An Ohio Christian has won the right to spread the gospel during an annual bash.
John Williams likes to share his faith to as many people as possible. Williams focused his efforts on what is called the Broad Street Bash in Middletown, Ohio, according to Nate Kellum, chief counsel at the Center for Religious Expression.
“He did that for quite a while, but then he ran into a problem because the organizer of the event simply didn't like his message,” Kellum explains. “He didn't like the fact that he was telling other people about Jesus and thought that might put a damper on what they wanted to do at the festival. And they really presumed that just because they were using part of downtown for their event that they controlled all of downtown.”
According to the attorney, the organizer kicked Williams out of the event even though his activities were legal.
“When the organizer kept him from talking about Jesus by imposing this ban on him, the police decided to enforce it,” Kellum adds. “So the City of Middletown, they weren't just innocent bystanders, they got involved. They particularly said, No, we're not going to let you speak on a public street on this public sidewalk, even though all sorts of messages were being communicated.”
Kellum filed suit based on constitutional protections for religious freedom, and a federal judge has ruled in Williams' favor. He is now back on Broad Street offering his testimony during the Broad Street Bash events.