One Nashville pastor has no doubt in God’s power after he successfully tackled a gunman as he marched toward the altar at the front of the church’s sanctuary.
On Sunday, Ezekiel Ndikumana, the heroic pastor of Nashville Light Mission Pentecostal Church, lunged toward 26-year-old gunman Dezire Baganda after Baganda walked up to the altar and told everyone at the worship service to get up, according to the Metro Nashville Police Department.
“He wanted to kill,” Ndikumana told local news outlet WKRN-TV, the pastor’s comments being translated by choir member Nzojibugami Noe. “That’s what first came to my mind. … He was standing in the front of almost everybody. No one was behind him yet, so he could have done anything.”
The preacher went on to say God “used” him to save his congregation.
Ndikumana recalled acting as if he was going to exit the sanctuary through the back door, which was behind Baganda. At that point, the pastor lunged forward, and tackled the gunman from behind.
While the church members certainly credit Ndikumana for his heroism, the pastor assured the news station God’s hand of protection was over the entire time.
“God wanted to show that He’s a powerful God,” the pastor said. “One main thing I said, we had faith.”
Baganda, for his part, reportedly told police upon his arrest he believes he is Jesus, stating all churches and schools need to be shot up. The gunman has been charged with 15 counts of aggravated assault and more are expected this week, police said.
Several people have commented on the story. “The pastor is a hero,” wrote one YouTube user who watched the local report. Another person 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,” wrote someone else.