Most of the best open air preaching locations are in downtown Raleigh. The suburban areas are virtually barren, so far as pedestrians are concerned.
I am becoming more conscious of the connection between downtown urban areas in cities and the volume of pedestrian activity. This connection is important to make for any strategic open air street preacher. It seems that pedestrian activity increases around 6pm, after the work day is over. Speaking of Dallas, TX, Lori Lively says, “After 6 p.m. pedestrians moving through downtown are assumed to primarily utilize the above ground street network and are therefore observable. Pedestrians were observed on both Saturdays and Sundays” (Pedestrian Corridors in Downtown Dallas, Texas, p. 29). It is important that open air preachers realize the traditional expression “street preacher” is the more popular a phrase, because urban preaching on the street corners in downtown areas is where its usually done most effectively. If a street preacher is an evangelist, then the pedestrians are his congregation: “Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full” (Luke 14:23). SIDEWALKS and ROADSIDES where people are walking: PEDESTRIANS and PEDESTRIAN CROSSINGS!
1. NC State’s “The Brickyard” – Click to fill out the “Outdoor Event/Solicitation Permit Request 1.4” – will need to register your own name as “Client” and email firstname.lastname@example.org for any help.
2. Moore Square – Downtown City Park
3. Moore Square Station – S. Wilmington St. – At nighttime (6pm-1am), the “Busy Bee Cafe” is teeming with people; and there is loitering on the sidewalk.
4. State Capitol – The side facing Fayetteville St.
5. Fayetteville St. – Most of this is good; especially at the street corner of Fayetteville St. & Hargett St. – The clubs at nighttime too; though I hear they are snoody and unresponsive.
5. Wake County Courthouse – Lawyers, convicts, construction workers: mainly a daytime opportunity (11am-5pm).
6. W. Hargett St. & S. Harrington St. – At night, the gay community congregates by the gay bars: “Legends” Nightclub and “313” Nightclub.
7. Raleigh Flea Market – On the NC State Fairgrounds, Saturdays and Sundays. 1025 Blue Ridge Road; In front of the Dorton Arena waterfall fountain; perfect spot; no conflict of interest with merchants; still 50-60 people will congregate there. Security guards with golf carts–they won’t stop you from preaching, so long as you keep it decent and family-friendly.
CHAPEL HILL, NC
1. UNC Chapel Hill’s “The Pit”
2. Orange County Courthouse
3. 114 E. Franklin Street – Lots of Pedestrians!
1. North Carolina Central University (NCCU)
2. Durham County Courthouse