David, 30, who asked that his last name not be printed, has been spreading his religious values in the Pit every Thursday afternoon for the past four weeks.
“I believe that God is the almighty God, that God says two things: Love the lord your God with all your might, all your soul and all your mind,” David said.
“And God says give the gospel to every tribe, nation and tongue and so that means giving the gospel, given the great commission.”
David said he was inspired by a fellow preacher years before he began to do the job himself.
“I went to school at San Diego State (University) and I heard a street preacher and eight years later, I remember the words that street preacher said and it impacted my life,” David said. “So I genuinely have a heart for people and they need to hear the gospel so I’m here following God’s two commandments.”
David said he supports multiple branches of Christianity. He said even thought he belongs to a Baptist church, he maintains his own beliefs and it’s a good fit for him.
“I’m not here to push any brand of Christianity,” he said. “I’m just a part of the big ‘capital C’ Church, as in followers of Christ.”
David said he preaches at N.C. State University, too, but UNC students ask more questions, which he enjoys.
Students have noticed some major differences between David and Birdsong. Sophomore Chris Cannady said this is the second time he has seen David on campus.
“I would say Gary preaches a more finger-pointing God, while this man here preaches a more, like, father-figure-who-hugs-and-embraces-his-children God,” Cannady said. “One that doesn’t say, one that doesn’t, you know, whip his servants, but one that welcomes.”
Cannady said Birdsong preaches a harsher kind of Christianity than David — a style that he has mixed feelings about.
“I like listening to Gary, but I can only stand him for like five minutes at a time,” Cannady said. “I like listening to him because, you know, I mean, he’s like an old hateful guy that, you know, sometimes make me laugh but sometimes makes me cringe.”
First-year Keenan Cromshaw said he also feels that Birdsong can’t be taken as seriously.
“Gary is just like comedy, but [David]’s cool.”
David said he has yet to meet Birdsong.
“I’ve heard a lot about him, so I can’t speak directly, but from what I’ve heard, is that he speaks fire-and-brimstone,” David said.
“Is fire-and-brimstone wrong? No. Do I think it’s the right method? No.”