Uptown street preacher faces pressure to stop

by: DaShawn Brown Updated:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Some businesses said they’ve had enough of the man who preaches about Jesus at the corner of Trade and Tryon streets in uptown Charlotte.

Sam Bethea has been facing pressure to stop.

Bethea said he’s undeterred by complaints.

“I'm out here doing the job because God called me to do it.”


(Bethea)

“He is the loudest man I ever heard in my life,” said "Vic the Chiliman," a Charlotte vendor. We call him the Jesus yeller. And honestly, he's generally harmless."

Earlier this month, nearly 20 people, including business owners, met with police to air both noise and disturbance complaints against Bethea.

“Oh, I've had women curse me out something terrible,” Bethea said. 

One report has been filed, but that person declined to press charges.

“No laws are being broken,” Bethea said. “I just come out here and exercise my First Amendment right.”

Charlotte’s city ordinance says that unreasonably loud and disturbing noises are generally not allowed.

It does not elaborate on what “unreasonably” means.

“I understand it from their perspective,” Bethea said. “But I'm not out here ruffling feathers. I'm out here to do a job that God called me to do.”

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