Preaching at most major universities in North America, George Smock, also known as Jed Smock or Brother Jed, is a self-proclaimed evangelist who tries to convert college students to Christianity by means of confrontational evangelism.
Beginning his ministry in 1974, The Campus Ministry USA, Smock usually preaches five days a week from noon to five.
Preaching at SHSU for three days last week, Smock was confronted by gay and lesbian groups, as well as students from Christian organizations.
“We are all here to get an education,” said Amanda Hill, representative from the Stonewall Kats, a gay and lesbian group on campus. “We need to respect each other’s religious views and sexual orientation.”
While some students were repulsed by Smock’s form of evangelism, other students just stood around enjoying the show.
“I don’t want to hear this message of hate,” said Steven Brace, a previous youth minister.
Using what many considered graphic terminology on gay and lesbian sexual acts, some students laughed while other same-sex students kissed in front of Smock.
By Friday, four new Facebook groups such as: ‘Bearkats for Equal Campus Policy, Stop the Hate, Ban Brother Jed From Campuses and Brother Jed Condemned Me to Hell Today!,’ were created to protest against Smock.
Preaching under the title of the United Methodist Church, many in the Methodist denomination do not agree with Smock as they say his actions, views and theology are not apart of the foundations of the Methodist beliefs.
In his spiritual autobiography, “Who Will Rise Up?,” Smock talks about his troubles during his youth as well as his conversion experience through an Arab preacher in Morocco.
According Wikipedia.com, Smocks’ lifestyle of “drunkenness, dissipation and debauchery,” began as a freshman in high school. When his older friends exposed him to alcohol, and drunkenness became a regular part of life every week. Majoring in English at Indiana University, Smock joined the Delta Epsilon Fraternity in 1960, where he notes that he became the heaviest drinker in his fraternity.
Along with his wife, Sister Cindy, and his five daughters, Smock uses his in-your-face type of evangelism to encourage students to become convicted and repent on their sins.
While preaching at SHSU, many students felt that Smock caused division amongts various groups on campus.
“It is my belief that anyone that comes on to our campus seeking to divide the student body against itself cannot be a good man,” said SGA President Christopher Whitaker, who is proposing a legislation to ban corporations such as Smock from visiting the campus again. “I implore the student body to practice tolerance, particularly because this is black history month.”