A North Carolina church got a scare on New Year’s Eve during service when a man walked in carrying a rifle.
However, as it turns out, when the stranger turned to the parishioners at the Heal the Land Outreach Ministries in Fayetteville, he was just looking for help because he was going through a rough period in his life, WRAL reports.
Pastor Larry Wright was the first to spot the man as he entered the church with the gun.
“I asked him, ‘Can I help you?’ ” Wright, who is also a city councilman, told the news station. “His next words were, ‘Can you pray for me?’ When he said that, then I knew everything was going to be all right.”
It was a tense moment for some churchgoers, who couldn’t help thinking of the tragedy last year at the church in Charleston, S.C., upon seeing the man.
“I didn’t see anything but this big rifle,” one parishioner, Taylor Morgan, told the news station.
According to the Fayetteville Observer, the man told the congregation that the Lord told him he needed to go to church before he did something bad.
Wright prayed for the man, who reportedly fell to his knees and started to cry. He was then invited to sit in the front pew as Wright continued the New Year’s Eve service. At the end of the service, the man came forward and asked for salvation, the Observer notes.
“He gave his life to Christ,” Wright told the news site. The authorities were called, but Wright asked them to remain outside until service was concluded. No one was harmed during the service.