“Righteous” Richard: 5 Years of DMV Preaching!


 “Righteous” Richard Chavarria celebrated five years of preaching at the DMV last month—and I forgot to mention it! (He started on February 28, 2007.) During that time he has preached 511 times, spoken to 23,546 hearers and has handed out 29,817 Gospel tracts. (You can print off and memorize his message  by clicking here:  “Open Air Preaching Speech” )

 Now, watch him in action from a video taken two years ago:

You never know what God has in store for you. After Richard retired from the City of L.A. he decided he was going to serve the Lord—by working in the parking ministry of Hope Chapel, Hermosa Beach. He wondered if that was all God had for him; after all, he had been a Christian  for over 18 years.

Well, Lo! and Behold! He ended up taking the very first evangelism class that I taught in 2006.

For homework, I gave each student a pack of Gospel tracts. They were to hand out one a day every day of the class.

Richard didn’t.

In fact, he hid his tracts in the glove compartment of his car. Not only that, he sat in a different seat every week of the class so I wouldn’t call on him. Talk about bold!

At the end of the course he had handed out absolutely no tracts and had no conversations with anybody about their eternal destination.


Then one day I asked him to be on the “J” team; that is, the Jesus Team, our brand spanking new evangelism group. (I don’t know why I asked him.) To my surprise, he agreed to join us on our evangelistic outings and—the rest is history. A year later he started preaching every week at the DMV.

Not only does Richard preach twice every week at the Hawthorne DMV, he has also led teams at the Way of the Master’s Ambassadors’ Academy.

Who knows what God will do with you when you say “Yes” to sharing your faith?


  1. Richard, that’s awesome! Stay the course, bro! Keep buying that gold refined in the fire.

  2. 5 years of exercising his First Ammendment right to free speech—even speech that’s disagreeable—and with a permit! Jim, do you have the guts to do the same? I’d love to see a video of you preaching at the DMV about aheism. I’d even give you a thumbs up at your YouTube channel.

    Or, you can continue to criticize from the sidelines…

    • BAM … you nailed it, Steve!

    • Shorter Steve: I dare you to do the thing you detest doing just to show that you can.

    • I actually speak publicly about atheism very often. As to dudes rights I agree, he is absolutely entitled by the Constitution to be a rude, inconsiderate annoyance. In fact I would fight and die to protect that right. Having the right to do something does not make it worthwhile. I could go out in public and yell stupid jokes at people who are trying to go about their lives I have the right to sing in their faces and caper around like a fool. I don’t because that would be rude and would not be the sort of person I would care to be.

      Your evangelism is no different, you have the right to prance around spouting nonsense at people against their wishes, an absolute right, but it makes you rude and antisocial people.

    • The reason I would not discuss atheism with random people at the DMV is that inflicting onesself on a captive audience against their wishes is not something a decent person would do. When discussing atheism I choose venues where people are there for discussion or at least open to it. I am in the fortunate position in both my private and proffessional life to be a mentor to many young adults and I find it productive to warn them away from religion and other superstitions. I also find it effective, many young people I meet are already atheist, agnostic or some sort of non religious, but even the supposedly faithful among them are open to a reasoned case against their mythology. I would find it fair to say I have freed as many people from religion as a typical evangelist traps with it.

    • Why not, Steve? I thought your job was to spread the Gospel to everyone?

      Are we afraid?

    • I actually like that nickname, it is catchy. Obviously I get the reference but I am less than concerned.

    • Well, not only does that show that you are judgmental and bigoted, but you don’t care enough about your cause to truly dedicate your life to it.


  3. Richard, you da man!! Keep it going; I’m proud of you!

  4. Steve: God was obviously leading you to lead Richard to lead people to Christ through the ministry He already had Richard pegged to lead. All glory to God for this obedient and dedicated man’s gospel giving efforts wherever he preaches and reaches! I pray the Lord He continue to bless Richard as he tirelessly and shamelessly proclaims the Good News to the line-ups at the DMV.

  5. Mr Diver:

    You excluded the reality of the fact that many people over the years have been blessed to hear the message Richard had to preach at the DMV and were glad that they were there to hear him. I’m sure if you spoke to Richard he would be pleased to tell you such is the case.

    How is it that just because YOU may be annoyed at the gospel message, that you are ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that EVERYBODY else MUST feel the same way you do? Is Richard’s preaching only valid if YOU agree with it to the exclusion of all those who may appreciate it?

    • Yes agreed, I don’t care if dude wants to waste his life spouting nonsense but if I am trapped at the DMV and someone started spouting their ignorance at me I would return the favor and excercise my first ammendment rights to tell them what a rude and worthless annoyance they are. It does go both ways if he has the right to preach I have the right to mock his preaching. Normally I do not, if I am in a situation where I can just walk on by I do but in a situation where I have little choice but to listen, I would rather amuse myself by mocking the person who has so rudely decided to inflict themselves on me.

      • Actually, you don’t have that right. The guards will stop you from interrupting his legal, permitted right to speak. You have no right to hinder said speech. BTW, did you actually listen to his message? He’s friendly, courteous, and straight-forward.

      • Actually, he very much has that right. If one can speak, so can another. Stop playing on teams and see the big picture, Steve. You don’t get special rights just because it’s for Jesus.

      • I’m talking legally. Security or the police are obligated to protect the speaker, not the heckler. Look it up!

      • Depends on how I go about it determines whether it crosses the line between excercisung my speech and impeding anothers. It is sad that you expect that your free speech be protected but would invoke the authorities to impede mine. Fortunately I can be a clever and effective orator, I have no doubt I could render a speaker absurd and irrelevant without doing anything to arouse the ire of the gaurds.

