By Emily Ralph
Bells weren’t the only sound resonating under the Charlotte campus bell tower on April 9.
Students were amused and in shock when Matthew Meinecke – known on Lee campus as the S-Building preacher – and Adam LaCroix stepped onto FSW’s Charlotte campus and began preaching.
Meinecke yelled at the crowd outside the cafeteria, library and student services buildings. He belongs to Team Jesus Preachers, a street preaching organization founded by LaCroix.
Students jeered and argued with the preachers.
“I think it’s good to remember that we have to be tolerant of each other. Not everyone is a Christian, even if I may be,” said Victoria Ramble, an FSW sophomore. “We should love each other an be considerate of people with different religions.”
Holding a poster that read “Hell is Real”, Meinecke asked the students, “Who’s going to Heaven?”
No one answered.
Regardless, Meinecke said that the students at Charlotte were, “more hungry for God.”
Some students disagreed with his approach.
Even some religious students were upset.
“The way he presents it is unbiblical in a lot of ways,” said sophomore Levi Dixson, a member of SALT, a Christian faith-based club at Charlotte.
“He’s presenting it in a bad way. Yelling at people isn’t going to help them,” said dual-enrolled Rachel Clarke, another SALT member.
Meinecke’s preaching could be heard loud and clear within the library, through the walls of B Building.
“It would be one thing, I think, if he wasn’t making a scene,” said Emilie Booth, a librarian assistant. “It sounds more like hate speech to me, and people are trying to work.”
Meinecke and LaCroix will be returning to Charlotte campus, and plan to preach at Collier campus and Hendry-Glades center as well.
“Freedom of speech and an open exchange of ideas are the foundation of higher education,” said David Robbins, Charlotte philosophy professor. “With that said, everyone should also be required to support their opinions with rational arguments, as opposed to suspect YouTube videos.”
LaCroix enjoyed his experience at the Charlotte campus, saying that it was awesome.
“We had a lot of interaction and a lot of good questions,” said LaCroix. “We even had a [young man] pray with us at the end of preaching and we were able to give him a Bible. We can’t wait to go back.”