A protest challenging Destiny Church's apparent homophobic stance marred the church's celebration of its first birthday yesterday at Wellington High School.
One of the school's students sat at the back of the school hall, a silent protester against the church group.
"There's a fine line between tolerance and intolerance," said Sonny Thomas, a Year 12 student and the organiser of a 603-signature student petition.
"Destiny has crossed that line. No longer can people be tolerant of their beliefs and their hate."
About six Victoria University students supported Mr Thomas' stand, holding placards in the bitter cold outside. They were ignored by the churchgoers.
During the service, Pastor Campbell Bond tried to distance himself and the church from last week's controversial Wellington march against the Civil Union Bill.
"The Enough is Enough public stand is over," he preached. "We are not ... Christian activists."
The church was now getting on with the real job, he said. "We are here to tell the message that God is a good God."
Destiny Church is pulling in the crowds. In Auckland, the congregation is cramped in a 1400-seat auditorium. In Wellington, about 200 attend every week.