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Community Connections: Keith Higgins

As an open-air preacher, Keith Higgins, 30, elicits a wide range of reactions: everything from singing and hallelujahs to quizzical glances and near punch-outs. As founder of Saved From What? Ministries, the part-time teacher treks metro Atlanta parks, courthouses and even Marilyn Manson concerts to spread the Christian word like a new age, MARTA-riding evangelist.

On hot spots for preaching: I really like gas stations. You can find good ones where the road is not as busy (and) your voice just echoes off the building. And you have people standing there pumping their gas for five or 10 minutes to hear a lot of truth.

On catching flack: We have some confrontations with officers. If we're on public property, they know what we're doing is legal, so they'll leave us alone. I've never been hit. Some people have slapped a (gospel) tract out of my hand ... a lot of yelling and getting in my face.

On vocal power: You work on that. You can really exercise it - just like a singer. There's a guy, Charles Spurgeon, a famous theologian in England ... his voice could be heard a half-mile away.

On the audition: The first time I preached was at a library by Collins Hill (High School). I didn't think anybody was listening. I saw a guy sitting in his car, been sitting there the whole time. I asked him if he had any religious beliefs. He said, 'No, but I want to believe in the God you believe in.' Talk about an encouragement.