Last week I spoke with Street Preacher Gene from our Houston Texas Bible Believers chapter about issues he has been having regarding Free Speech on a public sidewalk out there. As he was told to leave a sidewalk area or get cited and the penal code used had to do with solicitation and not first amendment. For the record, he does not solicit money when preaching with his sandwich sign and I counseled him (as well as others) against taking money from anyone in public lest it is caught on video and you are charged with solicitation. Gene had talked to someone at the police department and was told to move to another corner and there he would be safe. We were ready to get a freedom of speech attorney to look into this matter but as I spoke with Brother Gene longer on this issue he told me that this new corner has more traffic than the last location. Well with that new information, that cooled the jets with getting lawyers involved as Gene confirmed he was at peace with this new location.
As any Street Preacher knows, there is one component that makes full use of this method of preaching and that is location, location and location.
“Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying” -Proverbs 1:20-21
“Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice? She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths. She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors”
Street preaching is not just standing on the street and crying out to a few pigeons and the two people that walked passed you on the sidewalk during the last 45 minutes, but the key is to preach to actual humans and this takes getting a good public artery. Many men in the Bible were told by God to go to the gates, go to the Temple, marketplace or stand at a strategic location to convey a message and with reason. Location is paramount, for John the Baptist understood this as he did not baptize people in a small creek on some back wooded area. It was done in the River Jordan a hub for humanity as per Matthew; “Then the people of Jerusalem and all Judea were going out to him, and all the region along the Jordan, and they were baptize by him.” The river was a major artery for people traffic, fishing, washing of clothes and bathing and anyone baptized of John would walk around with wet clothes as a public statement for all of confessing their sins in the water. This was not a personal and private affair after seeing someone saturated or drenched with water walking around, unlike today’s Baptist that do it indoors and on a certain day of the month. POSITION played a role.
Still think location is not significant for your message?
“I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day or night….Go through, go through THE GATES; prepare ye the way of the people” -IS. 62:6-10
“Go and PROCLAIM THESE WORDS TOWARD THE NORTH….” -JER. 3:12
“The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, STAND IN THE GATE OF THE LORD’S HOUSE, AND PROCLAIM there this word..” -JER.7:1-2
Jer. 26:2 “Thus saith the Lord; STAND IN THE COURT OF THE LORD’S HOUSE, and speak unto all the cities of Judah…" -JER. 26:2
Jesus sent out the 12 to preach, “GO NOT into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans ENTER YE NOT. But GO RATHER to the lost sheep of the house of Israel" MATT.10:1-5
Jesus preaches even after they “seek to kill” him. “Then cried Jesus IN THE TEMPLE as he taught….” JOHN 7:25-28
The Apostles were arrested and placed in “the common prison,” then at night the angel of the Lord opened the doors and said. “GO, STAND AND SPEAK IN THE TEMPLE…” ACTS 5:17-20
“Then Paul STOOD IN THE MIDST OF MARS HILL, and said…..” ACTS 17:22
LOCATION IS EVERYTHING!
So with this point made, I strongly advise you to keep your discernment cap on the next time that police officer you might want to contest free speech with, just might be sent to relocate you (unbeknownst to him) with reason. I write this, not because of Brother Gene’s testimony but my own experience as this has happened to me more than a number of times.
Ruben Israel on Venice Beach
I remember in 2004 preaching in Houston during the Super Bowl and on Sunday we were out before the game with banners raised truth-horns blasting and after a few hours we were told to move to the next block. We did which was a good location and moments later the buses filled with the football players and coaches passed right by our banners. Location and timing were perfect.
Again in Washington DC we were out in front of the White House during the yearly easter egg lawn event, where this DC tradition called “easter egg roll” has had children hunt and play games with colored eggs on the White House lawn. Only that particular year same sex families were invited. We found nice artery around the White House to stand but was soon asked to move by the capital police. Now get this, they moved us right in front of the White House yard, that same section being used for the event and with banners raised and NO BULL-horn blasting. God’s message of a pagan ‘easter’ and why sodomites are not normal families with children were amplified that day.
Another time when Clinton was in office I stood in front of the South side of the White house with my banner and TRUTH-horn preaching as CNN and CSPAN were doing an interview with a White House spokesperson. I was asked to stop by both channels because it was disrupting the interview, but I refused and I was soon surrounded by Metro police, park police, capital police and suits. They later sent an offer to me and he said, that “I need a permit to use that mega-phone and if I were protesting I needed to keep moving.” He asked me to “get off the White House sidewalk” and stand on the street, which I did. Then he said, “You now belong to DC Metro and the laws of the city and everything I told you to do on that sidewalk does not need to be done on the street” and he walked away. I stood in between to large banners and preached at the White House for over an hour reproving our president.
This was before 9-11 when traffic moved in front of the White House but that day they closed off Pennsylvania Avenue to vehicular traffic as the three of us stood in the street preaching a God and country message right in front of the Clinon resedence. I doubt if that could ever be repeated again.
THIS IS A PHOTO TAKEN AS WE WERE GETTING SET UP ON THE WHITE HOUSE SIDEWALK THEN ASKED TO MOVE ONTO THE STREET.
