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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Evangelist Draws Protest

Students+gathered+around+evangelist+preacher+Keith+Darrell+in%0Athe+plaza.%0A

Students gathered around evangelist preacher Keith Darrell in the plaza.

Keith Darrell, a Presperterian Evangelist, took the plaza by storm last Thursday, when he attempted to spread his interpretation of the “word of God.” His controversial views sparked debate, argument and eventually a protest during the six hours he spent on campus. Darrell arrived on campus around 11 am with a bag, a Bible and a bottle of water. He then broke into a speech about his religious agenda. Students immediately formed a circle around him, and many told him to leave. Darrell, was undaunted. The Campus Police arrived shortly after. They asked to see his identification, which he did not have, and upon further questioning they learned that he was not a student nor was the university aware of his presence. Darrell, argued his right to remain on campus, citing that it was a public facility and that he had not broken the law and did not intend to. The officer conducting the interview shook Darrell’s hand and allowed him to continue, saying that he too was a good Christian. The majority of students said they opposed Darrell’s views, but a few seemed to support him, offering water Keith Darrell, a Presperterian Evangelist, took the plaza by storm last Thursday, when he attempted to spread his interpretation of the “word of God.” His controversial views sparked debate, argument and eventually a protest during the six hours he spent on campus. Darrell arrived on campus around 11 am with a bag, a Bible and a bottle of water. He then broke into a speech about his religious agenda. Students immediately formed a circle around him, and many told him to leave. Darrell, was undaunted. The Campus Police arrived shortly after. They asked to see his identification, which he did not have, and upon further questioning they learned that he was not a student nor was the university aware of his presence. Darrell, argued his right to remain on campus, citing that it was a public facility and that he had not broken the law and did not intend to. The officer conducting the interview shook Darrell’s hand and allowed him to continue, saying that he too was a good Christian. The majority of students said they opposed Darrell’s views, but a few seemed to support him, offering water bottles and shaking his hand. Darrell claimed he has a business degree, and that he used to work in finance. He said his savings and the kindness of others support his travels all over the Northeast, where he goes to college campuses in hopes of spreading his message. At the sight was also Connie Collins, writer, producer and filmmaker, who has been following Darrell, and plans to make a documentary about his religious quest. “He shatters the fanatic stereotype,” she said. “He is not combative or threatening. He is educated. He answers questions intelligently and without malice.” Father Ed Doughty, UMB’s Chapel Leader, was not happy with Darrell’s presence on campus, stating that his message was one of hate. “[He is] offensive to all ethnic or religious groups because he thinks he is the official word, and that he is right and only he is right,” Doughty said, standing a few feet from Darrell. “If he where allowed to continue all day he would probably offend every group on campus,” he added. Daniel Wilder thought Darrell’s arguments were sound and expressed displeasure at the crowd’s reaction. “I found his arguments compelling and logical,” said Wilder. “He had an interesting message. I wished people hadn’t demonized him so much.” At around 4 in the afternoon, five hours after Darrell, arrived on campus, demonstrators, organized by the Queer Center, filed in behind him, holding signs and chanting. Stephanie Bonvissuto, the Queer Center’s coordinator, explained that they were there to challenge Darrell, and exercise their right to be heard and recognized. “What he was saying was carefully coded hate speech. We wanted to challenge him, protest what he was saying and make our presence known,” she said. Vice Chancellor Patrick Day admired the protesters’ efforts as he watched the scene unfolding in the plaza. He supported the students rights speak out and was proud of the student body for demanding equality and acceptance. At around 5 p.m. Campus Police called Darrell, aside and suggested he leave before the situation escalated further. They offered him information on how to make arrangements to come back. Darrell conceited. Around 20 people surrounded him as he was leaving, thanking him and requesting his information.Before Darrell finally left campus, one student asked him to rate his day on a scale of one to ten, one being “beaten down and arrested.” Before the question was finished, Darrell interrupted, rating the day at a 9.5. He said he was disappointed that he hadn’t “stuck the landing.” For more information regarding Darrell and his religious message visit http://whitefieldfellowship.org/.

About the Contributors
Jacob Aguiar served as the following positions for The Mass media the following years: News Editor: 2011-2012; Fall 2012 Leisure Editor: 2010-2011
Shira Kaminsky served as the following positions for The Mass Media the following years Editor-in-Chief: Spring 2012; 2012-2013 Managing Editor: Fall 2011 Arts Editor: Fall 2010