BOZEMAN, Mont. -

Three members of the controversial church picketed at Montana State University and Bozeman High School on Monday afternoon, and NBC Montana was there to see the turnout first hand.

We're told upwards of a thousand people showed up as part of a counter protest against the three church members.

Westboro Baptist Church gained notoriety for its staunch anti-gay stance and protests of military funerals.

The church founder's daughter, Shirley Phelps-Roper, her husband and their 11 year-old son held up anti-gay signs and sang religious songs that were parodied off of top 40s hits.

The large crowd around them held up their own signs and chanted, saying things like, "We can't hear you."

The first protest began around 2:30 p.m. near Montana State University. Then the group moved to Bozeman High School to protest about 45 minutes later.

Phelps-Roper tells NBC Montana her family specifically picked Bozeman from Kansas as their protest destination because of Yellowstone's volcanic activity. She said the area will erupt during the rapture, as God gets rid of sinners from earth.

"You're sitting right there by Yellowstone, where from the foundation of the earth, God prepared that flaming super volcano to vomit you out" Phelps-Roper said. "And it's nice for the people to come out and see the words- we love that."

She also said they came to spread their views of intolerance on gay marriage and homosexuality.

We talked with a member of the Montana division of the Patriot Guard, a group who formed in response to Westboro protests at military funerals. The group shows up at soldier funerals and protests like Monday's. Montana members came from around the state.

"We're against the Westboro Baptist because they protest at funerals, they're a hate group. It has nothing to do with Christianity," said Patriot Guard Rider and Assistant State Captain Bob Newman, who drove in from Roundup. "We're just here to show our support for the state of Montana, the schools, everybody."

The Westboro Baptist Church won a major legal battle back 2011 allowing them to continue to protest soldier's funerals.

The case went all the way up the U.S. Supreme Court. The justices ruled eight to one that the First Amendment right to free speech protects the Westboro protests.

Counter protesters said more than anything, the gathering was about the Bozeman community coming together to support equality.

"I think it was less about dealing with them as individuals, but more so as coming together. So it was really really wonderful, said Amelia Gross, who protested with her brother Michael. She added, "We actually kind of formed our own little response group and didn't expect it to be this big. So to see the results and see everyone with so much energy coming out has been a really beautiful thing."

Phelps-Roper said they'd never protested in Montana before Monday, and plan to come back some time again to spread their message.

"We'll probably be back before another year passes," she said.