Preaching for a Passion

Video posted May 2, 2016 in News by Nicole Joscelyn


Gary Cattell otherwise known as the “Willard Preacher” has been preaching outside of Penn State’s Willard building since November of 1982.  Carrell spends many of his days preaching to Penn State students and even faculty about his faith, Christianity.  However, Cattell wasn’t always Christian.  He admits that he too, was a college student here and many of the things that he preaches about (sex, drugs, and alcohol) he is guilty of doing himself.  It wasn’t until August of 1982 that Cattell decided he was going to convert to the Christian faith, and it was then he believes God called to him to his new job, preaching at Penn State. 

Some of his beliefs Cattell preaches about are that Christianity is the true religion, and Orthodox Christianity is the true expression of Christianity and Jesus is the only savoir of the world.  He also speaks on topics that society believes are good, but Christianity does not necessarily believe is true.  For example things like, pre-marital sex, heaven and hell, drunkenness, and more controversial topics are what sparks people’s interest in his preaching.  Most of the time Cattell finds that people like to argue with him, which he believes is a good reaction to receive from his preaching. 

“I think people learn more when they take their views, and put them against someone who believes differently,” Cattell says. 

However, sometimes students do go to learn more and ask Cattell questions.   Even though Cattell puts up an argument with students he wants them to know that doesn’t mean he doesn’t like them, it is just his opinion. 

During his free time Cattell spends time with his wife, at home.  Together they have raised four kids, all of which are now grown and live across the world.  Cattell believes that it is important to stay put in the same place because that is what people are drawn to, remember, and that way they always know where to find him.  Still till this day alumni come back from years and years ago to share memories that they have with Cattell, something that makes his job all the more worth it.  Cattell says State College is where he is supposed to be right now, and will continue to preach until God calls him to do otherwise.