A Few Street Preachers Cause Big Uproar Downtown Philly | Jesse Morrell

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I was blessed to be invited by a lovely family to come and preach with them in the Philadelphia area. Brother Aden and his family moved from Arizona to Philadelphia to start a church. In just a few months they already have a few new families that they are disciplining in the Lord. That is very exciting!

You never know what kind of influence you will have in people’s lives. I stayed at Pastor Aden’s house during my time there and their daughter has a little teddy bear that she had named “Jesse.” With a nice hat and vest she thought he looked like me!


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Downtown Philadelphia has the famous staircase seen in the Rocky movies that tourists like to come and run up and down. Tourists expected to see a Rocky statue like they saw in the movies but were disappointed that it wasn’t there. Eventually the city build an actual Rocky statue for the tourists. I think that is silly but it shows how powerful the media is in our society. That is another reason why every street preacher should YouTube. But this tourist attraction gave us a nice location to preach the gospel.

Tourist locations are great for outreaches because you get people from all over the world and new crowds every weekend. We were under the impression that there was going to be a “Black Lives Matter” event going on but that apparently was false. So we just preached to the tourists who were checking out the Rocky statue and running up and down the staircase. Then we decided to go to another location which had more foot traffic. 


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Downtown Philadelphia turned out to be a pretty wild place. As soon as we arrived and started setting up our banners we were getting heckled by the locals. Downtown was full of drugs, alcohol, homosexuals, and demons. Immediately they started yelling the typical false accusation that we were “hateful” and “haters” when all we were doing was calling them to repent of their sins. When I preached I explained that SIN is what is hateful. To live a life of sin is not loving towards God and man. You don’t love God when you sin against Him and you don’t love your neighbor when you sin against him. Love is the opposite of sin. To be loving is to turn from sin and stay away from sin. We were being loving. It is the sinners who were being haters. They loved their sin and hated righteousness.

It wasn’t too long before the Police arrived. When they got there we had a nice crowd gathered around us and we were engaging them in dialog. They would heckle and mock but we would address their comments in a way that went back to the overall message of repentance towards God and faith in Jesus Christ. 

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When I was preaching the other brethren on the outreach team were holding signs and banners. Apparently a bicycle delivery guy saw us, stopped, snuck up behind our group, climbed over a wall, and tried to steal one of our banners! A teenager was holding the pole and it looked like the thief my rip it out of his hands so I grabbed the pole to help. The thief ended up breaking the pole but the Pastor came up behind him and managed to tackle him to the ground.

The Police had just been standing by doing nothing. But once the Pastor got involved, the Police got upset with the Pastor! A female Police Officer took the thief from the Pastor but the thief seemed to overpower her and get away. Then the Police wanted the Pastors information to press charges against him! Talk about injustice!

Despite the hostility from the sinners and now even from the Police, we kept preaching the gospel. The Police did form a human barricade around us to keep the crowd back. In my 15 years of ministry, I have seen how our culture has become increasingly hostile towards Christianity. There were sinners in the crowd who looked like they had murder in their hearts. Eventually the amount of Police on the scene continued to grow and I counted 30 in total! Wow! 30 Police Officers? All for a hand full of street preachers doing a little street preaching? 

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When we got back to the vehicles we found that our cars had been SPRAY PAINTED all the way around! Paint was everywhere! Apparently some sinners from the Rocky Statue followed us to the new downtown area, watched to see where we parked, and then spray painted our vehicles while we were out preaching! Actually, some members of the team suspected it was actually two lesbian Police Officers who were speaking very evil about us in Spanish behind our backs at the first location. It just goes to show how truly hateful our culture is becoming towards conservative Christians because of our conservative values. When you preach those values in public you become a target. 

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 You can’t go to Philly without getting a Philly Cheese Steak! One of my favorite part of a group outreach is the food and fellowship afterwards! That’s the best! And these Cheese Steaks were amazing! We also got to talk to the store owner and he opened up to us about how his daughter is drifting away from the faith. Please pray for her! 



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The Morrell Family is a missionary family to the United States, preaching the gospel in the open air to hundreds of thousands each year. We live by faith as God provides from the body of Christ through personal gifts. Will you consider being a monthly supporter or giving a one-time gift? Every little bit helps!

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