Open Air Preaching Across The United States – Jesse Morrell

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Hello Everyone,

I wanted to write a thank you to all of our friends and supporters. We greatly appreciate all of your prayers, encouragement, and financial support. We had a great semester of open air ministry this fall, preaching the gospel on campuses all across the country! Tens of thousands heard the gospel!

During this upcoming holiday break when the campuses are out of session I plan on focusing on writing my atonement book and producing videos for the edification and encouragement of believers.

Please keep us in your prayers this holiday season as November, December, and January are traditionally our hardest months financially. Pray that the Lord provides all that we need. And for those of you who feel lead to help support us, there is information at the bottom of this newsletter on how you can do that.

Thanks again to all of our friends and supporters! We couldn’t do this without you! You are a blessing from the Lord!

God Bless,
Jesse Morrell

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OPEN AIR MINISTRY UPDATE 

DALLAS TEXAS

This was the report I wrote after this outreach:

My friend Chris and I went out to preach the gospel in the open air in the West End of Dallas. There is a very busy intersection that has a lot of foot traffic from the nearby train and bus stops. On our way to Dallas we remembered that Kasha, a girl who came to our Sharing Your Faith Conference, lived in the Dallas area. We called her up to see if she was available to join us for an outreach and she was. So the three of us went with our Bibles and signs for an afternoon of street preaching.

I decided to bring a little step ladder to the streets to help with elevation for preaching. On campuses elevation isn’t really necessary and can be restrictive. On a campus I like to find a wall or a hill that allows me to walk around if I am going to use elevation. But you can draw a crowd on a campus without any elevation at all. On the streets it is much harder to get attention and draw a crowd than on a campus. A little stool or step ladder is helpful along with signs and banners.

We had not been out preaching too long when one man heard us preaching and came up to us for prayer. He talked to Chris and confessed to having a serious lust problem. Chris prayed with him. I pray that the man is deeply convicted and repents. Often when it comes to lust people are looking to God for deliverance when in reality God is waiting on them to repent. Sexual desires are part of our God given nature and He will not take them away from us, though He will help us to control them. What needs to change is the sinners choice, not His God given nature. So when we preached we were urging sinners to repent. We urged them to put their faith in God, that is, to put their trust and confidence in His wisdom and character and consequently obey Him in everything.

There is a McDonalds in this area of the West End and those who congregate in front of it will often listen to our preaching. One man in particular was very interested and encouraged by our outreach. He was an employee at this McDonalds. He stayed out and listened intently the whole time that we were preaching. He was also talking to other people he knew and asked them what they thought about it.

Since this area is near the DART bus and train stops we are often hassled by the DART Police. I’ve been battling with them for over 10 years now. They always claim that we are on DART property and need to get permission from DART to be out there. However, I knew that we were on city sidewalk as we were right next to the city street and next to the newspaper stands. In the past I’ve argued that with the DART and city Police and they have agreed. This time, however, the Officers still were contending that we were on DART property and needed to cross the street completely. But as I held my ground, they eventually relented and agreed that we were on city property next to the newspaper stands.

Chris, Kasha, and I were all taking turns preaching open air. We all had some hecklers and listeners. When I preached I was confrontational to get their attention. I preached that Dallas needed to repent. Right when I said that two older woman walked by with their cleavage hanging out. I added, “To repent means to cover up your cleavage ladies.” Another girl walked by wearing a belly shirt and a large belly button piercing. I asked, “Are you a belly dancer?” Then added, “You look like you could join the circus.” I think that it is a good thing for immodest women, who are walking around in public to stir up the sexual lusts of men, to be publicly rebuked by men for their immodesty. This is a public sin that deserves public rebuke.

It wasn’t until I got a heckler that a crowd gathered. It was a tall black man who was making a big issue over skin color. The West End of Dallas is a very diverse area with many minority groups. I preached that God will not judge you for your skin but for your sin. I also said, “Jesus was not black. And Jesus was not white. Jesus was Jewish!” A nice size crowd started to gather around me as I preached against the sins of Dallas and called them to repent and turn to Christ. I preached frequently against the abortion and whoredom that goes on in Dallas.

When Kasha preached, she preached against secular rap music and how filthy it was. She started attracting hecklers when she mentioned their favorite music. She especially got their attention when she said, “Lil’ Wayne is going to hell.” He is apparently a very popular rapper today. People on the street wanted to debate her on that issue. It was good because it got their attention and got them talking and thinking about God, Heaven, hell, sin, etc.

When Kasha was preaching one man in his car at the red light rolled down his window and said, “Hey.” When we turned around he said, “Keep your comments to yourself. Nobody wants to hear it.” I immediately responded back, “Hey, why don’t you keep your comments to yourself? Nobody wants to hear them.” At that point the man got really upset and started yelling and cursing and said we were gullible and fools for believing in God. Then he drove off in a rage.

One girl came up to us and said that we were doing it all wrong. She said that we were judgmental, hostile, not Christ-like, and did not have compassion. With gentleness in my voice I said, “You are being judgmental and hostile by saying that we are not Christ-like and saying we do not have compassion.” I asked her, “Is judging a sin?” She said, “Yes.” I said, “So did you just sin by judging us?” She didn’t know what to say. She kept talking about how she didn’t like our “attitudes.” Again, with a gentle voice I told her that the attitudes that upset me is the attitudes of the crowds. They are defending sin, mocking God, rejecting the Bible, etc. Those are the attitudes that upset me. I said, “You are confronting the wrong people. It is not us that you should be confronting but them.” She ignored my advice and kept saying that we were doing it wrong. I said, “If you know how to do it the right way, then do it. Let me see how you get these people saved.” But rather than going and witnessing to the lost, she just kept ranting about how we were witnessing wrong. I eventually had to cut off the conversation to get back to preaching because she was simply distracting us from the work that God gave us to do.

