Evangelist Takes to the Street in Dublin
Every week, on Wednesday or Friday, with Bible in hand, Jimmy Fitz's voice echoes throughout downtown Dublin. Doing what he says he was called to do.
"We got to preach the Gospel and get the word out to the people."
Throughout his six years preaching at the steps of the courthouse, Fitz says some people think of him as crazy.
"They think I've lost my mind," said Fitz. "And I say 'Yeah, I've lost my mind but I have found the mind of Christ.' And that's the most important thing."
When not in the streets. He's at his daytime job. Stacking blocks at Gillman's Building Products in Dudley. Where he continues to preach.
"They think I'm crazy at my job, too," said Fitz. "They think that boy lost it, that boy lost it!"
But some appreciate his work.
"A lot of cars that come by and blow their horns. They say 'Praise the Lord!' And they really mean it," said Fitz.
People like Bennie Abrain, who says more of what Fitz is doing is needed.
"I feel like you supposed to take the word out to the street, because that's what it says in God's word," said Abrain. "A lot of folks ain't going to come to Church. The only way they are going to get the Word is out in the street."
"They sometimes try to force it," said Jason Spann.
Born and raised on the beliefs of Southern African Baptist, Spann says Fitz has the right to practice his first amendment right.
"He's really just acting out his feelings and his thoughts on his religion and a lot of people take that the wrong way," said Spann.
Spann says he's all for faith and religion, but as far as street preaching.
"It's doing something for him. So I guess his motto is if he can reach one, he did his job."
A job Fitz says he will enjoy the rest of his days.
"I pray and shout and glorify the Lord my whole day through, my whole day through."
Many local governments have their own ordinance on street evangelism. Public preaching is legal, unless preaching on private property without permission, using a public PA system and in many places, preaching at night.