In an unusual turn of events, a pastor in Missouri is being hailed as a hero for stopping an armed robbery through prayer.
On February 12 at the All Creation Northview Holiness Family Church in Ferguson, Missouri, a group of four men entered the church.
According to the church’s live-streamed Facebook video, the incident occurred around 54 minutes into the service.
Pastor Marquaello Futrell, a former police officer, took a bold step and asked each of the men for their name, continuing with his sermon.
He then asked the men if he could pray with them.
To everyone’s surprise, the suspects agreed, and Pastor Futrell prayed with them for several minutes before the suspects left after about 20 minutes.
In an interview with FOX 5 On Your Side, Futrell said, “I immediately just had the hairs on the back of my neck I’m like, ‘OK, something’s about to happen.”
Futrell said another member of his church saw one of the men drop a gun.
“I immediately directed my media team to zoom in on them because I knew we needed some face recognition,” Futrell added. “Me being a former police officer, I immediately noticed their waistbands, I’m like, ‘There’s something there,'”
“We believe that they were up to no good. I just had that instinct, and I just started maneuvering while trying to conduct service to keep the people calm,” Futrell said. “We believe God is the greatest power and we cannot be defeated.
Following the incident, the Ferguson Police Department used the video to confirm that four men fled the church in a Black Dodge Charger with tinted windows, and they are still being sought by authorities.
While the circumstances surrounding the incident may seem daunting, Futrell hopes that it will serve as a wake-up call for pastors and churches everywhere to take the necessary measures to ensure the safety of their congregants, including background checks and security drills.