Students protest Tuesday after anti-LGBT preacher returns to campus

Ken Fleck, a preacher that visits cities and campuses across the nation, came to FAU for the second time this semester — and plans to come again soon.

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Students protest Tuesday after anti-LGBT preacher returns to campus

Ken Fleck, 41, preaches on Tuesday afternoon at the Boca campus. Photo by Alex Liscio

Ken Fleck, 41, preaches on Tuesday afternoon at the Boca campus. Photo by Alex Liscio

Ken Fleck, 41, preaches on Tuesday afternoon at the Boca campus. Photo by Alex Liscio

Ken Fleck, 41, preaches on Tuesday afternoon at the Boca campus. Photo by Alex Liscio

Kristen Grau, Editor in Chief

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Evangelist and frequent FAU visitor Ken Fleck visited the Boca campus Tuesday again — and didn’t get hit with a golf cart this time. 

Around 40 students gathered around him to debate his views on sex before marriage, homosexuality, abortion and “fake news.” Almost all of them battled his views, particularly those against the LGBT community. 

Fleck, 41, said he’s been visiting cities and campuses across the country for 11 years, and also runs a blog called ThisCampusNeedsJesus.com. He said he never pressed charges for the golf cart incident last February, but was thankful to “get right back up and keep preaching.” 

He added, “My stool was destroyed, so if the university wants to get me a new stool, they’re welcome to do that.”

Here’s why he said he comes to FAU… 

“I’m here to speak truth in a world of lies, in a world of fake news. Jesus is the truth and Jesus came to confront this wrong worldview that college students have that it’s OK to be gay,” Fleck said. “They don’t think homosexuality is a sin because they’re basing their viewpoints on their feelings rather than the authority and the truth of God’s word.” 

Rebekah Moseley. Photo by Alex Liscio

Freshman art studio major Rebekah Moseley, who said she identifies as pansexual, sat next to Fleck’s stool holding a sketchbook page that read, “God loves LGBT+.”

“I actually am a Christian, I graduated from Calvary Christian Academy — I went there for about 14 years … but I still think that [God] still loves me for who I am,” she said. “I still deserve God’s love.”

Ben Oglestreet is a member of one of FAU’s Christian clubs, Campus Crusade for Christ, and a senior geology major. He said, as a Christian, he’s not upset with Fleck being on campus and preaching — but takes issue in how he does it. 

“He’s trying to preach the word of God …  and bring the word of God to people’s hearts but he’s being a little bit more impersonal about it,” Oglestreet said. “He’s being very rude about it. He’s being very outspoken and saying things that are hurting people. But it’s not about that —  it’s about bringing love and understanding and making connections with that person and help them to know who Jesus is.”

According to his website, Fleck has traveled from Arizona all the way to Scotland. His preaching theme this year, his website says, is “JESUS 2020.”

“In the midst of Campaign season, Jesus is the only cure to this Nation’s problems, and people need Jesus more than another politician!” his website reads.

Sophomore undecided major Daniella Coby was one of the many students to approach Fleck to combat his views. 

Danielle Coby. Photo by Alex Liscio

“Go ahead and spew the gospel,” Coby told him, “but don’t spew hate.” 

Coby added that believed Fleck’s preaching could be considered “hate speech,” because “he’s telling people to hate themselves, hate themselves, hate themselves,” she said — referring to his views against LGBT people.

“I’m a Christian and I don’t believe that God is here to tell people to hate themselves, to degrade themselves and how [Fleck] is telling people how they should feel,” All he’s doing is yelling and screaming, and that’s really not the Christian way.”

Fleck said he plans to keep coming throughout the semester.

Fleck’s Bible. Photo by Alex Liscio

“The kids might not like my sign, they might not like my methodology,” he said, “but I’m preaching the gospel.”

Kristen Grau is the editor-in-chief of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet her at @_kristengrau.