A Christian pastor in Tennessee tackled a man with a handgun during a church service on Sunday, likely saving the lives of many in the congregation.
The man with the gun reportedly said that ‘all churches and schools should be shot’ as police took him away.
Pastor Ezekiel Ndikumana’s credited God for his timely action.
He was praying with members of his congregation when the incident happened.
In the middle of worship, a 26-year-old man named Dezire Baganda, entered the Nashville Light Mission Pentecostal Church on West Trinity Lane. He sat down near the front of church, but soon made his way to the altar and pulled out a gun. Pointing and waving his gun at the congregation, he yelled at the people to stand up.
“He wanted to kill, that’s what first came to my mind,” Pastor Ezekiel Ndikumana said.
Thankfully, the armed man wouldn’t get the chance.
As Baganda began waving his gun around, the pastor pretended to run way. Instead, he walked slowly toward the back exit, out of view. While the assailant continued waving his gun at members of the congregation, in an incredible display of courage, the pastor tackled the gunman from behind and put a swift end to the terrifying ordeal.
Following the pastor’s surprise manoeuvre, church members soon joined the pastor in subduing Baganda.
Pastor Ndikumana says he was inspired by God to take action.
“He wanted to kill, that’s what first came to my mind,” Ndikumana told News 2, while choir member Nzojibugami Noe translated for him.
“He was standing in the front of almost everybody. No one was behind him yet, so he could have done anything,” Noe added.
“The heroic actions of a local pastor and several of his parishioners saved a church from further violence this afternoon,” Metropolitan Nashville police said in a statement. “The pastor quickly tackled [the gunman] before any shots were fired. Several church members jumped in to assist in disarming [the gunman] and holding him to the ground until officers arrived on scene.”
Police records show that the armed man claimed to be Jesus and said all churchgoers need to be shot.
Meanwhile, the Nashville congregation hailed Pastor Ndikumana as a hero. The man of faith, however, made sure to take no credit, instead thanking God for saving the lives of church members.
“God wanted to show that he’s a powerful God,” Ndikumana explained. “One main thing I said, we had faith.”
The video has gone viral. Several people have commented on the story.
“The pastor is a hero,” reads one comment on YouTube. Another added, “God didn’t give us the spirit of fear, but of power and a sound mind,” referring to 2 Timothy 1:7.
“Praise the Lord Almighty,” adds another viewer.
According to Nashville police, Baganda is charged with 15 counts of felony aggravated assault. Multiple counts are expected to be added at the first of the week.