Download PDF

Jesus saves on Jasper

Meet the dedicated street preacher who is
trying to save our souls in the downtown

Street preacher Dale spreads the word to Edmontonians at the corner of 109th And Jasper.

By Ethan LaPerle

IHAVE HAD people yell at me and tell me to shut up,” says the street preacher on Jasper Avenue, with his sign and megaphone. “But I know that I’m doing what God has called me to do.

“And I can’t worry about what other people think.”

Dale, who asked that his last name be withheld, is a well known figure in Edmonton. Most days, he can be heard on a busy street corner somewhere in the city, preaching about the bible and urging passersby to repent. His approach is controversial, and he has been the subject of both admiration and criticism.

Born and raised in Edmonton, Dale grew up attending a Baptist church with his family. He says he was always drawn to the church and felt a strong connection to God from a young age. However, it wasn’t until he was in his early 20s that he felt called upon to become a street preacher.

“I was walking through downtown Edmonton one day and saw a group of people gathered around a street preacher. I felt this overwhelming urge to go over and listen. As I stood there, I felt God speaking to me and telling me that this was what I was meant to do.”

From that day, Dale began preaching on the streets of Edmonton. At first, he says, he was nervous and unsure of himself, but with time and practice, he grew more confident in his message and delivery.

Dale’s preaching style is not for the faint of heart. He uses a loudspeaker and can be heard from blocks away. He yells and gesticulates, urging people to repent and turn to God. Dale’s sermons are not limited to Sundays; he preaches every day, rain or shine, in several spots around town.

However, Dale’s methods are not without controversy. Some people find his preaching aggressive and off-putting. They say he is forcing his beliefs on them and that his approach is counter-productive. Others have raised concerns about the impact of his preaching on vulnerable people, such as the homeless or those struggling with mental-health issues.

‘Hearing my message
gave them hope’

Dale has had several run-ins with the law over the years. In 2017, he was charged with disturbing the peace, after preaching on a busy street corner during rush hour. The charges were later dropped, but the incident sparked a debate about freedom of speech and public nuisance. Dale argues that he has the right to preach on public property, and that his message is important enough to warrant some disruption.

“I’ve had people come up to me and say that they were on the verge of suicide, but hearing my message gave them hope,” he says. “That’s the kind of thing that makes it all worth it.”

Over the years, Dale has become a fixture in the downtown core. Many people know him by name and stop to chat with him, whether they share his faith or not. Some people are drawn to his message and find comfort in his words, while others are skeptical or even hostile.

“I know that what I’m doing is not popular with everyone,” he says. “But I believe that it’s important to share the Gospel with as many people as possible. If I have to suffer a little bit for that, then so be it.”

Dale’s dedication to his faith and his community has earned him a great deal of respect from some, even from those who do not share his beliefs. He says many people appreciate his sincerity and his willingness to engage with anyone who wants to talk.

“I may not agree with everything he says, but I have a lot of respect for Dale,” says downtown resident Sandra Jackson. “He truly believes in what he’s doing, and he’s always willing to listen and have a conversation. I think that’s really important in today’s world.”

As Dale continues his mission to spread the Gospel, he says he is grateful for the support of his fellow believers and for the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others.

“I know that not everyone is going to agree with me, and that’s OK,” he says. “But I believe that I’m doing what God has called me to do, and I’m going to keep doing it as long as I’m able.”

Back to The Magpie
%d bloggers like this: