Christian preachers return to campus

Navigate Left
Navigate Right
Navigate Left
Navigate Right

Star Diavolikis and Stephen Martin

This report involves details that could be upsetting for some readers.

Keith Darrell and Anders Clark, two Christian men, visited CWU’s Ellensburg campus on Sept. 28 to share their message that students need to embrace God, and that LGBTQ lifestyles are an “unforgivable” sin.

Darrell and Clark stood outside the SURC in the afternoon for several hours, yelling and speaking to students about Christianity’s importance to everyday life. While preaching, Darrell said he felt no remorse for those in the LGBTQ community.

“If all of them [LGBTQ persons] killed themselves, I wouldn’t cry for them, I wouldn’t shed a tear,” Darrell said.

Darrell is known for hosting “street sermons” on college campuses across multiple states. According to The Arbiter, Boise State University’s student newspaper, Darrell was arrested earlier this month with the charge of “resisting or obstructing of officers” on the Boise State campus during one of these events.

Darrell suggested that homosexuality is a choice, drawing a parallel to actions like owning slaves, being a Nazi during the Holocaust and being a pedophile.

Darrell said students should be ashamed of themselves for not knowing better at a higher education level, and also said students were “obsessed with homosexuality.” 

Darrell was approached and declined to comment.

Clark, a Ministry Intern with Memorial Bible Church of Yakima according to his Facebook profile, took over in talking when Darrell was finished. Clark had individual discussions with students on the concept of Christianity being dogmatic, and told students he hopes they could all become one with Christianity. Clark’s words did not focus on verbally yelling at observers and attempted to engage in conversation.

The crowd that formed around Darrell and Clark had next to no amount of students supporting them, rather, were protesting their presence. Students ran to purchase poster boards and markers for students to make posters on site, and argued and debated with the men.

“It wasn’t an issue for me when I walked by the first time,” student Briley Mathany said. “[I] didn’t know it was homophobic.” 

Mathany was one of the students who got poster boards and encouraged others to make posters to hold up against them.

Mathany said that Darrell preached “your sexuality is dehumanizing.” Mathany said she was so moved by this event, it made her come out as bisexual to her mother.

Taylor Roice participated in a conversation with Darrell, however after an abrupt end to the conversation, Darrell was seen walking away from Roice any time Roice approached him. When asked, Roice said the reasoning Darrell was avoiding him was because of the question he proposed.

Roice said he explained to Darrell those in LGBTQ relationships do it “out of an act of love and compassion for another human,” and Darrell rebutted with, “Pedophiles could say the same.” 

Roice questioned Darrell if he didn’t understand the difference between two consenting adults and one adult and one child in a relationship. Roice said Darrell proceeded to quickly walk away without a word.

Student Ronnie Burris witnessed a lot of the words said by Darrell when he started his “street-sermon”, including direct insults to students. 

“He called our student body president, Madeline Koval, a whore,” Burris said. “He called her a stupid bitch. He called so many other students on campus a whore.”

CWU police officer Eric Twaites was one of the few officers monitoring the protest.

“It’s just a person expressing their freedom of speech, they’re allowed to do it through the Constitution and we embrace it and we allow people to do it,” Twaites said. “We just want to make sure that everyone is acting in a safe manner and that nobody gets hurt – they’re allowed to voice their opinions. That’s what we’re here to do, is keep the peace.”


This story has been updated to reflect three clarifications from Keith Darrell, including the exact start time of the event, his level of education and his affiliation with the Whitman Fellowship, which The Observer published based on information found online. In two other cases, we made minor changes to the wording. These involved changing the words ‘free will’ to ‘choice’ and ‘focused’ to ‘had individual discussions.’