Open-air preacher returns to Marshall’s campus


Sarah Ingram

Zachary Humphrey preaches his spiritual beliefs to Marshall students.

Zachary Humphrey, a preacher who has come to Marshall University’s campus before, was on campus on Wednesday, Nov. 7, to preach “to those sinners at Marshall.”

“I know Jesus Christ, and he said ‘go preach to those sinners at Marshall today,’” Humphrey said. “My purpose here is to convince you that you are hell deserving sinners without Jesus.”

During Humphrey’s preaching, he spoke of how he believes that sinners will not get into heaven after death, that students did not have a right to judge him, that the irate students to be a result of wicked administration and more of his beliefs.

“Because of wicked administrators, this is what happens,” Humphrey said. “Instead of teaching them righteousness, you’re teaching them to be animals.”

Humphrey’s presence on campus caused concern for faculty, students and campus police. Marshall University’s Police Department placed officers close by Humphrey to ensure that students and Humphrey did not engage in any physical altercations. Faculty members from the L.E.A.D. Center came out to Humphrey’s gathering due to students circling the speaker.

Rayshawn Eastman, the assistant dean of students, spoke about how they came out just to make sure that students were being safe and would not have any problems pertaining to legal matters.

“We’re just here making sure that everyone is safe and doing okay,” Eastman said. “We were getting a little nervous, a crowd started forming so we thought it would good to make sure people stay off the sidewalks and try to remain calm.”

As more students gathered, Eastman and other colleagues informed students they were welcome to move to the L.E.A.D. Center if they wished to continue discussing their personal religious beliefs.

“If anyone wants to continue this discussion, we can move this to the L.E.A.D. Center to talk,” Eastman said. “We want to provide a safe space for our students. A space where they can engage in dialogue and express themselves. Where they don’t have to face derogatory language towards them.”

Students also showed concern for Humphrey’s presence, and some students chose to respond to the speaker with bible verses. Marshall student Mackenzie Bush chose to speak out on what she said she believed was Humphrey’s hypocrisy.

“I was quoting Matthew 7:3,” Bush said. “This basically says how can someone judge a person for a spec in their eye when there is a stye in your own. It just points out the hypocrisy that he’s displaying.”

MUPD was standing by to make sure there were no physical altercations between students and Humphrey. Chief Jim Terry said he wanted students to remember that they do not have to respond to Humphrey when he is preaching.

“If you don’t agree with him, don’t engage with him,” Terry said. “You didn’t pay for a lecture and you don’t have to be there. Just continue on with the day.”

Humphrey has been spotted on multiple college campuses discussing his spiritual beliefs, including Princeton, University of Kentucky, Morehead State University and more.

Sarah Ingram can be contacted at [email protected].