Jim MacPherson, a Christian preacher has been found guilty of disorderly conduct for preaching the Word of God on the streets of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania by Magisterial District Judge, Kathleen Valentine.
Valentine found MacPherson, who said it was his first time to preach on the streets of Bryn Mawr, guilty of disorderly conduct and fined him $450 in costs to obtain a hearing, fines and other court costs.
“God placed a heavy burden on my heart to minister to the lost people who are out in the world, because that’s who I was three years ago,” MacPherson said.
According to MacPherson, their group had set up preaching outside a bar called Kelly’s Taproom, which was usually frequented by students. He went on to say that the music coming from the bar could be heard all the way down the street.
MacPherson continued to say that a police officer approached them and asked them what they were doing. Apparently, the officer seemed confused about the rules of the local noise ordinance and kept checking with his supervisor.
While the officer was confirming the local laws, the group of men had moved across the street to preach. This was when Officer Swain approached the group again and said that they could continue preaching providing that no complaints were made with regards to noise levels.
The group continued to reach out to people for about an hour and a half, then according to MacPherson, Officer Swain returned and told them they had received a complaint from Paul McNabb, a local resident, about the disturbance they were making.
After that, the group moved back across the street and began simply talking to people who were coming in and out of the bar. They had ceased preaching and were simply talking, said MacPherson.
Officer Swain’s supervisor then arrived about 30 minutes later and cited MacPherson for “unreasonable noise” and disorderly conduct, according to MacPherson.
Apparently, when one of the group asked the supervisor why MacPherson had been cited when music was still blaring out from the bar, the supervisor replied “It’s a Saturday night. It’s a liquor establishment, and it’s … the normal business hours for that establishment.”
MacPherson said he will appeal the decision of the court and he would continue to preach the Word of God on the streets.