Pastor Charles Worley was greeted with a standing ovation as he approached the pulpit during Sunday service, the Hickory Daily Record reported.

About 100 overjoyed church members and visitors praised Worley one week after his controversial anti-gay sermon became public, drawing national attention and heavy criticism.

On Mother's Day, Sunday, May 13, Worley, 71, who ministers at the Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden, North Carolina, told congregants that gay men and women should be confined behind an electrified fence and allowed to die off.

“I appreciate all the support,” Worley said.

Without an apology, the preacher barely touched on the controversy: “I've got a King James Bible. I've been a preacher for 53 years. Do you think I'm going to bail out on this?”

Referring to the Bible, he added, “Everything I do, say, or preach, I believe in this book.”

Church member Angie Widener said of the service: “He preaches from the Bible, and it's like that just about every Sunday.”

Meanwhile, in nearby Newton, more than 2,000 people from as far away as Arizona showed up to protest Worley's anti-gay sermon. They were greeted by roughly 50 counter-protesters.