Preacher chastises campus
Students congregate, debate evangelist in free speech zone
On Nov. 15 and Nov. 18, with banner held high and voice raised higher, Brother Jed Smock stepped onto GCSU’s freedom of speech zone outside of Bell Hall to engage students in open-air dialogue about the Christian faith.
In less formal attire than usual the seasoned “confrontation evangelist” of 37 years preached for over an hour before a crowd settled around him.
“I start off by addressing the moral issues in the context of the law of God,” Smock said. “I preach Christ (was) crucified and resurrected from the dead. Through the gospel (college students) can have hope and eternal life. And I want to defend the faith.”
GCSU is the 26th school Smock has visited since he and 19-year-old daughter Martha Smock began their 2010-11 tour of college campuses in August. On Nov. 18, Smock brought his wife Cindy to help him preach.
Almost exactly one year ago, Smock stood in the same spot with a crucifix embellished walking stick in one hand and a Bible in the other, giving the same messages about issues such as modesty and sin.
“I actually thought it was going to be more un-biblical than it is, but he’s made some good points,” sophomore pre-nursing major David Hamby said. “I don’t think he understands the gospel as full as he claims.”
Many students accuse Smock of being judgmental and harsh, however he is not shaken. Instead, Smock focuses on the word of God and how he believes the spirit of God is moving in and through him.
“My goal is to glorify God and teach the Bible to the students so they can learn from God, His ways and His character and hopefully they’ll follow His ways and become Christian,” Smock said. “We love the students, that’s why we’re out there. I’m motivated by a love for God and a love for the students. I’m angry with them because God is angry with them but it’s a righteous indignation.”