Christian Week


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The Gospel of Frederick

By Jeff Wesselschmidt


Millions of people each year use the Union Square subway station, and nearly all of them meet Frederick Hines. To many commuters, he is as much a part of the park as the statues and benches. I have only been in the city a short time, but I have probably seen the tall, energetic, African-American man myself dozens of times. I remember the first. I was ascending the stairs with a pack of others, when just as we approached the top, Mr. Hines leapt out and screamed through his megaphone down at us, “Repent or burn in Hell!”

A man in front of me was so startled that he dropped his milk shake. When he complained, Mr. Hines informed him that “Salvation is worth more than a malted.”

While some may question his methods, Frederick Hines reaches a larger audience than 100 average pastors. He began spreading the gospel in 1999 after a Christian homeless shelter and rehabilitation center took him in. Mr. Hines was, up until that point, a crack-addicted male prostitute. He still feels great gratitude towards the facility. “If Good Day hadn’t taken me in, I would probably still be (expletive) dogs at bachelor parties .”

The fact that he was saved from such a harsh background may explain why he goes about spreading the word with such fervor. “I just want to help people, like I was helped.” explained Hines. “That’s why I scream in peoples’ faces and throw Twizzlers at [homosexuals].” He later explained that they are both “twisted fruits”.

Mr. Hines preaches seven days a week, fifteen hours a day. Sometimes when he can get extra money together, he prints up pamphlets and signs depicting aborted fetuses or his pencil drawn renderings of Hell. These are surprisingly good. Albert Einstein is featured prominently (“Jew”, Frederick explains) as is Malcolm in the Middle star Frankie Muniz (?).

At busy commuting times, he often has a thicker crowd gathered around him than any of the artists or merchants hawking their wares. Some people, many not Christian, stop by to watch Mr. Hines nearly every day. He puts on a very entertaining show. In the hour he allows me to observe, he sings, dances, and speaks in tongues. He plans to start his own ministry in the next year and is currently accepting donations. If interested, contact him at 212-689-6337.


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