(Ben Szilagy / MJ)
(Samantha Elliott / MJ)


The University of Michigan–Dearborn had a surprise visitor on Wednesday when Pastor Rick Warzywak decided to preach his message to students outside the University Center.

While the motives behind his appearance were unclear, Warzywak said he wanted to take advantage of the gorgeous weather and spread his message to “open minded students.”

“I’ve been taught to go to where the fish are,” Warzywak said. “I believe there are students who are considering their life choices. Since I have a bias and a perspective that Jesus Christ is the only way, I have a love responsibility to tell them of what I perceive to be the truth about heaven and hell.”

Warzywak, who is a part of Transformation Michigan and has been preaching for 20 years, helped the prayer group TheCall with their highly controversial 24-hour prayer rally at Ford Field on Nov. 11.

During that event, Leaders of TheCall talked about issues such as the economy, race, same-sex relationships and abortion. The group came to Detroit because they believe it is a “microcosm of our national crisis” in all areas, including “the rising tide of the Islamic movement.”

According to Transformation Michigan’s website, their plan is to make Michigan the next Herrnhut, which means “watch for the lord.” Modeling themselves after “Great Awakening” in America in 1727, Transformation Michigan wants to declare that Michigan will be a model to the nation through prayer.

UM-Dearborn’s students, however, did not take kindly to Warzywak’s visit.

Midway through the afternoon, a circle of student’s watched as other students confronted Warzywak and his motives. One student in particular addressed the pastor wearing a rainbow flag and debated views about gays and lesbians in front of his classmates.

The student was not available for comment.

Warzywak openly admitted that he’s currently working with legislators in Lansing to get Michigan and the country back to its “Christian roots.”

“God showed me to get back on campuses this year because America is facing a lot of trials and troubles,” Warzywak said. “I have a biblical world view. I believe in marriage, life in the womb, restoring the Ten Commandments because they benefit society and not hurt it.”

No matter the reception, Warzywak says he’ll still preach his message even if the venue appears to carry a motive.

“Engaging in discourse and discussions is good,” he said. “I don’t care if people get mad, yell, spit or threaten me. To me, that’s OK because we never know who is going to be affected by this discussion.”

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