Street preacher and students clash at UNCC

by: Mark Becker Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

Ross Jackson raised his Bible, turned toward a small group of students at University of North Carolina at Charlotte and began preaching.

“Jesus said you serpents. You generations of vipers.” he shouted, turning a few heads as he added “and that's why these sinners deserve hell.”

Jackson brought his sermons and street preaching style to the campus for the second day in a row and before long, had a large crowd of students who grew angry when he singled out certain individuals and lifestyles.

“Are you a homosexual too? Don't you know Jesus died for you?” Jackson said to the students. “Do I love you? Yes. Do I think you're a whore?”

“You’re being judgmental.” one student said.

The tension rose when a group of students protesting violence to women approached and also confronted Jackson.

“Are you a decent man by telling everyone they're going to go to hell? What kind of man are you? What kind of man are you?” one student asked.

A campus police officer was watching nearby in case the confrontation turned violent but tensions began to ease as students moved on to class.

It took place in a part of the UNCC campus designated as a free speech zone where groups often protest and hold rallies.

A campus police officer was watching nearby in case the talking turned to action and Jackson, who has been preaching since he was born again on a college campus seven years ago, said he is not about to back down from a ministry that is also a personal mission.

“We're not breaking any laws, we're exercising our amendment rights,” Jackson said. “The reason why they hate our message is that they love their sin and we're condemning their sin.”

But students like Kortne Slade said his message goes too far.

“He's here abusing students,” she said.

Slade is supporting a petition to have Jackson banned from the campus.

And if he wants to win converts, Brad Hinson, who is a Christian, said it’s not working.

“Most of the people here don't know Jesus Christ, and they'll turn away from God forever because of his teaching methods and his preaching methods,” Hinson said.