At the end of the day another woman had stopped and read our banner. It gave a warning to various types of sinners including “Church Gossips.” She said that she was on the banner and was convicted. She was a church gossip. Kasha spoke with her for sometime. She seemed deeply convicted and had some tears in her eyes. She asked us to pray for her at the end of the conversation.

All in all, I thought that it was a very good outreach. We are going back to the same location this Friday afternoon. (We did go back out there and preach again but I did not write up a report. It was a good outreach though.)

WINNIPEG CANADA

My family and I spent the summer in Canada visiting with family and I was able to take a break to focus writing on my upcoming book, “The Vicarious Atonement of Christ.” This book is a thorough defense of the vicarious governmental atonement view and a refutation to the vicarious penal atonement view. I am very pleased with how this book is coming along and look forward to publishing it when it is done.

I praise God that my other books have been traveling the world. My book, “The Natural Ability of Man: A Study on Free Will & Human Nature” has made it to China, Mexico, Scotland, Philippines, Africa, Switzerland, Canada, England, and all over the United States even into a prison.

This was a recent report that I received which I was very glad to hear.
“Jesse, just thought that I’d let you know that, I am a bible teacher,and have been so blessed by your videos- I have just returned from Pakistan, where I taught in a bible school the doctrine of Freewill as opposed to the doctrine of Original Sin! They were all very blessed, and I have been invited back to teach the Pastors and all former bible school students! Thank you for your continued work for His glory!”

MINNEAPOLIS STATE FAIR, MINNESOTA

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The sign reads, “Trust Jesus: He Shed His Blood For You.” I particularly love that sign because it tells everyone who reads it that Jesus died for them. It preaches the unlimited atonement of Jesus Christ – the gospel that we read in the scriptures. It is very sad that many street preachers out there (the Calvinists) deny the gospel all together. I wish every street preacher had a sign like this because every sinner in the world needs to know that Jesus died for them so that this truth might bring them to repentance and that they might be saved.

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The State Fair in Minneapolis attracts hundreds of thousands of people so it is a great place to hold gospel signs and preach the gospel. I didn’t expect any real problems preaching outside of the fair because those are city sidewalks. However it was more of a hassle than I expected.

At first we set up on the city sidewalk right in front of the front gate. That lasted only a little while until the Police came and said that we were on fair property and needed to cross the street. I didn’t believe it was fair property (which is still state property anyways) and since we were outside of the gate we should have been allowed to preach there. Nevertheless we crossed the street to where they said we needed to go.

However, there were Police Officers on the other side of the street who said we could not preach on those sidewalks either because there were such large crowds and they thought we would block the flow of traffic. They said we needed to go even further back. The crosswalk at that intersection was very busy so I didn’t want to go further back and decided to stand my ground and preach at the street corner which was right next to that area. The Police backed down and didn’t hassle me there.

There were vendors over there who started heckling us, blasting music, etc, because they said that we were interfering with their business. I looked back at the other spot where the Officer said I could not preach because we would block the flow of traffic and I noticed that they were allowing 5 or more different people to stand there selling water bottles. So I went over to talk to the Officer again and asked him if people were now permitted to stand there because those people are and he said again I could not preach there. At that point I publicly rebuked him for discriminating against Christians. I said, “If I had water bottles instead of a Bible you would let me stand there.” He said, “Well, they are moving around and walking around.” (Which wasn’t true actually.) I said, “Alright fine. I’ll be walking around too.”

At that point I waited at the crosswalk as the sidewalk swelled up with people, holding my sign and preaching. Once the crosswalk said everyone could walk across the street I walked with them preaching the gospel. On the other side of the street, where the Police initially told me that I could not preach because it was fair property, I turned around and waited at the crosswalk again. As the sidewalk filled with people I held my sign and preached the gospel. When the crosswalk let everyone walk I would go with them preaching the gospel. We did this back and forth back and forth without any further problems from the Police.

DOWNTOWN MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA

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I was able to go out witnessing to downtown Minneapolis with a small evangelism team. It was great to get to met other open air preachers and to listen to them preach. Of course since I was the visiting preacher they wanted me to preach most of the time, to learn from my style of preaching. I know that one of the street preachers in that group  has since contacted me because he wants to get a sandwich board just like mine. I am always excited when other street preachers see how helpful signs and banners really are to open air preaching.

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There was one hotel in particular that appeared to have a club in the basement. There was a small group of people hanging out outside, smoking cigarettes, etc. So I walked over there with my sandwich board on and immediately they started engaging me in conversation. The Police came over and  made me move further away from the entrance, claiming it was private property. It was, of course, city sidewalk. There were no markers to distinguish that area from the rest of the sidewalk. At the very least it functions as a city sidewalk and therefore, by law, it is a city sidewalk. But to avoid conflict I simply moved back a few feet and kept preaching.

I noticed that throughout the night there were many female wedding parties out there. You would notice the bride and her bridesmaids roaming the streets as a group. I counted at least six different bachelorette parties that night. They would often heckle us as they walked by. I am sure this is because they were out to sin and their conscience was being pricked.

THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTHERN IOWA

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This was the report I wrote after the outreach:

I went out to campus alone and strapped the camera to my sandwich board to try to get video. The crowd was very tamed, especially compared to other campuses. Nobody was screaming in my face or anything like that. The students stood around, some sat around, and asked me questions and listened to my stories. A lot of theological questions today, which I love. And the gospel of salvation was preached. One student asked for a bible at the end.

There was a Calvinist there who kept contending for sin. He kept saying we all sin every day. But when I talked to him afterwards, he said he wasn’t talking about deliberately disobeying God, which is what I was talking about the whole time. He seemed to be talking about involuntary thoughts and feelings, which the Bible classify as temptation and not sin.

I preached for over 3 hours but the battery on my camera died the first hour. That’s too bad because there was some really good preaching after the camera died. I have a spare battery I will bring tomorrow which will give me an extra hour. Now I just have to look at the footage and see how the “Preacher’s Eye View” style came out.

Report from day two: Many of the same students from yesterday came out again today. The crowds were bigger than yesterday and while yesterday was calmer today was more hostile. I suppose that is to be expected since a person’s heart either embraces or resists the truth that they encounter and in order to resist the truth they need to harden their hearts. Nevertheless, I preached the gospel that Jesus died for them, God wants to forgive them, and they need to repent and be converted.

I focused a lot on how unreasonable and selfish sin is and how reasonable it is to live according to God’s law of love. I pleaded with them and urged them to reconsider their lives, turn from their sins, etc. But of course, it is their choice to make. Most of the crowd was very unreasonable and wanted to continue on in their disobedience to God.

One lady did not like my preaching very much. She said I was not preaching the gospel. However, I found out that she was a “Calvinist” who believed that God was “Sovereign” in that He causes all things, including sin. So I said, “Well, I am preaching exactly the way God predestined me to preach. Are you saying that I have a free will to preach differently?” She couldn’t answer that, given her theology.

I also contended that I was in fact preaching the gospel, as I preached that Jesus died for all of them and God wants them all to repent and be saved. Her theology, however, was a denial of the gospel as she did not believe that Jesus died for all and denied that God wants everyone to repent.

I also found it contradictory that many of the “Christians” on campus said that it was not loving for me to warn sinners about hell, yet they said that they sinned constantly every day. I told them to stop being unloving. I explained that warning sinners about hell is valuing and loving their souls, as a warning is meant to influence a person to change or prepare for what is coming. Sin, however, is the opposite of love. I said, “If you are sinning against God and man constantly, you are not loving God and man. Sin is unloving. Stop being such an unloving person. Stop sinning and love others instead.” But they just kept making excuses for their sins.

I also preached extensively on the atonement. I explained how God wanted to forgive mankind and exercise His mercy, but He also wants to maintain the honor of His law because it is good for all. If God simply forgave sin by His mercy, without any atonement at all, He would dishonor His law and weaken its influence and authority. So God became a man in Jesus Christ and died on the cross through our sins. Now God can forgive repentant sinners without dishonoring His law or endangering the public’s interests. God has done His part by making an atonement and now sinners need to do their part by repenting of their sins and trusting in Him.

As much as the crowd said, “You should leave. Nobody wants you here. Nobodies cares,” when I said that I was coming back tomorrow the whole crowd cheered..

Report from day three: The third day on campus went similar to the first two. The crowds were never wild on any of the days and we primarily had good discussions and dialog. I preached on issues like sin, judgment, repentance, atonement, etc, every day. The videos are uploaded to YouTube now.

UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN MICHIGAN

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Just returned from preaching the gospel on Western Michigan University. At first, last week, I had some difficulties with the administration who were trying to limit my reservation time but was able to work through that. I went out today and preached in the flag pole area that has a very large amphitheater. When I stood in the middle there was a great echo, so the acoustics were great. As I preached against sin many students started gathering around. There were places around the amphitheater for the students to sit. Many stayed for hours as I preached. The crowd grew by the end of the day to be very large.

I preached about sin and salvation, hell and heaven, damnation and forgiveness, etc. The crowd was tame, comparatively, but would still cheer for their sins. I warned them of God’s judgment and called them to repentance. I noticed that many in the crowd were completely unreasonable. There really was no reasoning with them. One student asked me for my sources. I said that I had sixty six sources, the sixty six books of the Bible. He said, “That is just one book.” I said, “No, it is actually sixty six books.” He said, “Well, who wrote it? I said that there were many various authors. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, for example wrote the gospels. Paul wrote many epistles. The books of the Bible were written over thousands of years.” He said, “No, it is one book. And it was written by the same group of people.” And of course, the crowd cheers when guys like that make their “arguments.”

Therefore, I decided to tell the students stories. I told them about sinners like “Freddie the fornicator,” and “Matthew the masturbator,” “Sexy Susie,” and “Robert the Rapist.” These kind of stories seemed to get through to the crowd better than the intellectual arguments. And I used them to illustrate the nature of sin, the nature of repentance, to warn them about dying in sin, and to illustrate salvation. Jesus often told stories like the rich man and Lazarus and others. Or the publican and the Pharisee. Stories are great for open air preaching.

I will be preaching on Western again next week and two days next week, along with some other campuses in the area. Pray for God’s word to do a powerful work on their hearts.

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I was preaching at the amphitheater on campus and had to get out of the middle for a minute and when I returned a group of students were sitting in the middle to keep me out of it.

