Open-air preaching

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Evangelist Ray Comfort open-air preaching at a Great News Network evangelism boot camp in 2004
Street preacher in Los Angeles, California, 1972

Open-air preaching, street preaching, or public preaching is the act of publicly proselytizing a religious message to crowds of people in open places. It is an ancient method of communicating a religious or social message and has been used by many cultures and religious traditions, but today it is usually associated with Evangelical Protestant Christianity.

George Whitefield's outdoor preaching in the 18th century made him a household name in England and Colonial America.

Early Methodist preachers John Wesley and George Whitefield preached in the open air, which allowed them to attract crowds larger than most buildings could accommodate.[1][2]

Motives for open-air preaching include to glorify God and to fulfill the command to preach and make God's Word known.[3][3]

Biblical examples include that of the prophet Jonah, who reluctantly obeys the command of God to go to the city of Nineveh and preach "Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!".[4] Others include Paul's speech to the Athenians in Acts 17.

In an essay written by the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry on the biblical basis for open-air preaching states, "There are many examples of street preaching in the Bible." The following list of biblical open-air preachers is not stated as exhaustive, but is detailed nonetheless.

Noah, Solomon, Ezra, Jeremiah, Jonah, John the Baptist, Jesus Christ, Peter, Paul, Phillip, Apollos.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ JOHN WESLEY.; G. Holden Pike's History of the Great Methodist and His Associates, New York Times
  2. ^ The first Great Awakening, Tony Cauchi, Jamaica Gleaner
  3. ^ a b The Motive for Open-Air Preaching at the Wayback Machine (archived November 13, 2007), American Gospel Missions Inc
  4. ^ Jonah 3:4 KJV
  5. ^ Tony Miano/Matt Slick, "Are There Examples of Street Preaching in the Bible?" Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry

External links[edit]