The man who holds signs on campus wants to talk to you


Nathan Roszman sits outside Pence Hall on UK’s campus on Sept. 4, 2018, in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Sydney Momeyer | Staff

College is a great place to discover new things and start compelling conversations.

This was one dedicated man’s reasoning for sitting on UK’s campus almost every day, homemade sign in hand with free, dollar-store Bibles for the taking.

Nathan Roszman has been parking himself on UK’s campus for more than two weeks. Right between the Margaret I. King Library and Pence Hall, Roszman sits and waits for students to talk to him about what he’s doing.

With his ascot cap, long beard and bike, Roszman comes off as an unassuming man. For hours he’ll sit quietly, just holding his sign with the question of the week.

“Did mind create matter or did matter create mind?” read the sign the first week.

“Is anything really right or wrong?” was the next week’s sign.

Just who is Roszman? He’s a God-loving man who simply wishes to share some faith with others, he said.

“My purpose is to try to have conversations with people in an effort to evangelize, is the simplest way to say it,” Roszman said. “To encourage people to read the Bible, as I can. And I like to encourage progress in people’s thinking.”

UK’s campus isn’t the only pitstop on Roszman’s road to God. Roszman is an Ohio native, coming to UK off a suggestion from a friend. He’s also been to Knoxville, Tennessee; Tuscaloosa, Alabama; and Athens, Georgia. Because he is homeless, Roszman said he has been able to pick up and go wherever he believes his message should be heard.

For Roszman, this is simply the job of a Christian. He grew up in a culture where the Bible was prevalent, and he read the whole text in high school. He said he has been on his journey of spreading the gospel since 2002. He is not sponsored by anyone nor does he represent a single church. He said he is simply following the word of God by spreading the gospel, a task that is mentioned numerous times in the Bible, from Matthew 16:15 to Psalms 96:3 and more.

While some students simply ignore Roszman and others jeer at him, there are a handful who actually approach him with a dialogue. Roszman has talked to students about everything from karma to free will and the moral implications of war.

“I found that a lot of people like to make a statement and keep walking without stopping for a response, and I think maybe that might have something to do with the popularity of the internet where people can remain anonymous,” Roszman said. “They like to comment without having to maybe wait around for any kind of consequences or comments, not that I would, you know, affect someone negatively. I don’t believe in getting into strife. I like to have peaceful conversations, but maybe people aren’t used to that.”

Sophomore Arizzona Albright, a merchandising, apparel, and textiles major, found Roszman’s efforts commendable.

“I think it’s great that he’s peacefully expressing his views, to be honest,” Albright said. “I might not agree with whatever his beliefs are but I specifically remember first seeing his sign and it really made me think about it for a few minutes.”

As far as how long Roszman will be spreading his message on UK’s campus, he doesn’t know. For now, just like in life, he’s taking it day by day.