I worked my way in and as they were sitting down and I was standing up, I just had to find room for my feet to get between them which wasn’t hard.

Then they said something like, “Hey, you can’t do that.”

I said, “What? I just want to be a part of this group.”

They said, “Then you need to sit down.”

I said, “I want to be the guy in the group that stands.”

They said, “Well, if you want to be a part of this group, are you going to follow our rules?”

I said, “No, I want to be the leader of this group.”

They said, “But nobody cares about your opinion.”

I said, “That’s it. I’m kicking all of you guys out of this group.”

Then I kept preaching..

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This particular student had an animal tail on and literally believes that he has an animal spirit or something like that. I remember him from last year when he was walking around campus barefoot with a robe on. He tries to portray himself as some kind of eastern guru. But he certainly makes the open air meeting more interesting…

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My friend Joey came out with me to campus and talked to people on the sidelines, held a Trust Jesus sign, and even open air preached. It is always encouraging to see younger brethren get involved in evangelism and to even engage in open air ministry. Sharing your faith and having your faith challenged is one of the best ways to strengthen your faith.

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Every day on campus we had a good meeting. Two other believers came and joined me on campus. One was also from Michigan and is a young man who goes to a church that street preaches. He said that he had never open air preached on a campus before. He watched and tried to learn how I gathered the crowd. Towards the end of one of the days I turned the crowd over to him and he preached for over an hour.

The other brother who came and joined me is a Police Officer from Ohio. He heard brother Jed Smock preach years ago and he asked Brother Jed to pray over him. Now he is an open air preacher himself and has been going to events like Mardi Gras, etc. He said that he learns a lot from my videos and books and feels the Lord told him that he is supposed to learn from me. Praise God! I pray that the street preacher movement continues to grow and grow!

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The crowds were typical with heckling, mocking, etc. But because it was an ampitheatre the crowds typically stayed back and sat on the walls. This makes for a calmer meeting. There are times when people tried to get in my face. At one point someone tried stealing my hat but I got it back. The Police came and told the crowd that I had a right to be there and that they need to behave themselves. I liked what he had to say, until he told the crowd that if they don’t like me being there they should go and complain to the administration because they approved it…

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As I normally do, I talked to students one on one after the open air meeting. Usually the students are more respectful in a more private conversation. Many times professing Christians want to talk to me about my approach and method and I give them my defense of it. Often they seem to understand it better after these conversations.

On this campus I also remember speaking privately to a Muslim on the sidelines. He had an accent so I asked him where he was from. It is not uncommon for me to meet students from the Middle East. But he said he was from Detroit. He said that he agreed with a lot of the morality that I was preaching. I made Jesus Christ the issue of disagreement and I shared with him the problems that I have with Islam. He was very respectful and listened and I saw him out there in the crowd at other times listening to the open air preaching. He said he was actually a teacher on campus.

THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

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This is the report that I wrote after the outreach:

Open air preaching at the University of Michigan went well yesterday. It rained the first part of the afternoon so I couldn’t get started until around 2:00 pm. I gathered a good size crowd of students, some of whom I recognized from years past.

It was a typical open air meeting. I preached about sin, judgment, hell, mercy, atonement, repentance, forgiveness, etc. Many were angered when I preached against their sins. They accused me of “hate speech” but I told them it was “love speech.” Jesus said that as many as he loved he rebuked and chastened, so I told them that I’ve been showing them the love of Christ.

On my way to the campus I felt the Spirit of God was ministering to me about a particular truth and I began to tear up. When I got to campus I shared with the crowd what I believe the Spirit gave me to share with the campus.

I said, “Some of you boys know what it is like to have strong affections for a girl who doesn’t share those affections in return. You want so badly to be in a relationship with her but she could care less about you. Maybe she doesn’t even acknowledge your existence. And you know how that makes you feel.”

I went on to say, “God has very strong affections for His creation and His people. He very much wants to be in a relationship with his people but many of you could care less about Him. Some of you won’t even acknowledge His existence! Do you know how that makes God feel?”

THE EEM CONFERENCE, SHIPSHEWANNA INDIANA

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One of the highlights of our tour is getting to attend and speak at the EEM Conference in Shipsewanna Indiana. I enjoy being able to fellowship with the other men there like Jed Smock and Dennis Carroll. The conference is a type of Moral Government Theology fellowship of various ministries. And Shipsewanna is Amish/Mennonite country so it was fun taking my wife and kids to a Cheese factory where we watched them make cheese, to an Amish restaurant, etc.

THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN INDIANA

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I had never preached on the University of Southern Indiana before so I was excited to do so. I teamed up with my friend Brother Jim Gilles who lives in the area. Brother Jim traveled the campuses full time open air preaching for over twenty years. I have learned a lot from him about campus preaching and consider him a type of mentor in that regard.

Holy Hubert Lindsey was a campus preacher and he was a type of mentor to Brother Jed Smock. Brother Jed Smock is a campus preacher and he was a mentor to Jim Gilles. Brother Jim Gilles is a campus preacher and he was a mentor to John Duncan. Brother John Duncan is a campus preacher and he really influenced me initially in campus preaching. So I consider it an honor whenever I get to team up with my predecessors.

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On the campus we were standing up for Jesus and defending the Bible while most of the students were standing up for sin and defending their wickedness. There were also a lot of compromised church goers that we preached to. They unashamedly confessed to living sinful lives and they don’t think we should be publicly confronting sin. Yet they will publicly confront us of course.

