Preacher draws students with ‘confrontational evangelism’



By Judah Taylor

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On Monday afternoon, UK students gathered outside the Student Center to hear the controversial words of Brother Jed Smock, as he brought part of his ministry to campus to preach in a style known as “confrontational evangelism.”

Smock and his followers accused UK students of being whores, whoremongers, drunks, sinners, socialists and even pre-mature ejaculators.

Smock said that he was on campus to “call on students to turn away from their sin and follow Christ.”

Believing that “students here are rebellious and deceived,” Smock said “UK has exchanged the truth of God, our creator Jesus Christ for the lies of Charles Darwin and the evolutions.”

Preaching that masturbating will turn you gay, hugging will turn you into a pervert, Muslims want to kill everyone and women should mind their own place behind a man did not go down well with much of the crowd and led to heated conversation.

After what Simon Parker Segal, a chemistry sophomore, described as a yelling match between a few students and Smock, Sister Pat, one of Smock’s followers said, “We started talking about sin, and the majority of students are sinners. So, it hits them right in the heart, and they get angry because we’re pointing their sin out. (Students) are defensive of their sin. They think they’re

basically good people.”

Students challenged Smock and his followers with their own interpretations of the Bible backed up by scripture, while some prayed for him to “see the error of his ways.”

Computer engineering senior Mohamed Bakr said Smock was “bringing a message of hate, not of Christianity.”

Identifying as a Muslim, Bakr said Smock “said he hates me because I have a different belief. That’s not the kind of religion you want to promote, and he is misleading the book that he claims to believe in.”

“If I didn’t know anything about Christianity, and this is the first time I’m hearing this (message) I would hate this religion.”

Political science freshman Rafael Villegas said: “They’re twisting the words of the Bible to fit what they want it to say,” and as a result “they’re showing their message as a negative. They’re not trying to, but they are repelling people away from their religion.”

Not all students thought the message was truly one of hate.

Chemistry senior Matthew Hellman said “behind his message of hate is really a message of love.”

“What most people don’t here is, is why Brother Jed is choosing to preach the way he is. He’s trying to get people’s attention. He can’t just come to a campus where people are doing a million things every day and say ‘hey, God loves you,’ and get people’s attention.”

“This is the message that he needed to preach in order to get people’s attention,” Hellman said. “When you’re in a giant public setting like this you have to pull out the fire and brimstone to get attention.”

Smock founded “Campus Ministry USA” out of Columbus, Mo., in 1984 and has traveled to all 50 states preaching his message on college campuses.

Smock will be back on campus Wednesday, with trips to Morehead and Asbury College planned this week.