A street preacher who Tech students know all too well returned to campus Oct. 14 and Oct. 15.
John McGlone, host of the website jesuspreacher.com, returned to campus once again to speak to students on the new Centennial Plaza. This was the first time he has visited campus since Centennial Plaza’s construction. McGlone said in a Facebook comment reply to Jesse Morrell – another preacher who had been with McGlone previously at Tech – that he really liked how Centennial Plaza was set up. McGlone said he liked the circle because police can keep students out of it if they crowd in.
It’s become common for students to avoid the area where McGlone preaches when he is on campus. Many students say they just don’t want to be harassed by the man, while others simply disagree with his message.
“I don’t go near him because I think his speeches bring out a double standard,” said Robbie Miles, a senior agriculture major. “He says if you’re not living right then you need to get right because you’re going to hell, but if you are living right, then you’re a false disciple. You can’t win either way with him.”
Some students on campus say they have learned to avoid him when he comes by because his motives for being here aren’t what they seem.
“I think he’s just some idiot that’s fishing for lawsuits,” said Dylan Duvall, a senior chemistry major. “He’s always going to say extremist things to try to tick someone off to the point where they encroach on his rights or punch him.”
However, not all students believe his motives are bad. Patrick Kent, a graduate student at Tech studying chemical engineering, said he’s been able to talk to McGlone before, and that McGlone doesn’t really seem to be doing anything wrong.
“I really like that he is actually trying to tell people about the gospel of Christ,” said Kent. “The way he is doing it is actually an effective way of getting the message out. I think sometimes people just hear what they want to hear as they walk away from him. If nothing else, it at least makes people think about Christ.”
Kent also said that McGlone’s presence on campus makes it easier for Christians to generate conversation about Christ.
McGlone also brought a new preacher with him to speak on campus. Ross Jackson, founder of Revival Mission Ministries, was with McGlone for this visit to Tech. Jackson was primarily the preacher who preached in the circle on Centennial Plaza, while McGlone spoke to students on the outside of the circle.
Jackson’s Revival Mission Ministries is another company that encourages open-air preaching. The website for the company states that they go to college campuses, block parties, festivals, and what they consider to be “Pagan parades.” This company is much like the organization that McGlone originally came to Tech with, PinPoint Evangelism. PinPoint Evangelism is now run by Kerrigan Skelly. McGlone now claims to be a former PinPoint Evangelist.
This was the fourth year in a row that McGlone has been to Tech; however, McGlone came to campus for the first time in 2009. That year, he preached on North Patio, but he moved to the former South Patio after being told not to. He was asked to leave and police threatened to arrest him. McGlone sued the university shortly after the incident and won.
There is a certain procedure that speakers who wish to come to campus must go through. Tech’s policy states the speakers must apply and receive approval from Tech before they can come. The university is not allowed to discriminate based on a speaker’s motive for coming. As long as a speaker goes through the process of getting permission to be here, they can be.
Attempts were made to reach McGlone as well as Jackson for comment, but at time of publication, neither has replied.