I have so many great memories from preaching on this campus. In 2005 before I went full time I had read Jed Smock’s book “Who Will Rise Up”. I contacted him via email and a month or so later we met them and preached with them at this university in Tampa.
After going full time I was assaulted by a rugby player on this campus and it made the school newspaper as it was reported he tried to choke me. He tore my shirt and broke my sandwich board. This event was talked about for years later and helped me get the attention of the students when I come to preach on this campus.
I have been on several radio shows on this campus over the years. In 2009 I had been challenged to a public debate by a Baptist campus minister and pastor who kept heckling me. The debate was videotaped and put on youtube and has been a blessing and teaching tool for many over the years. I have received many testimonies from that debate.
All that being said I like preaching on this campus but am not particularly fond of the free speech spot by Cooper Hall. This campus is also a very wicked campus and is one of the most unpredictable campuses. I have had massive crowds and small crowds. Sometimes it is very difficult to get the attention of the students on this campus and oftentimes you must build momentum during the week to really get this campus stirred.
I began preaching in front of Cooper Hall around 1:05 PM. I gradually gathered a crowd other than the students who were sitting in the tables all around Cooper Hall. I had good preaching and good interaction.
The crowd gradually grew to around 120-170 and I was able to preach and answer questions with very little heckling or opposition. I felt my preaching was making great impact and headway.
Gradually the crowd thinned down to around 40-60. I continued to be able to preach and answer questions effectively with minimal heckling, interference and opposition.
Gradually the crowd grew again to around 120-170 and the crowd mood remained the same. Sure I had hecklers and the vast majority totally opposed me but no one got in my face, made violent threats, or followed me around while preaching.
The crowd gradually thinned down again to around 40-60 and I continued preaching until around 3:35 PM. It was a very effective day as the Word of God went forth with free course for the whole duration of the preaching.
My wife was approached by a Ukrainian student who asked what was going on and why was everyone listening. He did not speak English and was totally unfamiliar with the gospel. He had a device that when you spoke an English word it gave the translation in Ukrainian. She was able to witness to this Ukrainian student. Praise God.
Another female sorority student came up to my wife to inform her that I was wrong about the sororities. She basically told my wife there was no one getting drunk or having premarital sex in the sororities on this campus. That only happens on other campuses.
I was surrounded by a small group of professing Christians before I left who asked me a few questions. They were woefully ignorant of the Bible and came to rebuke me for rebuking sin. I told them what the Bible said and rebuked them for their hypocrisy.