Called to preach
Farragut duo spread the ‘Good News’ around Town
Aaron Neal and Josiah Lambert, both 20, have been “street-preaching” since last summer “as God and the Holy Spirit leads us,” Neal said.
Armed with a passion for the Lord, a microphone and a speaker system, the pair have been sharing the message of Christ at the Farragut Kroger gas station and the Pilot convenience store along Lovell Road among other locales, including Oak Ridge, downtown Knoxville and on the University of Tennessee campus.
“We rotate around certain areas,” Neal said, noting they are allowed to preach from public domain sidewalks in front of the locations they choose.
“We are dealing with real spiritual warfare,” Neal proclaimed during a recent preaching session. “I am here to tell you to confess — if you truly repent and change and turn away, and you are no longer thinking of doing what you once did, that stuff is gone.”
The pair also offer on-the-spot prayers for anyone who happens by. Two gentlemen stopped specifically for hands-on prayers during a recent sermon along Lovell Road.
“We are not only out here to give people the message, but also to encourage others,” Neal said later in an interview. “The Bible commands us to go and preach the Word of God, in 2 Timothy 4:2: ‘Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke and encourage your people with good teaching.’
“Also in 2 John 1:6: ‘Love means doing what God has commanded us and He has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning,’” he added.
“The main thing I’m trying to get across is Mark 16:15: ‘Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.’”
Neal has been street preaching since last summer, and was later joined by Lambert, who encountered Neal while he was preaching at Walmart, where Lambert was employed.
“We met there, when I was preaching and praying over people, and he came up to me, and I could tell he had the same heartbeat for God that I did,” Neal explained, noting his own public preaching came out of praying “for a stronger relationship with God.”
“I started street preaching on my own because God encouraged me through watching other street preachers on You Tube,” Lambert said.
“God really brought together — we had both been praying for someone to preach with who was our age,” added the former Walmart employee, who attends Christ Covenant Church.
The duo preaches together and separately, and have encountered both positive and negative receptions.
“I have had people tell me to ‘Go away,’ and I had someone throw a rock at me,” Lambert said. “But we are told we will be persecuted for preaching ‘The Good News.’
“I just really try, as much as possible, to show the grace of God,” he added.
As for support, “We have had people give us money, and one sister in Christ came up to me three different times in a row,” Neal said. “She gave me coffee and money, then went back and got some gloves. Then she went to Walmart and got me a big jacket.
“We have really appreciated the support and encouragement,” the young evangelist added.
The pair record their street-side sermons, and also share them on Instagram and Facebook.
“We are here to touch people’s hearts and touch people’s spirit,” Lambert said. “We want everyone to hear God’s law and shine the light in the darkness of our world.”