Students react to born-again preacher

“You, sir, are the anti-christ!” student James Randolph shouted as he looked upon Paul Mitchell, the Cornerstone Ministries’ preacher. Mitchell was orating to a group of onlookers in front of the Martin Luther King Building on the afternoon of Sept 25.

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By Matthew D. Gilford & Daniel Segraves

By Matthew D. Gilford & Daniel Segraves

“You, sir, are the anti-christ!” student James Randolph shouted as he looked upon Paul Mitchell, the Cornerstone Ministries’ preacher.

Mitchell was orating to a group of onlookers in front of the Martin Luther King Building on the afternoon of Sept 25.

At 64 years old, Mitchell is a born-again Christian and former industrial fireman.

Mitchell has been on the Riverside City College campus on at least three previous occasions, at least two of which became lively and heated.

Mitchell said that his goal in returning to RCC is “to preach to college students while they are still malleable.” He added that most of RCC’s students are “right out of high school.”

When asked if his demonstrations ever turned violent, Mitchell responded by saying that “sometimes it gets cooking.”

During the demonstration, student Wesley Hackenberg characterized Mitchell as brave. During one of Mitchell’s previous visits, a student tore a religious-themed sign from his hands and broke it in half.

At a Long Beach college, Mitchell was arrested and charged with what he described as trespassing and unruly behavior. Mitchell admitted that he was on probation until August.

One uniformed Riverside Police Sgt. Jack Kohlmeier monitored the scene, in front of the MLK building, from a short distance. He said that his purpose for attending was for safety’s sake, and to ensure that Mitchell’s right to speak in public was protected.

Mitchell went on to say that college is a place of exploration and learning, and that therefore people’s minds tend to be more open to his religion.

Bobby Perkins, an RCC student, said that Mitchell should accept the fact that “people around here won’t change no matter what he says.”

Scott Hohmann, an onlooker, said that most kids would misunderstand Mitchell. “He’s just a guy who’s worried about what students are learning,” he said.

Mitchell’s shouting echoed Hohmann’s opinion, and more.

“You are becoming something that God wants to get rid of!” shouted Mitchell to students during his hour-long demonstration. He continued, “9/11 was chump change, it was only a couple of thousand people.”

Jamie Brunheimer, a cancer survivor, said that she is “definitely a supporter,” and that “if it wasn’t for God, I wouldn’t be here today.”

When asked if she supported Mitchell’s methods she replied, “I’m really not sure.”

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