An evangelist is suing the city of Greensboro, North Carolina, after he was kicked out of a public park for preaching the Gospel.
A complaint was filed in federal court last week by Rodney Keister, the founder of the Pennsylvania-based nonprofit Evangelism Mission. The group is devoted to “sharing the Christian faith in open public areas throughout the country.”
The complaint claims that Keister was evangelizing, handing out Christian tracts and singing worship songs with his daughter at LeBauer Park in Greensboro last September. They were approached by a park official and asked if they had the required permits to engage in the activity.
When they said they did not have permits, they were told they were violating park rules and ordered to leave the premises. According to the legal document, Keister and his daughter were told that LeBauer Park was a privately managed park that was city-owned.
The park’s rules expressly prohibit “prolonged or disruptive loitering” as well as “disruption of the peace” or “any other negative behavior.” The rules also ban the distribution and posting of “flyers or other marketing materials and solicitations of any kind” unless permitted by Greensboro Downtown Parks Inc.
GDPI is a private company that partners with the city to operate LeBauer Park and Center City Park, two privately built facilities gifted to the city.
The park consists of three cafes, a 17,000-square foot event venue, a playground, a dog park, 1 acre of ornamental gardens as well as other amenities.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith