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If you happened to walk through Mantor hall in the past few weeks, you may have noticed something unusual... read more

When the saints come marching in
Josh Moody
Antelope Staff
Photo by Josh Moody
Morrell and Pulver preached a controversial message to around 100 UNK students last week near the Student Union.

On both Thursday and Friday, Jesse Morrell of Dresher, Conn. and Kevin Pulver of Kenesaw came to campus to share a controversial message with students. Their message was love. Or hate, depending on whom you ask. They called students drunks, fornicators, homosexuals, date-rapers and sinners.

They chose the hill between the Student Union and Foster Field to make their stand, and for the next few hours they spoke loudly to assure that everyone walking in or out of the student union heard them. They were heard. In fact, a crowd of nearly 100 at one point gathered, not only to listen, but also to rebuke.

Morrell has spent the last eight years preaching this message at campuses from coast to coast, attending three or four different campuses a month. In addition, Morrell also shares his high volume message at beaches, bars and strip clubs. Pulver, an independent contractor, only attends three or four of these events per year, as his schedule allows.

“Many of you are not praying to God, and when you do, God doesn’t hear your prayers,” said Morrell, adding, “Why should God listen to the prayers of sinners?”

Students and faculty responded to Morrell and Pulver in different ways. Some laughed, some grew angry and some walked by the scene avoiding it altogether. Even Chancellor Doug Kristensen walked by as he left the student union.

“Do you realize that you’re the most hated person on this campus right now?” asked Jordan Engle, a freshman sociology major from Elgin.

“No, Jesus is,” Morrell said.

Engle described Morrell and Pulver as ignorant but said, “I don’t hate the guy, but I think a lot of people here do.”

However, Morrell and Pulver weren’t discouraged by the reaction of the students. “Too many people base the validity of the message based on the reaction it gets from a crowd,” Pulver said.

Morrell described the duo’s open-air preaching as not the only way to reach students but as a particularly good way. “People will listen to four or five hour sermons here, when they won’t even step foot into a church,” Morrell said.

When asked why he thought people stayed and listened, Morrell suggested that everyone had different motives. “Some are here for good questions, others for curiosity or entertainment. Sometimes I enjoy it; other times it grieves my heart."

Students and faculty, however, seemed largely out of touch with the message presented, and the majority seemed to have been turned away by the offensive nature of the message and its delivery.

“I am an offensive individual because I follow Jesus, and Jesus was offensive,” Morrell said.

Students had a different take. “I think they’re the biggest hypocrites I’ve seen,” said Austin Hendrickson, an undecided sophomore from Broken Bow.

“They’re taking branches of the Bible and twisting it into their own beliefs,” said Brandon Siegel, a sophomore physical education major from Litchfield.

Tom Wilson, pastor of Campus Lutheran, heard the commotion and came to campus in an effort to calm people offended by Morrell and Pulver.

“Their ways are not my ways. I have a different understanding of God,” Wilson said. “They’re not looking at the whole story. The whole story is a love story.”

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