During his New Year’s Eve sermon, Texas pastor Evan D. Risher used a rather unusual item to illustrate God’s power and protection — a live round of ammunition. Just moments prior to the powerful demonstration, the 33-year-old had narrowly escaped death after a single shot was fired into his Fort Worth Church, speeding past his head and that of his drummer.
Realizing the immediate threat to Risher’s life, armed security guards at Ramp Church shuttled the pastor off stage to safety.
“When I realized it was a bullet, even though I’m a man of faith, I was terrified,” Risher told Fox News. “I didn’t know what happened.”
“It shook me, but it didn’t break me,” he said. “There has to be another way to have fun, to bring in the New Year.”
Shortly after the bullet fizzed through the church building, authorities deemed that the threat was over, and the congregation burst into a fit of applause and praise. At this point, Risher retrieved the bullet and continued preaching. Why? “To let the devil know that he missed again!” he declared, in reference to Isaiah 54:17.
View this post on Instagram
Tonight, while I was preaching…in the middle of my sermon and in the midst of the service. • A stray bullet came through the ceiling tile behind my head and our security team immediately rushed me off stage. • It shook me but it didn’t break me. The devil lost again. Lord, thank you for allowing me to see another year. • Happy New Year! #stillpreachingjesus
Risher, a Liberty University graduate, noted that he was just “one step away” from being struck in the head, which would have likely killed him.
“Thank you, Jesus! In tears man…that’s crazy!” he posted to Instagram following the scare.
According to KXAS-TV, police responded to 63 “shots fired” calls over New Year’s night. Authorities noted that many of these were likely to be celebratory gunfire.
“The devil lost again. Lord, thank you for allowing me to see another year,” the pastor wrote.
Risher noted his intention to keep the bullet as a reminder of the day he nearly went to be with Jesus.
“When the devil can’t kill you on purpose, he’ll try to kill you on accident,” he said, “so I’m just thankful and grateful for life.”