Main Page


Street Minister's

Letter from the



Application For Membership

On Dealing
With Police


The Acts of The Street Preachers

As Also Saith
The Law

Contact Us

SPF Wins in Federal Courts

JOHNSTOWN, PA- The Street Preachers’ Fellowship won several rounds in various Federal Courts during the months of May and June, which gave the SPF Counsel of Record their first taste of reward for their “work and labour of love, which they have shewed toward God’s name, in that they have ministered to the saints, and do minister” (Hebrew 7:10) in fighting the battles of God in the Courts of Justice. In the last of May, Counsel of Record Randy Wenger walked out of Federal District Court in Detroit, with an Injunction against the City of Monroe, Michigan for violating the Constitutional Rights of the SPF Michigan chapter, in attempting to stop their open air preaching and worship of Jesus Christ in the small city of Monroe. SPF Statewide Director David Ickes, with his pastor Daniel Mack Hardin (SPF Advisor), have preached on the streets of Monroe for many years, Brother Hardin’s street work dating back to 1981 in Monroe. However, in the spring of this year, the city took upon themselves to prevent further preaching, and fined Brother Ickes $5.00 for failing to obtain a permit to do what God has clearly called him to do. That symbolic vain gesture by the Monroe magistrate, landed the City of Monroe in Federal District Court, when SPF Counsel filed suit after their attempts to both instruct the City of Monroe and work a reconcilable agreement to cease their oppressive action failed. The SPF’s customary action in all legal controversies with municipalities and states is first to open correspondence with the offending government, in proffering Constitutional instructions as to what their officials and police officers are doing wrong, and what the SPF recommends to correct the error, in hopes of “softening Pharaoh’s heart”, so that litigation is not necessary.

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge:
but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
-Proverbs 1:7

But as goes the proverb, so went the Fools of Monroe, and the SPF was left with no alternative than to seek a Federal Judge’s instructive power, where instruction is “a rod for the back of him that is void of understanding” (Proverbs 10:13). In issuing the Federal Injunction, the Court set the stage to over turn the Monroe City ordinances in question, that were being used to stop the SPF’s preaching, and sent “the powers that think they be” in Monroe back to Monroe to learn again, that “there is no power but of God” (Romans 13:1), and that local governments are once again, the predominant oppressor that the Bible is aiming at when it warns that “whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation” (Romans 13:2).

One of the duties handed to the SPF Counsel of Record, from the hand of God is to teach this one absolute lesson to anyone that cares to watch and learn, that local governments, police departments and magistrates are not “the higher powers” (Romans 13:1). They are simply “powers” that have that power invested to them from “principalities”, and then legislate that power to “magistrates” (see Titus 3:1). But they are not “the higher powers” for the obvious Biblical mandate which Christians and magistrates oft refuse to remember. Namely, this;

“If thou seest the oppression of the poor,
and the violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province,
marvel not at the matter:
for he that is higher than the highest regardeth;
and there be higher than they
-Ecclesiastes 5:8

The New Testament sits down an unchangeable order called “the ordinance of God” (Romans 13:2), whereby God “ordained” (vs. 1) the distribution of “all power…in heaven and in earth” (Matthew 28:18). The powers of the kingdom of heaven are not without Biblically mandated order. That order is very clear in the Bible. Jesus Christ clearly stated at the close of the gospels that, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matthew 28:18). Accordingly, Jesus Christ is forever now “the head of all principality and power” (Colossians 2:10), which he “uphold[eth]…by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3). God Almighty’s regulatory power over all other principalities and powers is wrought “in Christ, when God raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come” (Ephesians 1:19, 20). The ordinance of that power, which the Bible calls “the ordinances of justice” (Isaiah 58:2), are distributed in Biblically mandated levels of supremacy that no man can change. Jesus Christ is “the head of all principality and power” (Colossians 2:10). Below him are “the ordinances of heaven” (Jeremiah 33:35) that have “the dominion thereof set in the earth” (Job 38:33), which ruling order thereof includes “the ordinances of the moon and of the stars” (Jeremiah 31:35), called in the Old Testament “the host of heaven” (Deuteronomy 4:19), “angels” (Genesis 32:1,2), and “gods” (Deuteronomy 17:3), of which God spake in the Psalms;

“GOD standeth in the congregation of the mighty;
he judgeth among the gods…
I have said, Ye are gods;
and all of you are children of the most High.
But ye shall die like men,
and fall like one of the princes.”
-Psalm 82:1, 6, 7

