The man, who has preached against homosexuality outside Affirmations in Ferndale, was taken into custody Friday in Royal Oak, MI
Posted by Leslie Ellis (Editor), June 26, 2013 at 10:56 pm
This article was written by Judy Davids and Leslie Ellis.
A familiar sidewalk preacher faces charges for how he delivers his message.
The man, who has preached against homosexuality on the sidewalk outside Affirmations in Ferndale, was arrested Friday in Royal Oak.
Royal Oak Police confirm the man was arrested near Fourth and Main streets in that city and faces charges of disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace.
Brian Lane, co-owner of Bingo Pet Salon on Fourth Street, said the young preacher uses a microphone to protest against homesexuality. (sic)
“He specifically targets people walking down the street and tries to provoke them,” Lane said. “One time I was walking with my friend’s son and he shouted, ‘Do you want that child to go to hell?’ ”
Preachers and demonstrators are often a part of the sidewalk mix downtown, according Lt. Dave Clemens of the Royal Oak Police.
“It is legal for someone to try to strike up a conversation on the sidewalk,” Clemens said.
But one cannot block the sidewalk, create unreasonable noise or taunt others and create a situation that could lead to a fight, Clemens said.
City Manager April Lynch said the rules are similar in Ferndale.
Ken Fleck’s Report
At 5pm on June 22nd, 2013, I was in downtown Royal Oak, MI preaching on a public street corner (4th and Main St), directly across from Caribou Coffee shop. I had my Holy Bible, amplifying device, and preaching stool with me. After preaching through the Scriptures and proclaiming the Gospel for around 30 minutes as people passed by, two guys on bikes stopped to engage in conversation. They wanted to talk about homosexuality and what my views were on it. I stepped down from my preaching stool to engage with them. Not soon after, a police officer approached me. I shut off my amplifier to talk to the officer. He stated that I was not allowed to use the amplification at all and that I would have to stop using it. I told him that I understood my rights and freedom to be able to use the amplification according to past Case Law (Saia vs New York, Supreme Court ruling that amplification is indispensable for free
speech) and that I would have to continue to use it. The officer then asked for my ID, and I told him I did not have it on me. He proceeded to handcuff me and walk me to his police car. He placed me in the vehicle, looked up my information, and gave me a misdemeanor citation for “Disturbing the Peace”. Then he let me go and told me that if I continued to preach with the amplification he would take me to jail. I decided to preach without the amplification for another 10 minutes on the street corner, before heading out to my next stop.
I then drove to Ferndale, MI which is known for being very pro-homosexual, and preached for a few hours on their main St with my amplification system. A crowd formed at different times throughout the evening as I preached. The police even stopped by a few different times to look on and make sure that there were no incidents, because some people were getting upset with my presence and even making signs to mock me. At one point, someone even threw my preaching stool. Still, the police respected my right to be there even in the midst of opposition and I appreciated that greatly. I also had some good conversations with different people about what the Bible says and was encouraged by a few Christians who had stopped to thank me for being there that night.
At around 10pm, I decided to go back to Royal Oak, because there is a huge bar and club presence there, and God has burdened my heart to preach to the many young people who need to hear the Good News. My heart breaks for these people and I wanted to urge them to turn from their sin and trust in Jesus Christ for their salvation and freedom from sin.
After preaching in front of a few different bars, I proceeded to 5th Avenue Bar, where I have preached in front of multiple times before over the past few years. This particular bar gets huge lines of young people. So It is a great place to share the Good News with these young people and communicate their need to repent of their sin and trust in Jesus.
I preached as I walked up and down the line of people waiting to go into the bar. I talked about sin in general and also spoke clearly about sexual immorality and drunkenness. I urged the young people to consider how they are spending their lives and their money. I talked to them about their need to repent and turn to Jesus who can rescue them from sin and death. I told them that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.
At times, various people in the lines would talk to me about the content of my message. The bouncer told people to not talk to me, and seemed to give an ultimatum that if they talked to me they would be forced to leave the line. As I preached, some mocked, some made fun of me, some were surprised by me, and some also seemed to be thinking about what I was saying.
After around 20 minutes, I started to move on to another bar across the street, when 3 police officers ran up to me and arrested me. I was then brought to the Royal Oak police department to be booked on 2 misdemeanor counts of “Disorderly Conduct” and “Disturbing the Peace”.
The police took my mug shot and fingerprints and assigned me an exorbitant $1000 bond. While in my jail cell, I spent time in prayer and singing hymns. I had asked for my Bible, but the officers refused, saying that their supervisor did not allow it. After 8 hours in jail, I was released at around 8am on Sunday morning.
I have since plead NOT GUILTY and am waiting to see the City Attorney on July 25th to ask that these false charges be dismissed.
Please pray that God would receive all the Glory from this situation and that these charges would be dismissed so that I can continue to preach the Glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ in Royal Oak so that many people can hear the Good News and be saved from their sins and death.
(Editor: Ken Fleck is 35 years old, single and attends a Baptist church in Rosedale, Michigan. He has been saved since he was twenty-three and has been street preaching for four years. He was arrested while preaching in front of the largest Mosque in the State of New Jersey and also on a street corner back east. He is a bold soldier of the Cross. He is hoping to be represented by the Rutherford Foundation who has won past victories in the other incidents. Affirmations is a Non-Profit Organization that caters to homosexuals who need counseling services and other medical aid of sorts. )