Students gather to listen to and debate with campus preacher

UK students interacted with Zachary Humphrey, a preacher from Public Proclaimer Ministries, outside Whitehall on UK’s campus on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Arden Barnes | Staff

Bailey Vandiver

Many students paused in front of Whitehall to take pictures or video of a campus preacher with sign in hand. Others– up to 50 at one time– stopped to listen, ask questions or respond.

The preacher was Zachary Humphrey of Public Proclaimer Ministries. Humphrey’s website said he feels a “call… to open air evangelism.” Humphrey said he travels around to different campuses to preach.

He said he knows other campus preachers, like Brother Jed, but he is not affiliated with them. 

Humphrey said it’s difficult to draw a crowd at UK, though he said he doesn’t know why. He said he wishes more people would stop to listen.

He said the environment and reactions were “good.”

“People have been very respectful, they’ve listened,” he said. “I appreciate how people have been today.”

UK junior Vivianne Leonard said the interactions between Humphrey and students who stopped were “very hostile.” She said a few people had been yelling at him.

“I feel like a lot of people are trying to get under his skin,” she said.

She said she wanted to hear what Humphrey was going to say– she was initially confused by his sign, which said “Jesus– Savior or Judge?” on one side.

“You know, everyone has freedom to their own speech, but I feel like the way he’s going about it is not the right way,” she said.

Humphrey was in the grassy area in front of Whitehall. This, along with most of campus, is considered a free speech area, said UK spokesperson Jay Blanton.