Watch: Gunman Storms Altar, Pastor Tackles Him and Seizes Back Control of Church
God saves souls. He also saves lives, according to a pastor who tackled a gunman threating the lives of his congregation.
A man pulled a gun during a Sunday service Nov. 7 at Nashville Light Mission Pentecostal Church in Tennessee. Pastor Ezekiel Ndikumana tackled the gunman before he could fire the weapon. Several parishioners then helped wrestle the gun away and held the man down until police arrived, according to WKRN-TV in Nashville.
The 26-year-old man, Dezire Baganda, faces 57 counts of felony aggravated assault. According to an arrest affidavit, Baganda claimed he was Jesus and that all churches and schools need to be shot up.
This could have gone bad — very bad — had Pastor Ndikumana failed to act.
“I would say that God used me because I felt like I was going to use the back door … And then I felt the feeling that I would go and grab him, and that’s what happened,” Ndikumana told WKRN.
A native of the African country of Burundi, according to the U.K. Daily Mail, Ndikumana spoke through an interpreter.
The pastor told WKRN Baganda had attended services at the church in the past, but was asked in February to stop attending after interrupting pastors during their sermons.
The congregation credited Ndikumana with saving their lives. Ndikumana disagreed by explaining their lives were in God’s hands, not his.
“God wanted to show that he’s a powerful God,” Ndikumana said, according to WKRN. “One main thing I said, we had faith.”
Sadly, church violence is nothing new.
First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, where 26 people died in November 2017, is but one tragic example. Those victims ranged in age from 5 to 72 years old, and also included the unborn child of a pregnant mother. The cowardly shooter, whose rampage was effectively ended when he was fired on by an NRA instructor outside the church, fled and eventually turned his gun on himself.
In another Texas incident in December of 2019, a gunman killed two parishioners at West Freeway Church of Christ near Fort Worth before members of the congregation returned fire and killed the shooter. The men who returned fire were volunteer members of a church security team, according to NBC. The death toll could have been much worse. Thank goodness the security team was armed.
Thank God for the U.S. Constitution that guarantees our right to bear arms.
People wonder what would draw such evil into American churches. Why would people hate those who worship God?
The reasons, I’m sure, are many. It is safe to say that they are all founded on hatred. Hatred reduces reason to obsession or eclipses it entirely.
There’s plenty of hatred to go around these days. In fact, extremists are bent on stirring it up. Critical race theory is obsessed with skin color. It is but one example of the organized hatred we are seeing today. Riots by Black Lives Matter mobs and the so-called “anti-fascist” group known as antifa are another.
Hatred of America is popular among leftists. We’ve seen this kind of hatred before. It is here, I think, we get to the root of evil: the hatred of God-given freedom, the same freedom protected by the Constitution. It is the hatred of God by those who would be God.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, who suffered immensely under the Marxism of the Soviet Union’s communist dictatorship, put it best in a 1983 speech:
“It was Dostoevsky, once again, who drew from the French Revolution and its seeming hatred of the Church the lesson that ‘revolution must necessarily begin with atheism.’ That is absolutely true. But the world had never before known a godlessness as organized, militarized, and tenaciously malevolent as that practiced by Marxism. Within the philosophical system of Marx and Lenin, and at the heart of their psychology, hatred of God is the principal driving force, more fundamental than all their political and economic pretensions.”
American Marxism is not only the title of the bestselling book by Mark Levin, it is this same hatred of God.
It’s pretty simple, really. Hatred is always simple. If you hate God, you hate America. If you hate America, you hate God.
Priests, ministers and pastors are on the front lines in the war against hatred. Pray for them. Protect then. There are times when they are our last earthly line of defense.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.