Arnol Kox, Eindhoven’s well-known street preacher, has passed away. He was 67.
For more than 40 years, Arnol dedicated his life to proclaiming the message of God and Jesus. Through the years Kox became part of Eindhoven. According to many, he was an icon of the inner city, with his sermons, text boards, and mobility scooter.
When he was 16, Arnol had a serious moped accident. He spent nine months in hospital. While there, he thought a lot about the meaning of life.
Kox is said to have had a revelation and decided to focus, wholeheartedly, on the Christian faith. Since then, he could be found almost daily in the streets of Eindhoven. First on foot, then on crutches and finally on a mobility scooter.
Kox had been sickly for some time. In 2011, his leg was amputated due to a bacterial infection. Two years later he suffered a heart attack in the centre of Eindhoven. He had to be resuscitated on the spot.
In 2019, he underwent bypass surgery, and in the same year, he was diagnosed with a home marrow disease, which led to leukaemia. But he wasn’t well-loved by all. Several shop owners would’ve preferred Kox leave the CBD.
They said he drove customers away. That led to restrictions being placed on where, and for how long, Arnol was allowed to sit. For a while, he wasn’t allowed to enter the shopping district at all.
Things took a turn for the worst for Kox over the last few months. Night Mayor, Siem Nozza, says “Arnol is an icon for the city”. Councillor Yasin Torunoglu agrees. “He belongs to Eindhoven. He made a lot of people think, giving them pause for reflection.”
When he stopped preaching and became seriously ill, he received 250 cards from well-wishers. The cards weren’t only for locals. People from Amsterdam, Groningen, the United Kingdom, and the United States also showed their support by sending cards.
One thing’s for sure – Arnol Kox was a special man. Someone with a mission, a higher purpose. He will go down in history as the city preacher of Eindhoven. Knox is now, as he once said to a reporter from Studio040, ‘on his way to paradise’.
The city preacher leaves behind his wife, was Gerry Diederen (67).
Translator: Melinda Walraven