Listen to this article here
Sign-Up for a free subscription to The Black Wall Street Times‘ daily newsletter, Black Editors’ Edition (BEE) – our curated news selections & opinions by us for you.
The quick actions from a man of faith prevented a tragedy at a church service in Nashville, TN on Sunday afternoon.
According to metro police, a 26-year-old man named Dezire Baganda entered and sat down near the front of Nashville Light Mission Pentecostal Church on West Trinity Lane. Moments later, he pulled out a gun, walked up to the altar, and ordered the churchgoers to stand up. Pointing and waving his gun at the praying parishioners, the event could’ve quickly turned deadly like it did when Dylann Roof opened fire at a Black church in Charleston, SC in 2015, killing nine innocent people.
Yet, Pastor Ezekial Ndikumana says he was inspired by God to take action. As Baganda began waving his gun around, the preacher walked slowly toward the back exit out of view. While the assailant continued waving his gun at members of the congregation, a video shows pastor Ndikumana tackling Baganda from behind.
Pastor thanks God for saving congregation
Following the surprise maneuver, surrounding members join the pastor in subduing Baganda, according to the video.
“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.
Police records show that the armed man claimed to be Jesus and said all churchgoers need to be shot.
Meanwhile, the Nashville congregation hails 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.”
According to Nashville police, Baganda was charged with 15 counts of felony aggravated assault. Multiple counts are expected to be added at the first of the week.