Students won’t be seeing Brother Terry, the preacher who has been the cause of a few complaints stemming from the volume of his sermons, anytime soon on the Portland campus.
USM Police issued him a trespassing order for the Portland campus area on Tuesday, meaning Terry could be arrested if he returns.
Some students complained about what they saw as homophobic and hateful speech. Terry decried the homosexual lifestyle at times in his sermons. But Officer Jeffrey Soper, who issued the trespassing order, said it had nothing to do with the content of Terry’s message.
“It was clearly loud. It was nothing to do with the subject matter,” said Soper, who had asked Terry to move away from Luther Bonney last week to a spot on the main green, further away from the building. Soper said he had told Terry on three separate occasions to speak quieter.
Soper said he went into Payson Smith on Tuesday to hear for himself how loud Terry was speaking. Since most of the complaints have come from professors in classrooms, Soper said he walked upstairs to an empty room and could still hear Terry’s voice clearly.
“If I was teaching a class, I probably would be on the phone with the police department too,” said Soper.
Soper said although he could have issued Terry a summons for disorderly conduct, he used his diplomacy and served him a trespassing order instead. This saves Terry from having a criminal record of the incident, unless he returns to the Portland campus. Terry is still welcome on the Gorham campus.
“I don’t like some of the decisions I make in my day,” Soper said, adding that while he usually doesn’t apologize for doing his job, he did so with Terry.