like the Ku Klux Klan as being something in the history books, as to the reality that these groups really do still exist today,” explained Potok.

He says his organization will continue to publish the online map and add and or take off locations depending on their current stance regarding certain topics.

View the Southern Poverty Law Center Hate Map.

Copyright 2016 WCNC


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