Members of ministry spark conversation among students

Students+gather+outside+the+union+on+Thursday%2C+Sept.+10+to+spread+their+own+messages+to+bystanders+at+the+Student+Union+area.

Courtesy of Unique Rowan

Students gather outside the union on Thursday, Sept. 10 to spread their own messages to bystanders at the Student Union area.

Despite COVID-19 precautions, 90 degrees heat and protestors, one ministry still makes an effort to spread Christianity amongst students.

For the past 11 years, David Grantham and his ministry, named after him, have been coming to the university. The ministry’s approach to reaching students involves Grantham preaching the gospel in front of the Katrina Memorial Fountain and other members of the ministry holding signs and passing out informational cards to students.

In the face of conflicting views between himself and students, Grantham still enjoys interacting with them and elaborated on his experiences.

“The young people are very interactive- I like that,” explained Grantham. “We like people that disagree with us. Those people are not going to go to church, probably, on Sunday. They are probably not going to darken the doors of church, but we get out here, and they engage us, and we get to talk to them about theological issues, eternal issues.”

Among many students listening to Grantham, on Thursday, Sept. 10 was Unique Rowan, a freshman kinesiology major. She joined students holding signs in protest of Grantham and feels as though he should make an effort to listen to students more.

“I asked him multiple questions, and he comes off as aggressive,” said Rowan. “Sometimes, you have to be aggressive with him, like when you’re trying to ask him a question, he talks immediately after you say something that he doesn’t like. He talks over you. If I have debates with you, I let you talk. That’s the polite thing to do.”

 

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Skyler Baker, a freshman English major, agreed with Rowan and described her interactions with another member of the ministry.

“As soon as someone would say, ‘Well this is how I feel,’ he would just say ‘Oh no, that’s wrong,’ and he wanted us to listen to him, but he wasn’t giving us a chance to show him what we believe as well,” said Baker. “It’s certainly understandable that they want to share their beliefs and educate us on what they feel is correct, but I think if they want to do that, they’re doing it wrong.”

Grantham claimed that sometimes when speaking at the fountain, unpleasant encounters come his way.

“Sometimes it can be a little ugly, but we understand sometimes our message may be offensive, but a very important point is, we try very, very hard not to be offensive in the way that we share our message,” said Grantham. “There is a group that comes out here that is absolutely horrible. They’re very caustic and abrasive, and it immediately turns into a big fight.”

In an attempt to combat negative interactions she has had with the ministry, Rowan is making an effort to start a club.

“I created an organization last week called The Movement, and we created this to be a safe place to express your opinions,” said Rowan. “We’re going to make it a club and come out here every Thursday spreading positivity holding signs up, saying it’s okay to be who you are, despite what he’s saying.”

Grantham described why students need to hear his message, despite opposition.

“We are Bible-believing Christians,” explained Grantham. “We’re not better than anybody, we’re better off because we’re Christians, and we understand that the message that we preach and talk to young people about is contrary to probably what they’ve been raised on, certainly what they’ve been taught in higher education, but there is hope. The world can be a very, very cruel place. The world is full of anxiety, depression and suicide, and that’s rampid especially among young people, but with Christ, it’s never hopeless.”

David Grantham and his ministry stand outside of Fayard Hall every Thursday from noon to two.

 

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