Chisham Met by LGBT Community, Hostile Crowd at Minnesota State University, Mankato
Mankato, Minn. — Reverend John “the Baptist” Chisham, a man notorious for his visits to Minnesota State University, Mankato, returned to campus Nov. 17.
Reverend Chisham of the River of Life Alliance Church was confronted by a large crowd of MSU students as he and members of his congregation preached on the Minnesota State campus. The MSU LGBT community led the charge in a protest against Chisham’s presence.
Some protesters were confrontational, arguing with and hurling insults towards Chisham and his fellow preachers. Others held signs bearing messages of tolerance towards gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. The obvious disapproval of his presence by students has done nothing to deter the reverend from returning to MSU.
“I like college campuses,” says Chisham. “I actually like the back and forth that goes on, the reasonable discussions that go on, the question and answer time.”
According to Tara Mitchell, a member of the local LGBT community, Chisham’s preaching amounts to little more than hate speech.
Nov. 17 Protest is Latest Chapter in Chisham-LGBT Fued
Mitchell, and other members of the MSU LGBT community held a demonstration during a River of Light Alliance Church service Oct. 17.
During the demonstration, which took place at the Marshall, Minn. YMCA, where the congregation meets, students held signs with pictures and names of gay and lesbian individuals who had committed suicide or were murdered as a result of anti-gay sentiment.
Dimock, a MSU professor who accompanied Mitchell and other students to the protest, is proud students are standing up to what he believes is a message of hate.
“I am incredibly proud of the demonstrators who showed tremendous courage,” says Dimcock. “They went to a small town, far from home and entered into the lion’s den. They were very, very brave.”
The protesters were silent as they held signs. YMCA staff members described the protest as peaceful.
Despite protests from MSU students, Chisham will continue to visit campus. He believes his message needs to be heard, esspecially by the LGBT community.
“I think that part of the LGBT agenda is to silence anybody who would say that their behavior, and that’s what it is, that their behavior is sinful or offensive to god,” says Chisham. “The bad heart manifests in different sinful ways. I think that especially the gay population, is especially offensive because they believe they can love and still transgress God’s law. It’s impossible.”