Below these, certain powers over the kingdoms of this world are delivered unto Satan (see Luke 4:5, 6) as “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4). He is called “the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2), and below him are kings, princes, dominions, governors, judges and magistrates, in that descending order (see 1 Timothy 2:2/ Matthew 20:25, 1 Corinthians 2:6-8/ Colossians 1:16, Ephesians 1:21, Jude 8/Matthew 10:18, 1 Peter 2:14/ Acts 13:20, Matthew 5:25, Luke 18:2-6/ Luke 12:58, Acts 16:20-22, Titus 3:1). Below this group are “them that are sent by them” (1 Peter 2:14), inclusive of police, marshals and agents. Their level of authority is measured by expressed Biblical mandate as to whether their authority is vested to them as a matter of “principality…power…might…dominion, [or]…name” (Ephesians 1:21). Some levels of the ruling class personages fail to recognize the difference between “power” and “authority”. In the Bible, the descending “order”, as mentioned above descends as follows.

1. Jesus Christ as Head of all principality and power (Colossians 2:10).
2. Principalities (Ephesians 1:21, 6:12).
3. Powers (ibid.).
4. Rulers of the darkness of this world (Ephesians 6:12).
5. Spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12).
6. Men of “might” (Ephesians 1:21), called “the mighty” (Judges 5:13-23/ Psalm 82:1).
7. Dominions (Ephesians 1:21/ Daniel 7:27/ Colossians 1:16).
8. Judges (Acts 13:20/ Matthew 5:25/ Luke 18:2-6).
9. Magistrates (Luke 12:58/ Acts 16:20-22/ Titus 3:1).
10. “Them that are sent by them” (1 Peter 2:14).

The Street Preachers, as with all the saints, are commanded of Jesus Christ, as the Head of “all principalities and powers”, to wrestle spiritually with Numbers 2 through 5, in God’s name. Street Preachers only deal physically with the last three who fall within the scope of those “that are in authority” (1 Timothy 2:2), namely, police officers, city attorneys and occasionally magistrates. These have limited authority in the name of the “dominion” that is above them, of whom they serve under regulatory authority. They are authorized by a high “author-ity”, to act in the name of that authority. Hence, they act in the name of the City of Indianapolis, Monroe, York, the State of Louisiana, etc. Howbeit, from the hand of God, the SPF Counsel of Record have the task of teaching those men on the bottom, whether he be policeman, prosecuting attorney, mayor or magistrate that they are not “the higher powers” by reason that “there by higher than they” (Ecclesiastes 5:8). This they do by dragging them before the “Judges” and “Dominions” (No. 7 & 8) that are over them, who under the “ordinances” of God’s law (Romans 13:1-6), regulate the authority of the men on the bottom.

And so it came to pass in Street Preachers’ Fellowship vs. THE CITY OF MONROE, MICHIGAN, 04-70170 before the Honorable Bernard A. Freidman in the United States District Court for The Eastern District of Michigan. And so it came likewise to pass in other Federal Courts during the month of June, where the SPF, through its outstanding Counsel of Record fought to protect the Constitutional Rights of its members to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ freely throughout the streets and lanes of America.

On May 27, 2004, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago agreed with the SPF, concerning last year’s arrest of four of its members at the Indy 500 Parade in downtown Indianapolis, that the City Police could not prohibit SPF members from standing and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ along the parade route, nor could the City prohibit them from displaying banners and passing out gospel tracts to persons attending the parade. Four SPF members, including the Director were arrested last year at the Indy 500 parade, and jailed for 12 hours, only to have the charges dropped by the City Attorney’s office the next month. In petitioning the Federal District Court in Indianapolis for a Temporary Restraining Order, the Federal District Judge granted a TRO enjoining the City from stopping the SPF from passing out gospel literature, but refused to grant protection for the preaching of the gospel, or displaying banners. Taking an emergency appeal to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, Chief Counsel Leonard Brown, III petitioned the court to over turn the Federal District Court’s ruling. With the Appellate Court remaining unusually silent, and not setting any oral arguments, both the Counsel and the Director were apprehensive about what the 7th Circuit intended. However, to their ever rejoicing, the Appellate Court issued an Injunction against the City late Thursday evening, prior to the Indy 500 weekend, ruling in part,

“Response to Appellants' motion to expedite appeal. The appellees are ENJOINED from excluding the appellants from stationary preaching and the display of banners within the boundaries of the 500 Festival Parade…”

Under such, the SPF again traveled to Indianapolis bringing 30 preachers to “do as ever they had done”, in preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ (see SPF returns to Indy). With the Injunction in hand, the SPF preachers from Michigan, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania stood all along the parade route and preached the word of God, displayed their scripture banners, and distributed the gospel literature freely. With this victory, the Counsel of Record filed an additional appeal and request for clarification before the 7th Circuit to further correct the Federal District Court’s opinion, prior to trial, which should take place in 2005.