ON THE SIDEWALKS OF AMERICA MAKING “NO SMALL STIR” AS LAW AND GRACE THREATEN EACH OTHER:
IN LOS ANGELES
IN SAN FRANISCO
IN SALT LAKE CITY
IN SAN DIEGO
IN NEW ORLEANS
IN WASHINGTON DC (this officer was standing on his vehicle watching us)
EVEN UNDER THE WATCHFUL EYE OF THE NATIONAL GUARD
TO BE FILED UNDER “YOU ARE NOT ALONE”
This is Street Preacher Brian and his son Nolan, they are from our North Carolina Bible Believers chapter and this dynamic duo are a unique father and son team. Brian is what I call a ‘utility player’ as he will do whatever it takes to promote the kingdom of God. He will preach, witness, hold a banner, video tape and during difficult events, even work security to keep the heathen at bay. Every time I’ve worked with him he asks me “What would you like me to do” and recently he has brought a TRUTH-horn kit to large events. This is a great service as there were nights that 2 or 3 NO-BULL horns were needed repaired nightly, because an angry mob had cut the cord, crushed the bell or shorted out the unit with drinks poured into it. He is faithful witness in his city and state, family man, owns a small business and travels on his own dime and will not flinch at fear. He makes vinyl banners, sandwich signs and prints t-shirts to equip others plowing the fields.
His son Nolan has been watching preach clips from youtube like children playing videos or watching cartoons and has his own mini banners, sandwich signs and Christian shirts. God has raised young men like Nolan up because the theater he will be preaching at when older will be even more wicked than today. So this is the Holy Ghost preparing and waxing strong his Godly character, as this old preacher is comforted knowing these young Nolan’s are waiting in the bullpen to increase when we decrease. Here is a clip that was made last year after “decadence weekend’ and I was given some pictures that Nolan made with people holding banners. I was so moved that I thanked Nolan with this clip, now this was about 1:30AM as we had just returned from the streets and ready to lay our heads down. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBTAeT-mCkI
What a Ride this has been!
Well my name is Brian Cranford, better known as Bible Brian on the web. I have been into street ministry now for about 6 years and I got to tell you it has been a wild Ride!
My Street Preaching journey began 6 years ago just passing out gospel tracts at local festivals and parades. Then as I felt more comfortable about sharing my faith I ventured out to seek more events to attend. Now I must tell you that my life before all of this was a wreck! I hardly ever go into details with all of those things because I do not care to remember those days as I laid in a hospital bed having my heart stop 26 times in one night and almost walking off into eternity because of suicide!
So as I was saying my journey went from festivals and parades to more challenging areas such as local Abortion Clinics in the Charlotte, NC. area.
As I started I ran across Operation Save America as I was attending a local church at that time and met the Director Rev. Flip Benham and he took me right in and prayed with me and helped me get into the streets to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. I must say that preaching at abortion clinics is one of the hardest places to minister! But I enjoyed being able to talk to all of those mothers who where at those clinics about Jesus and how there was hope and that Jesus is the answer!
After preaching at local abortion clinics for a while I started taking time away and started getting into the word of god like never before. I knew god was calling me to an area in my life where I had to be ready to share the bible with everyone I come in contact with! So after a long period of time I started doing searches on street preachers and campus preachers and during that search I ran across a site called official streets preachers and a site by the name crytogod.
So as time passed I continued to watch videos of street preaching and study gods word and pray to see where God wanted me to be. And during this time I contacted Brother Ruben and the brothers from Cry to God and talked with them about the ministry they were involved in and asked if I could join them. And so join them I did! God Opened doors that I never thought would be open and shut doors I never thought would be shut. What a God we Serve!
So I had been preaching at festivals and parades and then Brother Ruben led me on to and event called Southern Decadence! And what a ride that was, I went from kids eating cotton candy to Sodomites fighting and spitting and punching me ever step I made while preaching! But after that God showed me what he had been training me for during all those months when I was praying. Today I preach Southern Decadence every year and Every Mardi Gras events and Concerts and NBA Games and NFL Football games and Sodomite parades and everything else, you name it!
Today I make shirts that I said I would never wear, Banners that I said I would never use, and other tools needed for the street preachers across America! And now I could not imagine my life any other way! I hope to be preaching as the lord returns to this earth to get his people! I not only preach myself but I have my partner in Crime Brother Nolan! For those who do not know, Nolan is my son who recently turned 7 years old. We have been preaching local events in charlotte, NC for 3 straight years now and a lot of times we do it alone!
Nolan started going preaching with me very early in his life and god has give him a special gift of preaching and telling others about King Jesus! He has his own preaching shirts and preaching banners for his size and jackets when the winter comes! And yes we preach all summer and then all Winter in the Hot sun and in the Freezing cold and in the pouring down Rain! I never have figured out why people think the only days to preach are nice days outside Because people are going to hell everyday no-matter
what the weathers like!
I would like to take a second to thank my Wife Sara because she plays a Huge part in my life and ministry! I know how hard it is to go witnessing and preaching, trust me I know! I have 5 kids all under the age 7 and we still preach every week and pass out tracts and I Work a full-time job as I run a landscaping business and while I am doing that my wife home schools all the children at home and takes care of all in the home! So I know what its like to try and find time to go and tell others of Jesus! But I will say this... If you love him, you will obey him!
So I hope you can see through from what I have written so far that if I can do it, then so can you! I currently am preaching all over the country it seems like and I just got out of Jail for preaching at a Festival this past weekend that I will be going to court over soon. My Goal in Life is to please the Lord Jesus even unto death! And I want to be an encouragement to others as they see my walk with the lord and my life that is a true light in this dark world!
But as I close this short story of such a long journey I want to give a special thank you to my Brother Ruben for Guiding me and helping me and now standing beside me at the very gates of Hell!! And a special thank you to my Brother and Sister Bill and Gail from crytogod ministries as they have poured into my life more than I deserve. Bill and Gail have stood with my family through it all and we thank God for them everyday! And I would also like to thank all the other street preachers out there for standing in the gap in this dark world we live in.
I look forward to seeing God raise up young men all across the country and I hope to see you in the Battle lines for king Jesus as I will be there standing tall Proclaiming the Word of God!
See Nolan Preaching at the Stadium