We caused no small stir on campus. The Sherif’s department ended up coming out and so did the local news. I did an interview with the news reporter and was able to be a witness for Christ through that.

UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN KENTUCKY

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With all the preaching I was doing on this tour by the time I got to Western Kentucky my voice was very worn out. I thought that it would be difficult to preach this day and it was. Nevertheless it turned out OK and we had a good crowd most of the day. A friend of mine John McGlone preached first and helped to gather the crowd.

The usual spot where I preached last year was under construction. This new location worked well because it has a rock for the preacher to stand on and a staircase with walls for the crowd to gather. I shared my salvation testimony with the crowd and also got into apologetics with a muslim student over who Jesus Christ really was.

BELMONT UNIVERSITY, TN

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Belmont University is supposed to be a Christian University but if nobody ever told me that, I never would have known. The students on campus act and behave just like the students do on any secular campus. They love their sin, defend their sin, cheer for their sin, etc.

Last year when I tried to preach on the sidewalk to this campus the campus security were giving citations to any students who stopped to listen to us or ask us questions. This year they did not do that. We were able to preach the gospel without any opposition from the administration or the Police. The crowds gathered and listened for hours as we preached biblical truth.

TAYLOR SWIFT CONCERT, NASHVILLE TN

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This was the report that I wrote after the outreach:

We preached a Thursday night and a Saturday night outside of the Taylor Swift concert in Nashville TN.

Saturday night we ran into some other street preachers who were there and two of them were brothers from Germany. I was excited to met them. One of them said that they had my book, “The Natural Ability of Man: A Study on Free Will and Human Nature” and other books that I’ve published. And he said he is not the only one in Germany with my books. Praise the Lord!

The outreach went very well. Many of the people who came were wearing Red because that was the theme for the tour or something like that and many of the girls were wearing red lipstick like Taylor Swift does. So I preached, “Let the color red remind you of the blood shed of Jesus Christ.” Lots of people also had home made signs that said things like, “I love you Taylor Swift.” So I would preach, “Many of you came out here with your signs for your idol. I have a sign for my God as well. But my sign is better than your sign because my God is better than your idol. Jesus Christ died for you. What has Taylor Swift ever done but take your money? I know many of you idolize Taylor Swift because you dress like her, wear lipstick like her, try to sing like her. Many of you wish you were her. You become like the object of your worship. You need to worship Jesus Christ, imitate Jesus Christ, become like Jesus Christ, follow Jesus Christ. He is perfect and worthy of worship and imitation.”

Many parents were bringing their young children to this concert. Little girls were dressed up like her wearing red lipstick. No doubt these three year olds were dressed up by their mothers. So I preached, “Haven’t you parents learned your lesson yet? Many parents took their children to Brittney spears and look how she turned out. Many parents took their children to Miley Cyrus and look how she turned out. Haven’t you learned that you can’t trust these Hollywood Harlots? When are you parents going to learn? Instead of filling the minds of your children with these lyrics you need to fill their minds with the word of God. Instead of leading them to idolize Taylor Swift, you need to lead them to worship Jesus Christ.”

And of course amongst all of this we preached the general message of sin, judgment, repentance, atonement, etc.

A couple of the people going to the conference said they recognized me from the campuses that we’ve been preaching on. They just can’t get away from the gospel!

TENNESSEE TECH, COOKEVILLE

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Last year I preached on this campus for the very first time. It was great to be able to come back and preach again this year. There were some other local brethren who came out with me. In the past this campus was very restrictive in its free speech policies but through a lawsuit some Christian brethren have been able to really open it up. Before the lawsuit you could not even preach at this location but could only preach on a different patio that had virtually no people at all. But the location where we can preach now is perfect. There’s a lot of people that walk through there and there are lots of places for them to sit and listen.

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The administration had their own camera out there filming everything that happened. I believe that the crowd acted better than they would have acted because of that. And if any of the students got out of hand, the campus security or the Dean of Students would come and pull them away to talk with them. That made for relatively peaceful meetings.

We preached for two days on sin, judgment, hell, repentance, atonement, mercy, salvation, etc. I sought to illustrate repentance and atonement through various stories and the students were very attentive. Of course, there were the typical hecklers and mockers as well. And there were some Christians on campus who said that they agreed with what we said and were doing.

UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI, COLUMBIA

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This was the report I wrote after the first outreach on this campus:

I had a very eventful day preaching in Speakers Circle at Mizzou. When I first arrived I heard a preacher in the circle. I got excited and thought great maybe I’ll make a new friend. I had no idea who this guy was and had never seen him before. But as soon as he saw me he knew who I was. It turned out that he was a staunch Calvinist because he immediately started preaching against me. He said I was not a real Christian, I was not born again, I did not know God, I was on my way to hell, I was a heretic, etc. He even knew about my book on Free Will and knew how many pages it had. I thought he was trying to provoke me to heckle him, like he was trying to draw a crowd, so I just ignored him. He never had a crowd and since he was preaching in the circle that I came to preach in, I decided to walk away. He thought I was leaving and he said, “Jesse Morrell, you are not born again. You need to get saved. I’m going to follow you all across the country.”

I went around the corner and entered a buildling. I looked out the window and saw that he had stopped preaching. He left the circle and was talking to someone one on one with his back toward the building I was in. So that was my opportunity to get into Speakers Circle. I made it into the circle while he was on the sidelines without him noticing me and I started preaching.

