A man walked into a North Carolina church with a semi-automatic assault rifle on Thursday, but the pastor says that he left a new creation in Christ. The incident happened as the congregation of Heal the Land Outreach Ministries in Fayetteville as they were holding their year-end prayer service, which included a time of exhortation from Pastor Larry Wright, who also serves as a councilman in the city.

According to reports, Wright was speaking about the “senseless deaths” in Fayetteville as the man entered. The man, who has not yet been identified, walked toward the front of the room, pointing his rifle toward the ceiling. “Can I help you?” Wright asked, wondering if he would need to tackle the gunman.

The man, assault rifle in hand, asked for prayer. Wright then took the gun from the stranger, and instructed his deacons to embrace him and make him feel welcome. The pastor began to pray for the man, who fell to his knees crying. Wright invited him to stay for the remainder of the service. FULL REPORT