Repent and Turn Ministries

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Kentucky Derby May 2012
Kentucky Oaks / Kentucky Derby Outreach

Churchhill Downs
Louisville, Kentucky

May 2 - 4, 2013


I was blessed to be part of group from Sports Fan Outreach International to go to the Kentucky Oaks (May 3rd) and Kentucky Derby (May 4th) at Churchhill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.  We were preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, witnessing one to one with folks and passing out gospel tracts.  

Greg Marlin (with Born of Him Ministries) and I departed Springfield, Missouri and arrived early Thursday evening, May 2nd, in Louisville, Kentucky at the campground we were staying.  We found a room and unloaded our gear, then went out to eat at a local Mexican restaurant.  Here is the place where Greg and I stayed, as well as several other men.  There were several houses.  It was nice and secluded. 

The training classes began at 6:00pm back at the camp.  We heard from Dr. Timothy Beogher (Professor of Evangelism & Church growth at Southern Seminary) and Toni Miano (A full-time itinerant evengelist, who served as Living Waters’ Director of the Ambassadors’ Alliance, he also wrote and co-hosted almost 400 episodes of Living Waters’ web-based program, “On the Box, with Ray Comfort."  Tony currently hosts "Cross Encounters", a live, fast-paced, and informative show about theology, evangelism, and current events.

On Friday, May 3rd, we met at 6:00am-6:45am for group prayer before beginning our day.  There were 37 of us going to be a witness for Christ at the Kentucky Oaks this day.  We split into three groups and decided who would ride together to the track.  

After arriving, Bill Adams, who is the leader of the ministry, Sports Fan Outreach International, has been taking the gospel to major sports events all over the world, decided where we would set up our preaching stations.  Two stations set up on the same road, one across from the gate at back of Churchill Downs and one down the road a short way.  

Our group went around the corner and down the road to the stop light and set up our preaching station there.  Bobby McCreery, a full-time street preacher with "To The End Of The Earth" ministries was our team leader.  I thank God for Bobby.  He was very patient with everyone and had some good preaching tips for us.  He led our team wisely during this time.  It was a wild time, as there were so many God-hating, blaspheming, cursing, angry people who were very aggressive towards us the entire time.  

We set up at a stop light, where the police and military police were directing traffic.  The sidewalks had gates on one side, keeping the crowds walking on the sidewalk.  People were stopped at the light for a good amount of time waiting to cross the street.  We set up Greg's "Half-Mile Hailer" amplified speaker and began preaching.  We grabbed their attention as people walked up to the stoplight and while while they were waiting to cross the intersection.  

I've been to many different locations to preach the gospel over the years.  I was expecting the Kentucky Oaks / Kentucky Derby to have middle to upper class people attending, dressed up, who would walk by and listen some, try to ignore us primarily, and keep moving.  Most were middle to upper class people attending, who were dressed up in fancy suits, dresses and the infamous hats the ladies wear to this event.  All ages were present - young college age, middle age and older folks.  

What I didn't necessarily expect, though, was the aggressive, anti-God, blaspheming, cursing, in-our-face, vile shout-outs and comments these same people would be spewing towards us because we were preaching the Gospel.  So many were drunk and out to have a "good time".  They began drinking early in the day. 

Brad open air preaching

On Friday, when we were set up at this stoplight, it didn't rain.  We had a great day of preaching the Gospel, getting into some good one to one witnessing conversations and passing out Gospel tracts.  Normally, the majority of people will take a Gospel tract at an event, however at this event, out of 25 or 35 people, maybe only one person would accept a tract.  

A college age man came up to me and asked if we are going to tell him that he is going to hell like the guy told him last year.  I got into a good witnessing conversation with him.  I asked him if he was a Christian.  He said he was, then he told me that he drinks, gets drunk and parties a lot.  He asked me if I thought he was a Christian.  I told him, "No, I don't believe you are a Christian".  He asked me why I thought that.  

I told him that the Bible says when we are born-again we are a new creation, and the Bible says we will know them by their fruits.  The fruit in his life shows that he is living in sin and doesn't have a relationship with Jesus.  Jesus said, "He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”  John 14:21  Of course he didn't like what I told him, but I pray it makes him think about his relationship with God.  

We weren't the only Christians proclaiming the Gospel at this event, as there were different groups set up around on the sides of the street.  It's great to see so many preaching the Good News.  

There were so many people who showed up to watch the horse races.  

There were Christians in place to pass out gospel tracts to those arriving.

On the first day, we had the amplified speakers set up so they would project the preaching to those who walked up the sidewalk and then had to stand at the stoplight to cross.  Each person was able to hear the Gospel message or some of the Word of God.  

One of the men who attended, Fritz, brough his two young teenage boys.  They were passing out gospel tracts and even stepped up on the box to read the Bible in public - and even they were harrassed by people passing by at times.  

Jason was another young man who attended the event.  He is very easy going and was able to mingle in the crowd with the wireless mic on and pass out gospel tracts and talk to folks as he was open air preaching.  When the crowds became too aggressive, he had to stop doing this, as he would become surrounded by people yelling at him.  

The next day, we set up right across from the back gate.  It was pouring rain all day long.  We still preached and got into some good one-to-one witnessing conversations.  Like the day before, the crowds were God-haters, and many of them yelled obscenities and performed lewd acts around us, as well as walking up to us and tried to intimidate the preacher.  However, we stood beside the one preaching, and backed the person away from the preacher. 

Elijah has small portable speaker he used when he open air preached.  He did a great job.

This was Ricky's first time to open air preach, but you wouldn't have been able to tell it. 

Greg got into some really good one-to-one witnessing conversations and passing out gospel tracts, as well as open air preaching. 

Tony Miano with the cross.

I had a great time being a witness for the Lord at the Kentucky Oaks / Kentucky Derby.  I am blessed to have been able to attend, as well as meet so many wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ.  I will keep in contact with them.  I pray the people we came in to contact with this weekend are convicted by the Word of God they heard and the Gospel tracts they received. 

In Christ,

Brad St. Clair

P.S. There are a lot of pictures below from the event.  It may take a while for them all to load.  If you would rather, Click On This Link to see them