It wasn’t long before I gathered a nice size crowd. He started heckling me but I ignored him and continued to preach the gospel. He would only heckle me now and again. But once I gathered a crowd of about 300 students he tried to preach to them. But his voice was not as loud as mine and it wasn’t long before his “open air” turned into a one on one with a student.

He accused me of not loving these people but then confessed himself to sinning every day. I argued that it was not loving to sin against people. Sin is transgression of God’s law but love is the fulfillment of the law. If you love God and love people you will not sin against them.

He also accused me of not knowing the gospel, not preaching the gospel, etc. But when I engaged him in dialog in front of the crowd he admitted that he did not believe that Jesus Christ died for everyone, that God does not want everyone to repent and be saved, etc. His gospel was that Jesus might have died for them, that God might want them to be saved. So I said that his God was not loving and that he was denying the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I continued to preach to the crowd about sin, hell, judgment, atonement, repentance, etc. The crowd loved their sins and would cheer for their wickedness. I preached that they deserved to go to hell for their wickedness but that the good news was that Jesus Christ died for hell deserving sinners. I said that Jesus Christ died for all of them as the Bible says and I preached that forgiveness was available for them all but they needed to repent and believe in order to receive it. And I preached about how having a relationship with God is the greatest experience you could ever have and urged them all to be reconciled to God.

Looking forward to returning to campus on Monday. Keep these outreaches in your prayers.

This was the report from day two: I went out today with a local brother and preached for over 5 hours to a great crowd that grew at times to be about 300 in size. The amphitheater known as “Speaker’s Circle” is such an ideal location for open air preaching. Looking forward to a great day on campus again tomorrow and then preaching Thursday and Friday on the university in Springfield Mo.

(We had a great day on campus the next day as well. We have very large crowds every day and they were much calmer and tamer than in years past. They sat and listened for hours as I preached the gospel and answered their questions.)

MISSOURI STATE UNIVERSITY, SPRINGFIELD

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I had a great time preaching the gospel at Missouri State University in Springfield. This was a new campus for me which is always exciting. Brother Jed Smock usually visits this campus annually and has done so since the 80’s I believe. But this year he wasn’t able to make it to this campus so some local brethren invited me to come and fill the vacancy. One of the brothers is actually a teacher on campus and he didn’t want the year to go by without the students hearing at least one open air preacher on campus.

There is a nice stage area for preaching with buildings all around that help to amplify the sound. I began my open air preaching by rebuking the whorish behavior that is rampant on campuses today. I preached that fornication was whoredom, that there are many whores and whoremongers on campus, etc. And I preached against professors having sex with their students, students engaging in “Sexting” which is when they take pornographic photos of themselves and send them out as text messages, and also college girls signing up on online websites to be “sugar babies.” That is something I read about in the news. A sugar baby is a woman who is looking to have a “relationship” with an older man who has lots of money that he gives her. Apparently many college girls have signed up online to be “sugar babies” for $3,000 a month. College girls are the most common people group to sign up to be “sugar babies.” After them are apparently the public school teachers.

As I preached the crowd grew to be rather large with a few hundred students at certain times. They were rather tame. Only one threat of violence. A couple girls stripped their shirts off. But the rest of the crowd just asked questions, listened, etc. The crowd cheered when I said I was coming back the next day. And the second day was just like the first. I had a good size crowd that was relatively tame, asked questions, listened, etc. Except the second day I saw faces that I had not seen the first day.

SOUTHEASTERN OPEN AIR PREACHER’S ASSOCIATION

ANNUAL CONFERENCE, GEORGIA

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I was blessed with being able to attend the street preacher’s conference (SOAPA) in Georgia this year and was honored to be a guest speaker. I spoke on The Total Moral Depravity (not inability) of Sinners: The Unregenerate State of Mind. I also spoke on The Opposition Faced by Open Air Preachers. Both videos are now on Youtube. The first one is on my BibleTheology Youtube account and the other is on my OpenAirOutreach account.

GEORGIA TECH, ATLANTA

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Georgia Tech is a great campus to preach on. Though their free speech area is a little bit far from the sidewalk where everyone walks, when we go out there with a big group from the conference with lots of signs and banners we are able to gather a pretty good crowd. The ampitheatre on campus is almost like a small stadium with how they have seating for everyone. I wish every campus had one of those!

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Since there were so many street preachers out there on campus from the conference we all took turns preaching. One brother even drove down from Canada to be a part of this conference! Praise God! It is so exciting to see how we are multiplying and spreading as a street preacher movement!

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The best part about having street preacher conferences is the fellowship. That is the main reason that I attend these conferences. Fellowshipping with other street preachers always encourages and excites me. I love hearing their “war stories,” etc. You don’t find fellow street preachers in the average church so when we get to fellowship with each other and edify each other it is special.

I filmed a lot of the conference and had planned on putting together a video about it all but all that footage was on my camera when it got stolen. The report from that is in the next story.

TYLER JUNIOR COLLEGE, TX

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I went to Tyler Junior College with three other friends and thought I’d have a nice time with them as it was going to be a short outreach (only two hours). I wasn’t planning on preaching myself but wanted to focus on filming them. I thought to myself, “This is great! There are four of us out here! I used to have to preach alone. We are multiplying! I don’t even have to preach because they are doing it!” I also thought to myself, “This is too easy. We are growing and the devil doesn’t seem to be coming against us very hard…”

After the two hours of preaching were done they asked if I wanted to preach. I decided to give a few closing remarks. So I began preaching and put my camera (in its bag) at my feet while I did. After preaching for a little while I noticed a student who was trying to steal one of our banners. After a brother confronted him he saw my tripod and picked that up. When I confronted him about it I noticed my camera was missing also. When I asked him about the camera he assaulted me and another student came and pulled him away.

