Faith leaders need a full arsenal of abilities today, it seems—not just the training, talent and dedication to run their congregations and inspire parishes and ministries to prayer and a closer relationship with God, but the quick-thinking knowledge of how to interrupt violent acts and potentially prevent severe injury, even death.
During a church service this past weekend, a pastor in Nashville, Tenn., along with a group of congregants, snapped into vital action when an individual brandished a firearm and stepped onto the altar with it.
“The dramatic scene played out inside Nashville Light Mission Pentecostal Church on West Trinity Lane, Fox 17 Nashville reported. Police in the city said Dezire Baganda, 26, who was seated toward the front of the church, took out the firearm and told members to get out of their seats,” as Fox News noted on Monday morning.
While no shots were fired, thankfully, the pastor was at the altar praying—and quickly managed to tackle the suspect to the floor, according to police and to video that was taken during the scene and that appears on social media.
Others inside the church building came to the pastor’s aid until the police arrived, reports said.
Baganda reportedly did not belong to the church.
He was later charged with15 counts of felony aggravated assault. His bond was set at $375,000, the local Fox report said.
God bless the pastor who potentially saved lives this weekend.
God bless the others who stepped up to help him and never hesitated.
May we all pray for each other after such a dramatic and frightening scene in a house of worship—and so many other incidences of violence that occur across our great country.
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—By CNJ Staff