Brother Jed’s preaching leads to student outrage

Maxwell Mayleben ® Editor in Chief |
Photos by Mansoor Ahmad ® Photo Editor |

Students were met with provocative words and sentiments from a group of Christian evangelists on the campus mall Wednesday afternoon. 

Hours of shouting and arguing ensued between angry students and the group of evangelists. Some students even brought various noisemakers such as kazoos and cowbells to drown out the preachers.

Equipped with signs with various messages such as “Make America Straight Again” and “Ask me why you deserve hell”, the evangelist group, identified as Campus Ministry USA, is led by Brother Jed Smock. 

 Smock, a 77-year-old man, wearing an all-white suit and a large white hat, has been a frequent visitor of MNSU, visiting at least once a year since the 1980s, garnering a crowd every time. 

Based out of Indiana, Smock and his wife Sister Cindy travel across the country to various college campuses to preach to students.

“We are here today to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ,” said Smock. “We are calling students to repent, to turn away from all sin and follow Jesus.” 

Several students were offended by various remarks made by Smock and his followers. 

Riley Carlson, a student at MNSU, talked to Sister Cindy at length during their time on campus. 

“She said that women are only made to make children,” said Carlson, “and also that she was only allowed to speak when her husband gave her permission.”

When asked about having to give permission for his wife to speak, Smock said, “You know how women can be.”

Other students found humor in the situation, heckling the preachers, dancing in front of them, and one even showing her “OnlyFans” account. 

Among those in the crowd was Olivia Hart, who after asking to share her favorite verse, recited lyrics from Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s song “WAP”, an explicit song about female sexuality. 

Stewart Chisham, another student sat near the evangelists with a sign that had a different message: “I’m not with them, ask me about the truth.”

Chisham, a Christian, did not believe in what or how Smock went about preaching. 

“A lot of things don’t add up. They might have a different translation of the bible,” said Chisham. “I don’t believe that God hates any individual. I don’t think that women deserve to get raped because of the way they dress.”

Some students, such as Shawn Ikanih, believe that the evangelists are better off left alone. 

“If everybody left, he would leave because he’d have no one to talk to,” said Ikanih. “As long as everyone stays here and entertains him, he’s going to stay.”

Smock wasn’t affected by the negative responses. “We are not discouraged by their reaction,” said Smock. “We are encouraged that it bothers them.”

Header photo: Evangelist Brother Jed Smock engages in a discussion about religion with MNSU students in front of Armstrong Hall on campus Sept. 2, 2020 in Mankato, Minn. (Mansoor Ahmad/MSU Reporter)

3 thoughts on “Brother Jed’s preaching leads to student outrage

  • Robert Soames

    Brother Jed and his wife Cindy are disgusting bigots and there’s no place for them in civilized discourse. I’m not sure our Universities need to accommodate the “all gays go to hell and all women who disobey men should be raped” crowd. Right? Surely there are limits to what we ask students to endure on campus.

  • Dave Bronstein

    The Smocks never worked a day for a paycheck. “Preaching”, spreading bigotry is Jed’s drug of choice. He literally can’t live without it, and his wife caters to him like a 2nd mommy. They whine for handouts and live luxuriously. No doubt disgusting, but it likely boils down to free speech in a public area. (Just for kicks I’d like to see how the Smocks would feel if they drove 300 miles (hotel, meals etc) and everybody walked away. Preach to thin air – what a letdown.

  • Dave Bronstein

    Smock likes to “push buttons”. He put a blackface statue on his porch. He has hollered Slut on campuses for 30 years. (Jed finally had to admit two of his 5 daughters got knocked up). Brags that he makes his wife vote his way or not at all.

    More seriously, Smock boasted he ordered a college girl to throw anti-depressants down the toilet, then apologize and forgive the stepfather who beat and raped her. I was particularly concerned about that, since sudden withdrawal from meds can trigger severe even fatal consequences. Hope she reported him and warned other students. Smock targets vulnerable people.


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