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The student assaulted me after I asked him, “What is in your back pack?” That is where I thought my camera was. Since he assaulted me when I asked him that question, I knew he was guilty. So when he tried to leave I followed him. He walked to a truck, opened the door, took my camera bag out of his backpack and put it into the truck, and then pulled a gun on me.

When I turned to leave other students were standing there and blocked my path. They then shoved me back towards the man with the gun. I again turned to leave and at that point got away. Thank God I wasn’t shot! I then took a picture of his license plate with my phone and went straight to the Police.

The man’s name ended up being Kyle Douglas. The Police at the station were acting like it was my fault because of my preaching. And when it went to the District Attorney’s office the prosecutor didn’t even want the case. She told Kyle to “bring whatever you need to bring to make this go away” in reference to the Grand Jury. While nobody from the courts or the legal system cared to inform me, Kyle did post publicly that a Grand Jury decided that there was not enough evidence to prosecute him.

So I had my camera stolen, was assaulted, and then had a gun pointed at me, and the only person Kyle will have to answer to is God. Even though he robbed me at gun point I held no bitterness or vindictiveness towards him. I had hoped that he would find God in prison like I did and many of my friends have. And I pray that getting away with armed robbery will not embolden him in his crimes. He apparently has a long rap sheet of theft and weapon charges. He is a danger to society until he repents of his sins. Pray that he repents.

DOWNTOWN DALLAS

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A friend of mine from the Dallas area told me that there was going to be a large Halloween block party in Dallas. Apparently last year this block party attracted over 150,000 people! So I organized a team and we decided to go out there. We ended up having a team of six of us out there.

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The day of the outreach I found out that it was in Cedar Springs, which apparently is the homosexual district of Dallas! I knew that there would be a lot of cross dressers and sodomites out there and sure enough there were. We arrived around seven o’clock and lifted up our banners and lifted up our voices and preached the gospel to them!

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After we were there on the street for a little while the Police approached us and tried to tell us to leave. Two sinners almost broke out into a fist fight in front of where we were preaching and they tried to blame us for it. But we held our ground and told them that we were not involved in that altercation and that this event was open to the public and was on public property. They tried to tell us that it was a private event but that is not the case. In fact, street preachers have been winning lawsuits all over the country over this same issue. The courts have ruled that a public street or public park is still a public street or a public park even if there is a festival on it, especially if that festival is open to the general public.

At one point they told us that we would be arrested if we did not leave. We still held our ground and they never did arrest us. They were, however, consulting with the event organizers about what they could do about us when it started to down pour. It rained so hard that the streets became empty of people. The night was young, only eight thirty, and the party was just beginning. But it kept raining so hard that we decided to leave. It rained all night. We never did see the 150,000 people that they promised. It was unfortunate that we didn’t get to preach to as many people as that but it is also good that God cancelled their party with rain.

TYLER JUNIOR COLLEGE, TX

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Even though I was recently robbed at gun point on this campus, I still feel that I need to preach the gospel there. I have not given up on these students. There may be some reprobates on campus, but every time I preach there I have people who thank me, who seem closer to repenting, etc. And new students enroll every semester. I believe one of the reasons why I have had so much opposition on this campus over the years is because the devil knows that we are a threat to him. I think of the song, Onward Christian Soldiers!

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It is great that I’ve been able to help raise up other local laborers who go and preach on this campus even when I am off on a tour preaching elsewhere in the country. There are now three other brothers who come out with me to this campus. And I was glad that they too are persevering despite the recent issues we had on campus.

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It seems that our preaching often attracts a lot of the “troubled youth” on the campus. Many of these students are very lost and really need God in their lives. While they do mock us and heckle us a lot, there are also times when they will be quiet and will listen to what it is that we are telling them. We see a lot of the same faces every time that we go out and preach but every year we see new students as well.

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I hope that in the future the Police will attend our meetings more often, not only because they need to hear the gospel being preached but also because of the recent violence we had on campus from the crowd. The students typically behave better when the law is watching, though not always. I’ve seen sinners with no fear of the law or respect for authority whatsoever who have broken the law and have assaulted us right in front of the Police. Unfortunately even in those situations the Police are sometimes hesitant to do anything about it because they often don’t like our message either. Preaching against sin, calling sinners to repentance, warning about God’s judgment, etc, truly does endanger your life even here in America.

KILGORE JR. COLLEGE, TX

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My friend Micah Armstrong came to visit me in Texas and I took him to some of my local street preaching spots. These were all new campuses for him. He is a fellow full time open air preacher.

At Kilgore Jr. College he preached and the new Chief of Police came out and talked with us. This is the third Chief of Police I have met on this campus since I started preaching there in 2005. This was his first time hearing us preach. He was a professing Christian and did not like what we were doing. He compared us to the Westboro Baptist Church with Fred Phelps. We told him that we were not Baptists nor were we Calvinists.

He seemed to be saying that if we preach and the crowd gets angry and wants to get violent, than we are inciting and are no longer protected by the constitution but could be arrested. This was a very false interpretation of the law and I shared with him what the law actually says about it – that if the crowd gets angry and violent the Police are supposed to control the crowd and arrest individuals if necessary but not to violate a speakers constitutional rights. Hecklers do not have veto power and that inclines violent hecklers.

After we talked with him for a little while I told Brother Micah to get back to the open air preaching. His presence actually helped us to draw a crowd. But as he started preaching again, the Chief of Police became his biggest heckler! He was quoting Bible verses to defend sin just like the students usually do!  As Micah would walk around the Chief was walking behind him following him, heckling him and asking him questions. When Brother Micah would get a little excited and shuffle his feet like he was dancing, the Chief of Police would mimic him in mocking. I had never seen anything like it before in all my years of open air ministry! Even one of the students that I talked to said he couldn’t believe how the Chief was acting, that the Chief was the one causing all the problems out here, and that Kilgore should be ashamed to have someone like that on their staff.

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Brother Micah preached for a while and then Brother Chris Lepelley also preached. Then I gave closing remarks. I stressed how sin separates us from God, you cannot have a relationship with God while you are in sin, that sin must be repented of and that Jesus Christ will cleanse us from all sin, etc. I exhorted them to turn from their sins and put their faith in Jesus Christ.

LSU SHREVEPORT, LA

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I also took Brother Micah to LSU Shreveport. In the past he has preached at the LSU Baton Rouge campus. We were late getting out there but Brother Micah said that he normally preaches a little later than other campus preachers do. Most of us will start preaching by 11:45 am but he said on some campuses he gets started around 1:00 or even 1:30 pm. It was a slow start by students started to gather around and listen to the preaching.

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At the very beginning of the meeting one of the students called the campus Police through an emergency box that was right next to the free speech area. Who knows what he said to the Police but when the Police arrived they only talked to the students and did not talk to any of us. We had already checked in with the administration before we started preaching.

Throughout the day we had a good attentive crowd. There were some mocking and heckling but it was not an overly hostile crowd by any means. The most aggressive were probably the professing Christians who said they didn’t think we were going about it the right way. Many of the students stayed and talked with us even after the open air preaching was over.

UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS, DENTON

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The University of North Texas used to be an open campus where preachers like us could utilize their free speech areas. Now they have a “sponsorship policy” which will hopefully be challenged and overturned in court soon. Until then we are forced to preach from the surrounding sidewalks around the campus. Fortunately this campus has some great sidewalks to preach from.

One administrator came out and told us that we needed to be in the free speech areas and needed sponsorship. We told her that we don’t need to because we were on the city sidewalk. She insisted that it was campus property so I encouraged her to just call the city Police. The city Police came out and never talked to us. They talked to the campus staff members that were out there and told students who asked them that they can’t do anything about us because we were on city property. Praise God! I had emailed the city Police, city attorney, Major, etc, when the campus changed their policy and told them that I would start preaching on the surrounding sidewalks and shared with them what my legal rights were. I suspect that that email helped us out this day.

Many students gathered around and listened to the open air preaching all day. They heard the word of repentance towards God and faith towards Jesus Christ. Praise God!

JOIN THE STREET PREACHER MOVEMENT 

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We started a Facebook discussion group for open air preachers to fellowship and network. It is called The Street Preacher Movement – Open Air Evangelism. This is a place where street preachers can have edifying and encouraging discussions.

Click here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheStreetPreacherMovement/

I received this encouraging message:

“Whats up brother my name is Matthew I know you are probably busy so ill try to make this brief. I just wanted to let you know that God has used your videos to give me confirmation that repentance and faith is definitely part of salvation . I was starting to think I was going crazy because I knew God was showing me through His word that we are to repent and believe but most of the teachings I was hearing opposed what I was reading. I agree with all of your teachings it’s all biblical I was especially blown away by your knowledge of the bible and your ability to deliver it with such clarity, to God be the Glory for the great work He is doing through you!”

See also this 21 video series we uploaded with various preaching clips from the early days:

Classic Open Air Outreach: The Early Days – Vintage Footage – Jesse Morrell

HOW YOU CAN HELP SUPPORT THE MORRELL FAMILY

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The financial support we receive from the body of Christ makes it possible for us to continue to live and to travel and preach. All personal gifts from $5 – $500, either monthly or one-time, makes a huge difference. Will you consider being a monthly supporter, giving as little or as much as you can? 

Paypal: Click Here

Physical Mail:

Jesse & Krista Morrell

P.O. Box 1527

Lindale TX, 75771

Special thanks in advance to our supporters. THE BATTLE IS ON! We couldn’t do it without you!

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One Response to Open Air Preaching Across The United States – Jesse Morrell

  1. Just got an email from a Calvinist who said, “Pelagianism is no gospel at all. Please take me off your list until you repent of this false gospel.”

    I wrote back: “Hello Timothy,

    You are sadly mistaken. The gospel is that “all we like sheep have gone astray, we have all turned to our own way, and the Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Men are sinners by their own fault and choice. We need a Savior for our own sins that we have committed. Jesus died for our personal sins. If that is “Pelagianism” than you confuse Pelagianism with the Gospel.

    Calvinism is a false gospel as it denies the unlimited atonement of Jesus Christ. The Bible says that Christ tasted death “for every man” and that Christ is the propitiation for the “sins of the whole world” and that he died for “all men.” This is the gospel and this is denied by heretical Calvinists.

    God Bless,

    Jesse Morrell
    http://www.OpenAirOutreach.com

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