About 20 protesters gathered on Sunday outside the Apostolic Truth Tabernacle here to voice opposition to a viral online video that was taped in the church and shows a young child singing a song with lyrics that offer a harsh message for homosexuals.
The video, which surfaced on YouTube last week, shows a child in front of the congregation, singing "I know that God is right, and somebody's wrong... ain't no homo going to make it to heaven."
The congregation erupts in applause at those lines, which the unidentified boy repeats as the pastor looks on.
At another point in the video a voice is heard shouting,"That’s my boy."
In the first Sunday service since the video surfaced, congregants arrived to the church as protesters jeered them over the video.
A church leader, who would not give his name, told CNN that journalists were not allowed inside the church and declined to offer anyone from church leadership to comment on the video.
The leader said that he needed to be cautious about letting outsiders into the church because it had received threats over the video and asked CNN to leave the premises.
The local sheriff's office said the church had not reported any verifiable threats.
No one answered the door at the home of Jeff Sangl, the church's pastor.
The video of the singing boy was the latest in a string of viral anti-gay videos that have surfaced from independent churches. Those videos have been resoundingly condemned by religious leaders, even by conservatives who believe homosexual sex is a sin.
The Apostolic Truth Tabernacle posted a statement on its website that says in part: "The Pastor and members of Apostolic Truth Tabernacle do not condone, teach, or practice hate of any person for any reason.”
The pastor's son, Josh Sangl, told CNN his father was away on vacation and that there was much more to the video than we were being told, though he wouldn’t elaborate.
The majority of the church members wouldn’t comment about the controversy or respond to questions about the parents of the young boy.
"I think it's blown out of proportion, you know," said Robert Kirby, who is not a church member but was attending Sunday's church service in support of his daughter, who teaches Sunday School there. "They love everybody.
"They don't love sin though," he said. "It's all in the Bible."
Tune in to AC360° tonight for Gary Tuchman's report at 8 and 10 p.m. ET.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
Questions or comments? Send an email
Want to know more? Go behind the scenes with