Get to Know Gainesville: Tim Stout
By Laici Little
We’ve all seen the pastors yelling at Turlington. If you’re like me, you may have stood and listened to them for a bit. Although Tim Stout was a pastor for many years, you won’t find him screaming doomsday around campus. You are more likely to see this 67-year-old walking around with his backpack and a handful of thick, white pamphlets.
I first met Tim as he handed me his 644th and final pamphlet of the day at the University of Florida. The cover page of the 65-page book was titled “How God Reveals Himself Through Science.” The words, “Chemical Evolution Cannot Create Life,” were also written on the cover page below two pictures that included a visual representation of Miller’s Experiment (a science experiment that attempted to replicate the chemical conditions that were thought to exist when life originated) and a photo of a chubby baby.
I could tell instantly that the man was passionate about his cause due to the fatigue on his face from a hard day’s work. He confirmed my thoughts by explaining that he spends his time going to college campuses handing out more than 15,000 pamphlets a year on 160 campuses. Not only does Tim hand the pamphlets out, but he actually wrote all nine chapters of the book. Tim, a fervent creationist, hands out his literature in hopes of offering what he believes to be biblical insights and scientific research in order to challenge both theories such as evolution and secular humanism, a belief the he states fundamentally assumes that a one true God does not exist. He believes that scientific evidence actually points to a creator and that many have taken disproved theories as ultimate facts about existence.
Although Tim’s stay in Gainesville is temporary, he has interacted with hundreds of students. When he is not passing out information or attending speaking engagements, he resides near Dallas He grew up in Baskerville, Calif., and was a pastor in California for many years. Tim explained that he did not originally intend to be a pastor, and it wasn’t until right before earning his degree in physics at UCLA that his life changed. He said he became a Christian, and his main passion became reading the Bible. During the years, Tim has also written many articles for creation science magazines and journals.
When I asked Tim how he would describe himself, he said he was a Christian serving his Lord with whatever energy he had left, and it was as simple as that. He finds that he is unique because he has seen Christians and pastors speaking in courtyards on different campuses, but he said he hasn’t encountered anyone yet that passes out a researched piece of work that challenges people to think outside the box of academic stipulations. Although Tim has faced adversity and is often unwelcomed by those he meets on campuses, he is not discouraged because what he is doing is what he believes is right.
After spending some time with Tim, he really seems to be a very honest man that believes ardently in what he does. Tim calmly and sincerely expressed his opinions in a way that many others could take a lesson from. I say all of that to point out that perhaps behind the sometimes-unjustified label of “fanatic,” are people like you and I. After all, isn’t any thought or belief worth being discussed, questioned, and examined? Tim Stout is a man that wanted to be heard, just as we all do. If perhaps you feel like listening, google “Timothy R. Stout Creation Truth Outreach.”
Laici Little is a senior English major and an opinion blogger for O&B. Her blog posts, featuring profiles of various people in the Gainesville community, appear on Sundays.