Christian Preachers Storm FGCU, Antagonized by Students


Alexandra McBride

Demonstrators preached in favor of Jesus on FGCU’s main campus on Jan. 31, 2023. Students protest their teachings outside of Howard Hall.

Emma Rodriguez, Assistant Assignment & Features Editor

On Monday Jan. 30, over 30 demonstrators preached in favor of Jesus, abstinence from sex, alcohol, and homosexuality. The largest preaching event in FGCU history, more than 30 people contributed in front of Howard Hall’s Marketplace, and in other locations on campus. The demonstrators  plan to return to campus on Tuesday, Jan. 31.

For the greater part of a decade, TeamJesusPreachers, led by Adam LaCroix, has used FGCU as a platform to “spread faith.” The demonstrations are largely unpopular with students, shown by frequent disapproving social media posts and conversation. 

Despite their unpopularity, FGCU Regulation 9.004, Public Expression and Assembly, allows for the preachers to be protected by the first amendment right to assemble and free speech. Regardless, UPD was present at the event since it was larger than their normal assembly.

Two recent campus police reports were issued relating to preachers, one on Jan. 17, where a preacher singled a student out, and another on Jan. 18 where UPD was made aware of the events that would happen on Monday and Tuesday.

“No one really likes them,” freshman Connor Morris, who was present on Monday, said. “They just yell and yell, and people either ignore or yell back. Today it’s different because students were starting chants, blowing horns, and just trying to drown them out.”

Most demonstrations are done by only LaCroix and are lesser in volume and presence. The magnitude of Monday and Tuesday’s preaching was matched by students’ counter protesting. Throughout the day, hundreds stopped by Howard Hall to see what was going on.

Students hold signs in protest of the demonstrators that preach in favor of Jesus on Jan. 31, 2023. (Alexandra McBride)

Most notably, two individuals dressed as Jesus Christ and Naruto Uzumaki from the animated television series “Naruto” fist fought. Naruto was declared the winner, and they appeared to make out, according to students in the audience. Another student advertised their OnlyFans, a subscription service where people post explicit content, standing ideologically against the preachers.

The demonstrators loudly disagreed with the identities of gay and transgender people. Members of these communities were present. FGCU Gender and Sexuality Alliance Outreach Officer Charlie Pervaza finds the popular dissatisfaction with the preachers to be reassuring to our campus’ queer community.

“Seeing the preachers grow in number is very concerning, considering we’re a PWI in a conservative state. I feel like it will lessen people’s sense of hope,” they said. “I think people banding together against the preachers creates a sense of community and makes people less afraid of the preachers and their beliefs.”