Run in with a street preacher

Does anyone engage in street preaching? I have seen videos of this, but never encountered a hard core street preacher as I did today.

I felt that he did a wonderful job getting people’s attention, but he was unable to keep mine that long.

He did not even have a bible with him, and was telling people God said this, God said that but he never gave chapter or verse, or anything.

He was nice to me to the point of raising my skeptic meter up a notch or two.

He was telling me how urgent it was for me to make a decision “for God” TODAY. He urged me to hear his testimony. I listened, and it sounded very emotional. But, after he finished he asked me what was stopping me from making a decision today. I told him a bit of my backround and how I am an agnostic but attending Mass, and have recently attended 3 protestant churches also.

Then he tells me he was an agnostic once also.

Um, he never mentioned that in his testimony at all.

I should give him the benefit of the doubt I tell myself. He goes on to tell me that I am making poor choices based on my lack of bible knowledge.

That is when I smiled, thanked him and promptly left the scene. As I was leaving he was shouting out loudly- they always leave because the sin is too sweet, and they can not leave their sins.


Is this the typical way street preachers work an area?

This kind of street preaching and televangelism is probably why it took me 46 years to respond to the Holy Spirit and inquire about His Church.

I have seen people praying together on various street corners for various reasons - audibly but I would not call it shouting or anything like that and sometimes people walking by would just join in for an our father or something and then keep heading where ever they were heading.
I thought that was kind of sweet.
There’s a couple of preachers of the kind you mentioned in my area, and they always seem to pop up at festival I go to. I’m not sure how effective they are.
People respond, surely, but they respond with anger.
And unless the preacher can THEN respond with love, well, then it’s just an argument, and who needs that? :frowning:
I’m not really sure what they’re trying to DO exactly either…
get you to say ‘I big puffy heart Jesus’? Seriously, I don’t get it.

He sounds like a phony to me. Either that or street preachers like to act like con men now.

I met one preacher on the street. He just stopped walking, opened up his Bible, and started to preach. I didn’t say anything, I knew he didn’t know the Bible because he was preaching how God hates sinners and sinners will go to Hell and yadda yadda yadda.

I think those guys are out there more for their own ego, than doing the work of God. :shrug:

I can recall the Catholic author, Caryll Houselander [published by Sheed & Ward,]
speaking of the activities of the Catholic Evidence Guild, in London,
before the 2nd World War.

Please roll down the following webpage, just a bit, to:

Administrative/Biographical history:
“The Westminster chapter of the Catholic Evidence Guild…”

So, yes. Apparently there were Catholic street preachers, of a sort,
and this took place in Hyde Park, in London - where it was common
to encounter people standing on boxes, or whatever, defending or
presenting, a point of view.

Gave a talk for the Catholic Evidence Guild, in…wait for it!..1958.

Sing ho! for street preachers.


I miss having random people come up to me and trying to convert me. Sometime it gets annoying when i openly challenge their beliefs yet they dont acknowledge that challenge and try to avoid it altogether. In the future when im secure enough with my religious intellect i want to go to every fundamentalist church and challenge there belief system, ok may not just challenge but get into a fruitful dialouge to find the truth.

I was not opposed to street preaching per say reen12,

Just what he said to me, and how all that went.

I don’t mind street preachers, so I hope you were not offended by the thread. If you read my original post again, you will see where he lost me.


So you have experienced this type of evangelism.

Can you tell me if you feel this particular type of evangelism is par for the course, or is it a bit on the fringe?

Oh goodness, StrawberryJam, I didn’t think that at all.
In fact, mine was an indoor talk, in grade 7.
I was a very tall 12 year old, who was gifted in the
realm of stringing sentences together, with some fluency.

It’s just that I remembered Caryll Houselander speaking of
the activities of the members of the Catholic Evidence Guild,
in Hyde Park, in London. I could never have done that.
One challenge, and I would burst out crying.

But, you know, think of St. Paul. There he was, addressing
a stadium full of people. He is described as an apostle,
reaching out to the Gentile world. But to those individuals,
he must have seemed very much a street preacher, I think.

BTW, I heartily recommend the works of Caryll Houselander.
A wonderful view of Catholic life, in England, especially
before and during World War II, including the Blitz.

Best wishes,


In college we had preachers who would come to the school (Arkansas State) and it seemed like all they wanted to do was intentionally **** people off. The standard “God hates this person, God hates that person.” We all thought they were doing it on purpose so that someone would punch them and they could sue the school for lack of protection.

I didn’t run into a street preacher today, but at the downtown festival there were some Christian country musicians playing. One of them mentioned that using curse words was “murdering with your mouth.”



