Infamous “Preacher Man” returns to TAMU-CC

TAMU-CC students crowd around Brother Matt at the Hector P. Garcia Plaza on February 9, 2022.

Brother Matt, an ordained preacher from Florida, returned to the Hector P. Garcia Plaza at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi yesterday to “preach the gospel and bring the truth to a dark campus here to call sinners to repent.”

Students crowded and began protesting against Brother Matt while walking and leaving classes. Many students expressed concern about the university allowing Brother Matt to come and spread his beliefs to college students.
Kristin Gutierrez, a junior psychology major, said “I think what’s going on is horrible. I think the university allowing a person who is yelling hate speech at our students is an atrocious thing, and I think they need to uphold the mission statement that it has on its website and not allow people like this to promote hate speech. There’s a difference between hate speech and free speech, and I think someone that’s yelling racial slurs at Black students and our LGBTQ students and immigrants should not be allowed on campus.” Gutierrez continued by expressing concern for students who come to campus as a form of escape and have to “deal with this.” 

John LaRue, Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer at TAMU-CC, states that everyone, including Brother Matt, are protected by the First Amendment “especially when in a public forum, such as the Hector P. Garcia Plaza, you can engage in expressive activity.”

As Brother Matt and students continued to project back and forth, some students felt neutral to the issues at hand. Senior psychology major Ashley Salinas said “It’s entertaining, but they’re going about it the wrong way. Most of the people here are going about it the wrong way. He’s being rude to all of us, but you know, we’re kind of doing the same to him. We’re not respecting his beliefs, and he’s not respecting ours.”

A few Chi Alpha campus ministry members stood beside Brother Matt in his message such as Liliana Villarreal, a sophomore psychology major, who stated that although she didn’t agree with his method of preaching, she aligned with his views.

Monroe Verette, a freshman theatre major, holds a sex toy while topless in protest to Brother Matt’s message. (Kenya Zarate)

Most students wanted to spread a counter-message to what Brother Matt was preaching such as freshman theater major Monroe Verette, who walked with her breasts exposed in front of Brother Matt and the crowd. Verette stated, “He’s saying actual hurtful, harmful things to not only my community, but many others. He is just spreading hate, misogyny, literally pedophilia, and the campus is just allowing him to stay here, so we’re out here protesting to get him to leave.”

Carter Bakewell, a freshman mathematics major, waved around a flag that read “There’s some whores in this house,” which references Cardi B’s WAP song. 

Bakewell stated that “It’s a little strange that he would come here to spread his hate. I don’t really appreciate it, so it would be an effective counter to come out here to spread my own message.” 

TAMU-CC UPD officers surrounded Brother Matt as they saw and heard students honing in on him to counteract his speeches, ensuring that neither party got hurt and things didn’t turn violent. Brother Matt communicates that he is against feminism and abortion because it strays away from the Bible.