Samuel Chambers, known in Chicago’s Loop as the State Street Preacher who warns of hell and damnation, and extols the glory of repenting, was attacked by two men on Wednesday.
Chicago police are looking for the offenders who knocked Chambers down, upset his gear and fled on Wednesday around 4:30 p.m. Chambers was at his usual spot, the busy corner of State and Washington streets, and passersby gathered round after he blacked out briefly. He declined medical treatment after coming to.
“What I said may have offended them in some way at some point, but I told them ‘peace,’ and when I said, ‘peace,’ then that’s the time one of the guys walked around and he did whatever he was going to,” Chambers said.
With his microphone and small speaker, Chambers has been a fixture on State Street for 45 years. He preaches six days a week. With abrasions on his wrist, he returned to his post on Thursday, which happens to be Chambers’ 76th birthday.
Chambers said he is prepared to forgive.
“Yes, indeed. I forgive them for whatever. Because that’s the only way I can make it to heaven. By way of forgiveness,” he said.
Chambers has been assaulted before. He knows there will be people who don’t agree with his message – but that won’t stop him from delivering it for, as Chambers said, “as long as God permits.”