As Rock Hill’s eighth annual ChristmasVille festival got underway Thursday night, three out-of-state street preachers lined East Main Street across from the City Club professing their faith.
During the Lighting of the Village, the trio loudly shouted bible verses while wielding poster-board sized signs quoting the New Testament Books of John and Acts.
The shouting could be heard from inside the event venue.
“Some people are not pleased with us, other people are very thankful that we’re out here,” said Jim MacPhearson, 25, of Philadelphia, Penn. “At the end of the day, we are not out here to please someone or make them angry…We’re out here to preach the Gospel.”
Rock Hill Police Lt. Brad Redfearn, one of several officers on duty during the event Thursday night, did not consider the men to be protesters. The individuals were not arrested nor were they asked to leave the premises.
The three stood on a public sidewalk in front of the former Woolworth’s lunch counter and later explained to WRHI they heard the festival would draw a crowd.
“We come out here to fish men,” MacPhearson said.
The three plan to be visible during the festival “at least” through Saturday.