Not leaving well enough alone, the Lord did even more wondrously, with the Federal District Court for The Middle District of Pennsylvania ruling on Thursday, June 10th, that the “individual officers” of the City of York violated the Constitutional rights of SPF members at the 2002 York City Halloween parade. In that ruling, the Honorable Judge Sylvia Rambo wrote the best Federal Ruling thus far, in behalf of Open Air preaching. In regards to the Free Exercise of Religion, the Court found in behalf of the SPF that,

“The Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment provides that “Congress shall make no law…prohibiting the free exercise [of religion].” U.S. Const. amend. I. As the Supreme Court noted, this clause means that individuals have the right to profess and believe whatever religious beliefs they desire. See Employment Div., Dep’t of Oregon Human Res. V. Smith, 494 U.S. 872, 877 (1990) (“The free exercise of religion means, first and foremost, the right to believe and profess whatever religious doctrine one desires.”) The “free exercise of religion” means more, however, than the protection of belief and profession of that belief.

[T]he “exercise of religion” often involves not only belief and profession but the performance of (or abstention from) physical acts: assembling with others for a worship service, participating in the sacramental use of wine and bread, proselytizing...”

In making the ruling in behalf of the Street Preachers, Federal District Judge Rambo wrote for the Court, “the government may not burden conduct motivated by a sincerely held religious belief unless the government acts by the least restrictive means to further a compelling state interest. Sherbert v. Verner, 374 U.S. 398, 403-07 (1963)”. Additionally, the Federal Court ruled that, “the undisputed facts demonstrate that Defendants’ decision to prohibit Plaintiffs from carrying pictorial signs and the later confiscation of those signs was a content-based restriction of Plaintiff’s free speech rights…It is also undisputed that Plaintiff’s sincerely held religious beliefs compel them to preach publicly ‘in order to make the public aware of sin, including the sin of Halloween and of abortion. Given this background and the fact that Defendants do not dispute the Plaintiffs’ actions were motivated by their sincerely held religious beliefs, the court finds that Defendants’ actions violated Plaintiffs First Amendment free exercise rights.”

Concerning the Street Preachers’ right to assemble in numbers upon the sidewalk, the Court ruled, “as the Supreme Court has more than once recognized by remarking upon the close nexus between the freedoms of speech and assembly, effective advocacy of both public and private points of view, particularly controversial ones, is undeniably enhanced by group association. See Thomas v. Collins, 323 U.S. 516, 530 (1945); DeJonge v. Oregon, 299 U.S. 353, 364 (1937). The close nexus between these rights is also evidenced by the fact that an individual’s freedom to engage in association for the advancement of beliefs and ideas is an inseparable aspect of the “liberty” assured by the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which embraces freedom of speech. See Alabama ex rel. Patterson, 357 U.S. at 460-61. Here the two can’t be separated. By confiscating Plaintiff’s pictorial signs, the Individual Defendants deprived Plaintiffs of their most effective speech and effectively prohibited Plaintiffs from gathering to deliver their message opposing abortion.”

In so ruling, the Court with one swoop, denied the individual officers any qualified immunity from prosecution, saying, “Again, the undisputed facts demonstrate that a reasonable police officer would have know that confiscating Plaintiffs’ signs was not the most narrowly tailored manner of handling the hostilities that occurred between Plaintiffs and the crowd. A reasonable police officer also would have known, given that Plaintiffs were on a public street, that doing so would violate Plaintiffs’ rights to free assembly and effectively communicate their message. Finally, a reasonable police officer would have known, given that many of the Plaintiffs’ other signs contained scriptural exhortations and that Plaintiff Grove introduced himself as Reverend, that Plaintiffs were acting out of their sincerely held religious beliefs and that confiscating Plaintiffs’ signs would violate Plaintiffs’ free exercise rights…Consequently, the Individual Defendants are not entitled to qualified immunity.”
Accordingly, it is becoming ever so clear, that the hand of God is manifesting itself in behalf of His Son Jesus Christ, and the Open Air Preaching of His word, in the SPF’s “striving against sin” (Hebrews 12:4). The SPF has on its Leadership Cabinet six (6) Christian attorneys as the Fellowship’s General Counsel of Record, who are the definitive “go-to” Constitutional attorneys for Open Air Preaching. The SPF provides free legal representation to all of its members. And as each case makes its way before the “higher powers”, the goals of the SPF founders are increasingly being reached in building a clear, and quickly recognized Legal standing before the highest courts of this land in both the acknowledgement and protection of Open Air Street Preaching, and public obedience to the command of Jesus Christ to “go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).
“Bring Zenas the lawyer…”
- Titus 3:13