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UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS, AUSTIN
A FAMILY EVENT
My family and I all loaded up into our truck and drove down to Austin to meet Brother Jed Smock at the campus there. This was the campus where I first met Brother Jed back in 2005. My wife Krista came with me back then, but we were just friends at that time. Now, 6 years later, Krista and I returned to UT Austin to preach with Brother Jed again, except this time we have a baby girl and a baby boy on the way!
In the picture above you can see my wife teaching our baby how to hand out tracts. We have taken her out to campus before and she has heard me preach open air a few times now.
CONNECTING WITH BRETHREN
There is a Chi Alpha group on the UT campus in San Antonio that has really enjoyed watching our videos online. A few of the brethren from that group came out to meet us on campus. They even started open air preaching on the UT San Antonio campus now! The UT schools do not allow for free speech on campus, but because they are a campus group they were allowed to do it! I praise God that even if we cannot preach on that campus, we can at least influence and inspire the campus groups to do it!
PROFESSING CHRISTIAN CALLS THE POLICE
Since the UT schools do not allow free speech on campus, we always preach under a staircase on the city sidewalk. This area always gets a lot of traffic from the students. When Brother Jed was preaching, one professing Christian got so upset at what we were doing and saying that they called the Police! On a minor scale, that is like the Scribes and Pharisees handing Jesus over to the Roman authorities because they were offended at Him.
When the Police first arrived they were asking Brother Jed, “What are you saying to these students?” Brother Jed responded, “That is irrelevant. We have free speech in America.” The content of the speech should never been an issue in a free country. Once they saw that they were not getting anywhere with that point, they changed their argument. They said that we were on campus property and needed to cross the street. I interjected and showed them a marker on the sidewalk that showed the property line. Brother Jed was technically over that line by just a couple feet so he moved back. They decided to give Brother Jed a trespassing warning but let us continue to preach on the other side of the property line.
THE WEIRDEST PEOPLE ARE ON CAMPUS
Brother Jed and I rotated preaching back and forth. While I was preaching, a student came to the meeting with a horse mask on, no shirt on, tape over part of his chest, and his own sign. I have seen the strangest people while preaching on campus. But as you can see, we were able to gather a nice size crowd. The attention from the Police helped and having hecklers like the man in the horse mask doesn’t hurt either.
POINTING THEM OUT
Our message was simple and direct. “You have broken the law of God. You have sinned against God. You deserve His wrath. You deserve to go to Hell. But Jesus Christ died for you. God wants you to repent and be saved. Turn from your wickedness and trust in Christ and you can have eternal life.” The message needs to be personal in order to have its greatest effect. Study the open air sermons found in the Old and New Testament and you will see how personal and pointy those sermons were.
A GREAT NEW BANNER
Brother Jeff Wallace with Consuming Fire Fellowship made me a new banner. You can check out his website at http://www.TruthSigns.net . This was the first campus I tried this new banner out on. I designed it to be provocative in order to help get attention, draw a crowd, and convict of sin. It is also generic enough that I can use it at almost any event. I can take it to the campus, to the street, to a strip club, to a bar, to a homosexual parade, etc. It is also not a very “wordy” banner so people can easily and quickly read it.
TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY, SAN MARCOS
PREACHING HOT AND STRONG IN THE BITTER COLD
Brother Jed and I also went to the Texas State University together to preach. The weather was extremely cold. In fact, Brother Jed said that he doesn’t recall ever preaching in weather this cold before. But he reminded the students that their eternal destiny was at stake and that made it worth it.
There have been times back in Connecticut when I’ve preached in the snow. In fact, I once went out on the streets during a blizzard in Ottawa Canada and preached in front of a club. I figured that if the sinners were still out there, so should the preachers be!
Despite the extremely cold weather we were able to draw a crowd. This one man dressed up in an all green outfit made a scene and helped in getting attention. But as the afternoon went on the campus became more barren. The University had canceled afternoon classes because the power was being shut off periodically to save energy.
PUBLISHED THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE CAMPUS
There was a picture in the paper about our preaching on campus. One of the great things about using a banner is that when the audience takes pictures of you either for their facebook, blogs, or newspapers, the message on your banner ends up reaching a larger audience. This campus paper is read all over campus and it clearly shows the simple message of the banner. That means that students who might not have seen or heard us on campus could still have been reached. A simple message like, “God hates sin” could cause someone to be convicted of their sin and reconsider their life. These campus articles also create more interest in the students so they end up looking us up online, watching the preaching videos, and emailing us. This creates more dialog and helps to reach them further for Jesus Christ.