You have a lot of wisdom in you! Thank you for teaching me about that.

This type of street preaching usually has little effect on the intended audience except to turn them off, but who knows, there might be just one person out there that heard a message they needed to hear and turned their lives toward God because of it. God works in mysterious ways…

And yes, preaching on the streets has been a Catholic tradition, many saints did it, but it seems to have become a lost art in most places.

But I bet Fr. Corapi could revive the art if he had a mind to:D

STRAW,Its okay he was a fellow who does not believe in Sola SCRIPTURA LOL/ Most street preach I have run it to have been crazy, I had a guy that I world see about ever 3 weeeks and I gave him name and you look for to make my rounds, and he can talk for about 5 mins and then he go off the wall,but he always had a bible in hand but he never would find a verse in fact he had me helping until I could see he was out on it .And he was a drank, and we had one here in Charlotte and he also was put in jail why I do not know,but thw police said they had to get off the street, I think he was a SS beliver.

[quote=StrawberryJam;]Is this the typical way street preachers work an area?

I don’t do open air preaching nearly as much as I used to (not for lack of desire, just opportunity), but that’s not what I did. I never called out any individual’s sin, nor did I ever urge him to convert “TODAY!” The Bible talks quite a lot about false converts and I believe that by pressuring someone to make a decision on emotion and not on conviction only encourages false conversion.

Basically, I just preach a short Gospel message and tell people that if they have any questions or would like to talk or ask questions or ask for prayer, that I’m there and, if I’m there with my evangelism team, that they can just look for anybody in the blue shirts (and if we’re all in our blue shirts, I’ll usually make a joke like “…but make it quick because we’ve got to be back to Best Buy in twenty minutes”…the people on my team hate when I say that.)

Very simple. No pressure. No calling out anybody’s personal sins. Just “Here’s the Gospel, do with it what you will.”

I’ve listened to him a bit, and I just can’t see him doing it the same way this man did.

Fr. Corapi can get attention. But, I think he would have better odds of keeping my attention also, based on what I have heard from him. His voice helps also. It is a powerful voice. A tad scary actually, if I am going to bare my private thoughts public.

CB Catholic,

I just attended a Fr. Corapi conference in Buffalo New York Aug 15th…and there were anti-Catholic street preachers outside trying to save the 11,000 thousand of us Catholics who attended.

Every time you took a break outside they were out there screaming over bull horns anti-Catholic remarks and saying Fr. Corapi was a liar and what-not - it was awful. A couple Catholics tried to reason with them - but you could tell they were not disposed to receive any kind of dialogue in logical persuasion. Most people ignored them…

But strawberry Jam - I think many Protestant street preachers or those who want to evangelize to others on an individual basis - do have good intentions. They have had an awakening and want others to have it too and come to faith in Jesus and I believe the Holy
Spirit does use them in this way and many people have started out on a faith journey and moral path because of their efforts to preach.

Though the intentions may be good the theology and understanding may be way off - so in your own journey - (I see in your description you are an agnostic) - that you study and learn the history of the Christian church and teachings - Catholic vs Protestant teaching.

I know when I was young another young woman came up to me and asked me if I was “saved” and as I proceeded to listen to her - I finally asked the question after I figured out her theology - “So today if I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savour and am born-again - I’m saved? - and if tomorrow if I commit adultery I’m still saved?” “Yup” she said with big smile and happiness. Talk about having your cake and eating it too! Well who wouldn’t want that kind of deal? This is wrong teaching - so be careful who you listen to out there.

God bless you on your way

Hopper :slight_smile:


You sound like a very kind person.:slight_smile:

It takes a lot of bravery to do street preaching, and I do admit that.

I try to be as open as I can, and I hope I am nothing but respectful to those who do it.

But, I also feared arguing with him because I don’t want it on my head that I may have caused someone not to believe

So I leave my questions to the priest I go to for spiritual consuling.

I don’t think any of my questions, have been surprising to him so far.

I think he has heard it all.

Where have you been? :rolleyes:
I don’t know about you but I’ve seen enough stupid street preaching vids on YouTube to say that yes, that’s pretty much what they do and have always been doing. Even with a Bible in their hands, they’ll just twist verses to point out people’s “sins” and try to make them feel small. :rolleyes:

Honestly, I actually wish I could meet someone like that just for the sake of coming face-to-face to someone who’s actually managed to become dumber than myself. Ah well, I guess I’ll be satisfied with reading the laughable rants they make on their videos. :rolleyes:

Woah now!

Don’t call yourself dumb!

I know you are not. So please don’t say that. K?

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit