Our First Amendment Rights

On this page, you will find resources to help you understand your Constitutional Rights as an open air preacher/street evangelist, as well as help you stand up for your rights. Too many times today, open air preachers have encounters with unlawful cops. We need to stand up for our rights while we still have them!

Attention, if you are having problems with your 1st Amendment Rights being infringed upon in your area, please contact the Alliance Defense Fund. They may be able to help you out. They are our lawyers when it comes to defending our 1st Amendment Rights.


Open Air Preaching Rights- It is always good to know what your legal rights are before you go out and Open Air preach.  You may even want to carry a copy of your rights on you.  Even some well-meaning police officers don't know what the Law says about this issue.

Should I Get Arrested?- This is from the Alliance Defense Fund - What does a 1st Amendment Lawyer think about open air preachers getting arrested?

Dealing With Police- This artilce has some good, practical tips when it comes to dealing with the police. This is inevitable with the open air preacher, so it is a MUST READ.

Supreme Court Rulings- A list of rulings from the Supreme Court of the U.S. on street preaching and public speech in general.


In the audio files below, Kerrigan Skelly is speaking to a group of Evangelists about their First Amendment Rights before they hit the streets. The city they are about to go out and evangelize in has had lots of problems concerning First Amendment Rights lately (at the time he is speaking).

Part 1        Part 2


Below, you can watch some videos of Kerrigan Skelly and other evangelists in some of their encounters with the police and other authorities.

Arrested In Front of "Prosperity Gospel" Church- Kerrigan Skelly four other friends were concerned for the people who are deceived by word-faith and prosperity Gospel preachers. So, they decided to reach out to them. They ended up getting unlawfully arrested.

Artsplosure Festival- Festival organizers and police try to unlawfully kick Kerrigan Skelly and Jesse off of public property. They weren't even preaching. The organizers were even willing to be unlawful just to make them go away.

Taste of Charlotte- Kerrigan Skelly and friends get kicked out of a public event that was held on public property because the organizers didn't like them or their message.

Fayetteville After Five- During the Summer, Fayetteville, NC has a free concert on the 3rd Thursday of every month. Watch as Kerrigan Skelly, Jesse and John deal with a security guard, a concert organizer and two police. They were unlawfully kicked off and threatened with trespass on PUBLIC PROPERTY!

Wake County Technical Community College- Kerrigan Skelly two friends did all that was asked of them and required of them by the college. In the end, they were kicked off of the campus for an unlawful reason. Watch the whole situation from beginning to end as they deal with violent students, irrational and emotional admin and security and ignorant cops. Kerrigan and friends eventually won this battle in court with the help of the Alliance Defense Fund. Wake Tech paid ADF $15,000 in lawyer's fees, paid each preacher $1 (proves we aren't "in this for the money") and changed their policies significantly.

Kentucky State University- Kerrigan Skelly and others are seen here, dealing with the security and admin on Kentucky State University. They wanted them to go preach where there were no people to preach to. Kerrigan Skelly and company refused to do so.

Fairborn, OH Sweet Corn Festival- Kerrigan Skelly and friends are seen here, dealing with the police and festival organizers. They told them that they couldn't pass out tracts, wear sandwich boards, talk to people about Christ or open air preach. Eventually, this was dealt with through a lawsuit and Kerrigan Skelly and company won. Watch the video to find out the details.

The Security and Officials of Brimstone Arena in Nashville, TN- Kerrigan Skelly, and Tracy Bays are seen here, dealing with the security (sometimes they are off duty police) and officials of Brimstone Arena in Nashville, TN. Kerrigan Skelly and Tracy are told that they are not allowed to preach near the doors of the arena, even though the arena is publicly subsidized. They are threatened by the arena security and officials many times. Kerrigan Skelly and Tracy "call their bluff" though. Watch the video to find out what happens.

Preacher Mugged by Security and Off-Duty Police!- Kerrigan Skelly is physically harassed by the security of Brimstone Arena in Nashville, TN, as well as by off-duty police, who are working for Brimstone Arena. A discussion ensues, with Brimstone Arena officials, as well as on-duty police offices. They are told that they can't use amplification and that they can't use their cameras. They call their bluff again and do all of those things, anyway. Watch the video to find out what happens.

Violent, Angry and Intolerant Homosexuals- Kerrigan Skelly and friends went to the 2103 Sodomite Shame Parade in Louisville, KY. See for yourself, just how violent, angry, unaccepting and intolerant Homosexuals are, of the Biblical message. The cops protected us for most of the time, but once they "ditched" us, we were violently attacked. We also had our possessions stolen and destroyed.