      • You probably could. I for one, would welcome it!

      • It is not courteouse to inflict oneself on a captive audience, now if I told him I did not wish to be bothered by him and he left me alone, that would be courteous. My experience with evangelists does not make me believe this to be likely.

      • Steve, as I understand it, you’re partially right.

        I can’t hinder the speech through any force or such, but I can through my own speech. In other words, I can talk over him.

        If you think otherwise, please point me to where I can look this up.

        Because I’m trying to think of how “the guards” (whomever THEY are) would decide whose “turn” it was to speak, in such a situation. What prevents me from waiting until the second he takes a breath to start speaking myself?

        I don’t see how mocking someone would prevent their right to free speech.

        I can speak with quite a loud volume, for the record.

      • I’m sure you could and I’d embrace it!

        I’m just saying that according to law, the police are supposed to protect the person speaking/preaching from hecklers. As an open air preacher, I love hecklers because it draws more attention to my message.

      • I’ve since done more research on this subject.

        Steve is correct when he says that a speaker cannot be legally interrupted by a heckler; the guards will indeed remove the heckler.

        But the thing is that in the situation we’re currently talking about, Richard is not “the speaker”; he is not immune to “heckler’s veto”, because the reason people go and stand in line at the DMV is to work out automobile beuracracy, and not necessarily to listen to Richard speak.

        To clarify, if Richard is doing a speech at a church or a scheduled and permit-received speech at location, it’s illegal to interrupt him.

        If Richard is doing a speech at the DMV, you can interrupt him all you want; the rights basically cancel each other out and both sides are engaging in “disturbing the peace”. This is why the police will pull away the evangelist, and not the annoyed guy in line.

        Also, there are very creative forms of heckling that work extremely well in the latter situation; I get bummed out when I rarely see people use them. Fortunately or unfortunately, I almost never run into evangelists in my town, and the ones I run into appear to be passive in their evagelistic attempts.

      • The excpetions to the “you can heckle in this situation” situations are things like “fighting words”, obscenities, defamation, encouraging a person to commit a crime, and so on. Those are illegal, regardless of the other person being an official speaker or just some guy speaking his mind (which would be Richard at the DMV).

        Like I said, there are clearly-legal creative ways to still accomplish the goal, without even skirting the law.

      • Ugh, *exceptions

      • Hi Steve S.,

        You wrote: “I’m just saying that according to law, the police are supposed to protect the person speaking/preaching from hecklers.

        Unless you know otherwise, and can point me toward your source, this only applies if the hecklers are at a location where the people are there to listen to the speaker.

        Like I said above, this does not apply to open-air preachers at restaurants or beer gardens or lines to leave a fair or outside the DMV and so on. It doesn’t apply to places where people are there for reasons completely unrelated to hearing a speaker.

        That’s why I said that you were partially right… if you were talking about a speech at an auditorium or something like that. But this particular situation we’re actually discussing, Richard preaching outside a DMV, does not apply.

        Unless you know otherwise; I’m willing to be corrected if you have evidence.

      • No, I don’t think my speech is protected when I’m outside a beer garden, but it is, in fact, when at the DMV. We are permitted by the State to be there. I’ll try to get you sources at some other time.

      • Hi Steve,

        I would be very interested to see the source on this, because my research leads me to believe that you’re only protected from the “heckler’s veto” at locations where the point of people going to that location is for the speech.

    • If the DMV is sanctioning his speech and protecting it beyond what they would allow a citizen simply walking in and speaking there may be a Constitutional question.

      I do not see a problem with Richard or anyone else going into the DMV and excercisung their free speech, it may be rude and vulgar but surely protected,
      However if the DMV is issuing a permit and encouraging this evangelism then we are seeing a situation where people are being required to recieve Christian religious instruction in order to be permitted to use government services. I think the DMV should be informed of this conflict and their potential legal liability.

  6. Congratulations to Righteous Richard. He should stop in and tell us what he has been up to.

  7. Speaking of DMV preaching… What happened to the two preachers who got arrested at the Hemet DMV?

  8. If this blog is to be any indication….

    73,000 questions fled from.

    12,454 snide comments towards the lost your trying to save.

    0 new converts.

  9. Deep down our atheist friends love them some Righteous Richard!


  10. Praise God!!! Great job “Righteous Richard”! Just keep doing what you are doing or until the Lord has some new direction that He would have you go in! I noticed that the first time you preached at the DMV was the day I open-aired preached for the first time! PTL!!!

  11. Jim,

    Steve doesn’t want people to be annoyed for eternity… in hell.

  12. I shall now go to a church and preach Atheism or maybe Devil-worship

    • I would love to hear your message! (But I don’t think you have the guts to do what our open air preachers do. Plus, you have nothing of import to say.)

      • What your people do requires no guts, only a lack of common decency. What is brave about going out and yacking to people in America? You are protected by police, and the general acceptance Americans have for free speech and your particular religion. No guts at all required.

        As to atheism having no valuable message I strongly disagree. I believe that speaking the truth that religion in general and the hateful ones like Christianity and Islam in particular are cancers on society that destroy education, dignity, and decency in our society is an important one. Making it clear that the notion that religion is responsible for morality is simply a fiction and that morality is something that we learn from our enviroment and upbringing is a lesson that might actually encourage better parenting and lawmaking. These are the things I talk about when spreading an atheisy message.

        I do agree that Devil Worship has no message of value, it is just another brand of theism, although I admit it has done far less harm to the world than Christianity or Islam.

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