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Evangelists cause a stir at APSU

–klilly2@my.apsu.edu

On Wednesday Oct. 10th, members of Mark 6:12 Ministries arrived on campus to “preach the word,” in the words of one of the participants.

Police placed barriers behind them and two gentlemen held up a sign condemning numerous groups of people from Muslims, LGBT individuals, atheists, immodest women and “potty mouths.”

Both gentlemen declined comment, but the students were not so disinclined to speak.

With signs reading “Don’t feed the trolls,” “I’m gay and God loves me too,” and “Black, White, Gay, Straight, doesn’t matter to me. God loves me anyway,” the students made it clear they were not impressed with the ministers’ messages.

Some students found the display entertaining or amusing. “It’s a Christian comedy hour,” said student Todd Dalton.

Other students expressed a more hostile opinion. Tahswiyah Abdul-Baaqee, a freshman wearing a shirt reading “I’m Muslim, don’t panic!” gave the statement, “I feel like he’s a threat to me. I have nothing against Christians. I love Christians. It is very hurtful.” Other attendees had much to say, shouting obscenities and insults as Bible verses were being quoted over the microphone.

Josh Vaughn | Photo Editor

Not all students took such a negative stance on the protest. Jarrett McCreary, a junior, said, “We live in a country of free speech.” He said he didn’t agree with the views being shared, but he didn’t think they should be silenced.




Campus police were on hand, keeping the more angered students from coming too close to the barricades. The officers present declined to comment on the situation.

There were small amounts of talk of students wishing to pass around a petition to prevent Mark 6:12 ministries from coming back to APSU for another public display. At this time, there are no petitions being circulated for this purpose.

About Kenneth Lilly, Staff Writer

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6 comments

  1. As I said in my editorial I want to know why this group is allowed to brutalize fellow students with statements bordering on hate speech?

  2. Kathleen,
    I’m a Graduate Student, and they’ve been coming every year since I started here in 2009 (and before then, I’m sure). The reason they keep coming back is because of the reaction they consistently get from folks. It’s like the saying “If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is there to hear it- does it make a sound?”

    If no one even went, they would come less, or not at all. Do I agree with their message? Nope. But I would also have to answer “Nope” if I was asked if they should be banned from campus. Yes, absolutely… their message BORDERS on hate speech- BORDERS. Which is why they are allowed to come back. They’re very good at what they do, so they know how to dance around that gray area, incite the students into outrage and not get in trouble themselves. All while shooting video that they then take to show their supporters the need for their “important ministry” or them doing “God’s work”.

    There’s no easy answer, but Free Speech can cut both ways.

    • I am a undergrad and a fan of free speech, however if not holding a bible would you allow a group in to do the same thing? I am asking that when the attack becomes personal it is not free speech, it is abusive and I would like to see that dealt with.

  3. Agreed, Kathleen. It’s shady, to be sure. Shady, as in- the group and what they do. I’m not sure they would be tolerated if not for their hiding behind the Bible.

    I do know that there are specific guidelines as far as use of the “Free Speech Zone”, although I can’t quote them. Maybe you could ask the University to re-look/revise the rules to specifically address what you are talking about?

  4. Some students found the display entertaining or amusing. “It’s a Christian comedy hour,” said student Todd Dalton.

    There will no laughing and mocking in hell! Repent or perish!

    From Russia with love!
    Kostya