We preached for two days on this campus. This picture was from the first day and it was published for our second day. So it might have brought to the awareness of the campus our presence there and students could have come by the area to see if we were still there. That is a possibility.
DRIVING TO THE SUPER BOWL OUTREACH
SNOW IN TEXAS & STUCK IN A DITCH
Snow in Texas is rare but not impossible. The night before I had to leave Tyler Texas for the Super Bowl, it snowed. There are not many plows in East Texas either so the roads were icy and snowy. However, for the sake of souls I ventured out on my drive to Dallas.
Everything was going fine until I was about half way to my destination. Then, my truck hit a huge patch of ice and slide completely off the road and into a ditch. I was able to drive off road for a distance until finally my back tires got stuck in some mud.
As I waited for a tow truck to come and pull me out, I saw large trucks and even a bus get stuck on the icy highway. Their wheels couldn’t get any traction. As I looked closer, I saw that the entire road was one big patch of ice. And worse yet, it was up hill! There must have been at least six big trucks that I saw come to a complete stop because they couldn’t make it up the hill on the ice. Above are some pictures of them stuck on the highway.
One man saw me in the ditch and thought he might be able to pull me out with his four wheel drive F250. I told him that it was muddy down there and he shouldn’t even try, but he decided to give it a try anyways. He tried a few times to pull me out without success, until he too finally got stuck in the mud. But he kept spinning his wheels on and off while we waited for the tow truck and ended up digging himself in very deep.
I talked on the phone to the tow truck and he said that he was stuck in traffic and that the highway wasn’t moving. I said that it was because these big semi’s couldn’t make it up the icy hill and were completely blocking traffic. However, one tow truck was able to come on the service road. He first tried to pull out the other man but he was stuck so good in the mud that he couldn’t get him out. So he decided to get me out, which wasn’t hard, and then they had two tow trucks to get the other guy out!
Once I was back on the road, the sun was starting to set. All the slush on the road was going to turn to ice in addition to the ice that was already there! I decided to pull over to the next hotel and get a room. Both the tow truck and the hotel room were an unexpected cost which I am trusting the Lord will take care of. But the good news is that I made it to the Dallas/Fort Worth area the next day safely!
SUNDANCE SQUARE, FORT WORTH TX
THE SUPER BOWL TEAM
I was blessed to be a member of a street preaching team at the Super Bowl lead by Ruben Israel. Ruben came in from California, another brother came in from Oregon, another came in from New Mexico, and some of us were local. Since my wife and I have settled into Texas for a few months to have our next baby, I suppose we are local too.
PREACHING TO THE MULTITUDES
There were multitudes of people who went to Sundance Square Super Bowl weekend to party before the game. ESPN leased the area from Fort Worth and even had a city ordinance made which kept us from preaching inside the area with banners and bullhorns. They did say that we could preach inside without the signs and without the bullhorns, but with crowds like this, those are essential tools. So we worked with the Director of Code Compliance for Fort Worth to figure out where we could preach. He told us what streets were OK for us to preach on with our banners and bullhorns and even let us into the leased area at certain times.
WHY BANNERS ARE GOOD FOR CROWDS LIKE THIS
The crowds at this event were so enormous that if we didn’t have our banners and bullhorns, hardly anyone would even know that we were there. But with the help of tools like these, we could reach thousands! The signs are especially good for large crowds like this because, as you can see, they can go up above the crowd for all to see. Since these signs are on poles, since the letters are large, and since they have attention grabbing colors, these are wonderful tools to use to communicate basic bible truths to the masses. And as you can see from the picture, ESPN, Coors Light, and the city of Fort Worth see’s the value of using signs as they had their signs out there too.
TAKING A STAND FOR JESUS
Our message was simple and straight forward. Men have chosen to sin and God is going to judge and punish the wicked. Therefore, God is commanding all men everywhere to make the choice to repent and trust in Christ, who died for everyone. Through sin, men have chosen to be enemies of God. Now through Jesus, men must choose to be reconciled to Him.
THE NIGHT LIFE
The crowds during the day were very tamed compared to what I am used to on campus. There was very little heckling or yelling. But when the sun went down, the crowds became a little wilder. During the day we split up into two different groups, but at night we all came together and made a wall with our banners. It wasn’t long before we had a crowd gathered all around us. The people in the crowd were asking questions and dialoging with us. The crowd became so large that the authorities decided to move us across the street to another road, which I believe they blocked off specifically for us. When we first went across the street it was pretty empty and barren, but after being there for a little while preaching it wasn’t long before we had another great crowd gathered around! I have seen it time and time again. People on the street flock to this type of street preaching.
