Gary does something interesting. He stands there and asks "Who thinks they're going to hell, by my definition?" After asking a few more times, usually a whole bunch of people will raise their hands defiantly, with some laughter and fully expecting Gary to condemn them to hell. Gary then says,, "These people are probably farther along the path of salvation than the rest of us who didnt raise our hands, for at least they're acknowleging that they're not choosing heaven in their lives yet." or something similar. The laughter dies down and people start to listen to what he has to say.
He preaches with what I can only assume is full blessing and support from our local priest (the church is 10 minutes walking from where Gary preaches). Though I have never inquired specifically, if the priest had not allowed Gary to continue this, Gary would not have continued, because Gary would be obedient to the wishes of his spiritual father, and as it is, the priest fully supports him (though not financially, as private donors is how Gary's family has made their living.) Our priest has been head of evangelism for the OCA, so he knows something about this topic.
I think you have to know Gary, as well, to even try to imagine what this is like. I knew him for several years as just Gary, without ever seeing him on campus preaching. He is the most shy, retiring, quiet person. I hardly ever heard him speak. His younger daughter last night was commenting that he has never raised his voice to her, so if he does speak a little louder than normal, she knows she's in trouble. He hates crowds, and he doesn't do well when he has to meet a lot of new people in social situations on his own. But he feels called to do what he does. The first time I heard him, I was walking along campus, and wondered who was talking so loudly (its not shouting, but the man can project his voice). When I turned the corner and saw Gary, I was amazed. There is no way he could stand out there and do what he does every day if the Holy Spirit was not helping him. He's not the first willard preaching, even. There was another before him who actually helped Gary convert to Christianity when he was younger.
Trust me, he is hardly some wacko. Those who dislike what he says dont even really hear what he says, but have already closed their minds. I was siitting out there last week, and Gary was taking about God and Church (the existence of one, the importance of the other.) He was answering questions from a young man who started off defensive (planning to trip Gary up, or expecting that he would get hateful answers back) who slowly started to listen more carefully, ask more meaningful questions, and eventually left looking like he was impressed with what Gary said his stated mission out here was and how the search for Truth led him to the Church. There were two girls sitting next to me, half-listening (there are lots of ppl who sit there and talk amongst themselves about non-religious things, too) and the one, on hearing Gary talk about the teaching of the Church, said to her friend, "I dont need some priests who molest little boys to tell me what to believe." She wasn;t listening at all, nor did she realize that Gary wasnt even talking about Catholicism, and especially wasn't discussing any priests, child-molesters or otherwise. She heard with a closed mind, and so she heard what she wanted to hear.
Maybe, St. Brigid, you should come back to happy valley for a while! If you are interested in campus ministry as an Orthodox, now, you have to come see our OCF (one of the largest and most active in the nation) and you should really come spend a while getting to know Gary. You're welcome anytime; we will house and feed you:)