Steve Cohn’s religious drive
A Messianic Jew evangelizes via minivan.
Friday, May 4, 3:30pm Before you see evangelist Steve Cohn behind the wheel of his maroon Aerostar minivan in a jesus bless me baseball cap, you hear him. Taking a page from the Blues Brothers’ publicity playbook, the 49-year-old plays cassette tapes of himself proclaiming the Gospel through a pair of 100-watt loudspeakers he installed on the roof of the vehicle, which is plastered with homemade signs recommending New Testament passages—only one way to eternal life! john 14:6. This is a man truly on a mission from God. Five years ago, inspired by a mass proclamation method used by a Japanese missionary organization called the Bible Distribution League, the Messianic Jew began driving downtown a couple of times a week from his home in suburban Carol Stream to air his recorded sermons. “I can reach 1,000 to 2,000 people in a single afternoon,” Cohn says. “I’m not trying to convert anyone. I’m just sowing seeds.” The public broadcast isn’t always greeted as good news. “I’ve gotten the middle finger over 100 times,” he says. “My van has been spit on three times.” Cohn simply turns the other cheek.