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The Daily Wildcat

 

Brother Jed’s family speaks out

Gordon Bates/ Arizona Daily Wildcat
Brother Jeds wife, Sister Cindy (far right), and two of their five daughters came to the UA Mall on Tuesday, February 16th, to be part of one of the regular spring semester visits from Campus Ministry USAs Brother Jed. Following this moment, Eighteen-year-old Martha (left) sang as her fifteen-year-old sister Priscilla (third from left) played the guitar during one of their multiple song performances that afternoon.
Gordon Bates
Gordon Bates/ Arizona Daily Wildcat Brother Jed’s wife, Sister Cindy (far right), and two of their five daughters came to the UA Mall on Tuesday, February 16th, to be part of one of the regular spring semester visits from Campus Ministry USA’s Brother Jed. Following this moment, Eighteen-year-old Martha (left) sang as her fifteen-year-old sister Priscilla (third from left) played the guitar during one of their multiple song performances that afternoon.

Martha Smock is graduating from high school this year. When she finishes homeschooling, she would like to join her father, known as controversial campus preacher Brother Jed Smock, on his campus visits.

“”When school starts up, I’ll travel with my dad for a year, and then I want to go to an arts school for graphic design and photography,”” Martha Smock said.

Martha and Priscilla Smock joined their parents, Cindy and Jed Smock to preach at the UA campus this week.

“”The University of Arizona is a typical college campus,”” said Cindy Smock. “”It’s pretty and there’s lots of sin.””

Cindy Smock said that she enjoys preaching at the University of Missouri, which has a freedom of speech area on campus.

The Smock daughters are used to most college students’ negative reactions to Jed Smock, but they said repetitive discussion bores them.

“”It’s annoying when people say the same thing over and over again and they think they’re really original, especially if they’ve already said it that day,”” said Priscilla Smock with regards to some of the onlookers who dispute with Jed Smock.

The Smock daughters have been to college campuses all over the country.

“”Besides Alaska and Hawaii, I think we’ve preached in nearly every state,”” Priscilla Smock said.

The sisters have explored college campuses in different ways as they’ve grown up.  

“”When we were younger, we had a blast on every campus,”” Martha Smock said. “”We’d bring our toys with us and slide down the banisters. Now, we pretty much just listen.””

Martha Smock has been traveling with Jed Smock since she was a baby, and she chose to preach with her dad after she finishes school so she could spend extra time with him.

“”He’s 67 right now, so if I can have that extra year with my dad, it will be nice,”” Martha Smock said.

The Smock daughters are aware of most college students’ assumptions about them.

“”They believe we’re brainwashed — that’s the most common thought,”” said Priscilla Smock. “”Especially when we say we’re homeschooled.””

Martha Smock said that homeschooled students are often stereotyped in different ways.

“”Others think we’re a bunch of farmers and have no social life,”” Martha Smock said.

But both Martha and Priscilla Smock will be attending their homeschool-organized prom. They don’t have dates, but it’s not typical for their homeschooled classmates to go with dates, Martha Smock said.

The sisters are not allowed to date until they graduate high school, but they have several male friends.

Priscilla Smock spends her Saturdays rehearsing for a performance of “”The Sound of Music,”” and her sister recently had a Super Bowl party.

“”We hang out with friends every weekend,”” Martha Smock said.

The Smocks will be at the UA campus until Friday. They will visit Arizona State University next week.

“”People shouldn’t feel sorry for us,”” Priscilla Smock said. “”We’re not sorry.””

Students’ reaction

Approximately 60 people gathered around Brother Jed’s preaching Tuesday afternoon.

“”I love coming here to watch Jed, it’s entertaining,”” said Matt Anderson, a sociology junior. “”(His daughters) must be crazy to follow him around, though.””

Danielle Hurd, a family studies and human development sophomore, shared a similar view.

“”I’ve never talked to the family, and I don’t know the wife’s stance on everything, but the family seems brainwashed, especially the daughters,”” Hurd said. “”I question if they really believe everything they say they do.””

Students gave their insight on Cindy Smock’s preaching methods.

“”I think she is an extremist, and she’s really judgmental,”” said Diera Gooden, a family and consumer sciences freshman. “”It’s really sad to see her embarrassing herself like this.””

Alex Budish, a journalism junior, has been to all Jed Smock’s visits this semester.

“”I’ve met Jed’s daughters, they’re nice, but preaching through hate will never work. Even so, they have a right to be here, and so do I,”” Budish said.

 

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