Brother John Williams and another preacher from the Cincinnati chapter of the Official Street Preachers stood at the Scramble Light near North Quad on Tuesday. Both men were surrounded by students who disagreed with the preachers’ opinions and protesting. Samantha Brammer // DN
More preachers cause controversy on campus
It didn't take long for students to gather around as two more preachers shouted their messages at the Scramble Light Sept. 27.
The two self-proclaimed preachers from the Cincinnati chapter of the Official Street Preachers attracted dozens of students, offending some and angering many. Their statements ranged from Bible verses to comments like "white is pure" during their three hours on the sidewalk. According to the preacher's website, the organization’s goal is to “edify, train and exhort the body of Christ in the biblical method of public preaching.”
Brother John Williams, who said he was "preaching" at the corner of the Scramble Light near North Quad was, in his perspective, saving students from their sins.
“Our overall message is that Jesus Christ, he manifested in the flesh both fully god and fully man, he came to take the sins of the world that who so ever should believe in him will not perish but have everlasting life,” Williams said. “We’re here to tell the students that God has a benevolent love for them, but he’s not on trial for his love, they’re on trial for their love and their love is demonstrated by their life.”
Students who gathered to watch disagreed, and they weren't afraid to say so. Some used their voices to argue back against the racist remarks, while others used iPhones, posters and even bagpipes to attempt to drown out the preachers.
“I grew up in a Christian home, I grew up going to a Christian school,” said sophomore nursing major Isabella Gandy. "And even if I do not identify myself as Christian … I grew up feeling all of those peoples love and I feel no love from these people."
Brandon Losier, a freshman English literature major, stopped and confronted the preacher because he felt a moral obligation to do so.
“If you let it go on, you're part of that evil,” Losier said. "It has to be stopped."
The Muncie Police Department also made several stops near the Scramble Light to ensure the situation was peaceful, and officers on duty said they did not believe there were any potential threats or problems with the encounter.
In response to the preachers on the campus, Ball State students started a Facebook group, Students Against On Campus Harassment, aimed at opposing preachers like Brother John who make visits to the university.