HOMOSEXUAL CHURCH, FORT WORTH TX
CONFRONTING A WICKED CHURCH
While we were preaching at Sundance Square we ran into a brother who Ruben knew through the internet. The man is a former homosexual, who has HIV, but is now a born again Christian. He was so excited that we were in the area and he invited us to preach outside of the Church that he grew up in. His church now accepts homosexuals as deacons and even the pastor is supposedly a lesbian. He said that one of his good friends who used to attend this Church and got into homosexuality. He got HIV which turned into AIDS and died. He said it was because of the influence of this Church that his friend was now DEAD!
Before the big game on Sunday, we went outside of “Broadway Baptist Church” with our banners to confront this fallen Church. It wasn’t long before the security for the Church approached us and tried to make us leave. After they saw that they were not getting anywhere they called the Police.
When the Police arrived, eight officers in all, they tried to tell us that the sidewalk was managed by the church and we were not allowed to preach on it, even though it was a public sidewalk. They requested that we cross the street to the other side. Officers come to a scene like this with a “fix the problem” mentality. They don’t want to feel or look like they can’t do anything, so they make requests like this one that doesn’t even change anything. We decided to cross the street and now our voices were amplified by the building. Everyone could still see our banners and everyone could hear us even clearer, but now the Police left us alone.
WHY DO THE HEATHEN RAGE?
While this Church is “tolerant” of homosexuality, they are not tolerate of street preachers. Not only did this tolerant Church call the Police on us, but they verbally opposed us as well. This particular women was very upset that we were there. At first she looked like any nice grandmother, but when she heard the gospel it was as though demons were manifesting.
One couple was walking into the Church that we were able to talk to. They said that they were new to the Church and were unaware of the Churches position on homosexuality. They seemed concerned at what we told them and thanked us very much. Hopefully they will recognize that this is a Church of sin and find one that upholds righteousness.
WHO ARE THOSE GUYS?
The people inside the Church must have been talking about those preachers outside because a group of them came out the side door to see what we were saying and doing. It was sad to see people bringing their families and young children to this Church where they will be indoctrinated with this “non-judgmental” “tolerant” doctrine. God is both intolerant and judgmental when it comes to sin! R ather than reconciling sinners to Christ, this Church turns people into enemies of God!
2011 SUPER BOWL, ARLINGTON TX
MASSES OF PEOPLE FOR HOURS AND HOURS
When we went to the stadium to preach the gospel, we found where the major traffic of people was and lifted up our signs and banners. For hours and hours crowds like this one walked passed us. It was enormous. And there were many different street preachers outside the stadium. I would estimate about 3 preachers per block! In order to get into the stadium, the people had to walk by many banners, signs, bullhorns, amplifiers, etc, all lifting up Jesus Christ!
MEETING NEW BROTHERS IN THE LORD
I announced on my facebook wall that I was going out to the Super Bowl to preach. One brother on my facebook saw that and said that he wanted to join us. He was a local to the Dallas/Fort Worth area. I had never meet him in person before but he said that he has been following our ministry online for sometime now. After we had been out there for some time I handed him the bullhorn to preach and he went at it! He must have preached for over an hour! I am so thankful for the internet and tools like facebook because it has made it much easier for street preachers to unify and connect.
ENGAGING THE PEOPLE
Most of the preaching at this event was preaching to people as they walked by. Few people heckled us or stopped. However, there was one time when I was able to draw a small crowd. One man got so angry at what I was doing that he started screaming and got in my face. After he calmed down and left, there was a crowd gathered around watching what was going on. Then, two girls joined the crowd who took their shirts off and were walking around in their sport bras. I rebuked them for their sinning and called them to repentance, and then turned to the crowd and started preaching the gospel to them too.
PREACHING AS THEY LEFT THE STADIUM
There were many street preacher groups outside the stadium as people went inside, but we were the only group that was out there as people left. We went right up to the gate because security was more relaxed and lifted up our banners and voices. Some of the people were more hostile because they were angry that their team lost. But we reminded them that though their team lost the game, they do not need to lose their souls. They can get right with God by making Jesus Christ the Lord of their lives and the Savior of their souls.
THE PREACHING TEAM
This was a group picture of the team I was a part of for this outreach. Some of these brothers I have preached with in the past, but some of them were new to me. All in all, it was a really blessed outreach. It is possible that every person who went into the stadium was reached with the gospel somehow, either through the tracts, banners, or bullhorn preaching. At least everyone who went into the stadium through our gate when we were there heard the message of repentance from sin and faith in Jesus Christ.
THE BABY IS COMING!!!
The birth of our baby boy is just around the corner! Keep it in your prayers!
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Jesse & Krista Morrell
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