Man claims God told him to shoot pastor during service but gun jammed

Bernard J. Polite, 26 (holding gun), entered the Jesus’ Dwelling Place Church in North Braddock just after 1 p.m. on May 5, 2024, and attempted to shoot the Rev. Glenn Germany, who was standing near the pulpit.
Bernard J. Polite, 26 (holding gun), entered the Jesus’ Dwelling Place Church in North Braddock just after 1 p.m. on May 5, 2024, and attempted to shoot the Rev. Glenn Germany, who was standing near the pulpit. | Screenshot/Facebook/Glenn Germany

A Pennsylvania pastor is praising God for miraculously intervening to save his life after a man attempted to shoot him during his sermon on Sunday but failed because his gun jammed.

“I am feeling grateful that I woke up this morning and that I am here. It could have gone an opposite direction,” the Rev. Glenn Germany of Jesus’ Dwelling Place Church in North Braddock told The Associated Press. "God has intervened and I am grateful for Him.”

A nearly four-minute clip of the failed shooting inside the church shared by Germany on Facebook shows the pastor talking to his congregation for just over two minutes before a man, identified by police as Bernard J. Polite, 26, walks into the frame and almost instantly points a gun at the pastor. Germany instinctively holds his hands up to protect himself and begins to run for cover behind his pulpit.

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Polite appeared intent on getting to his target and was advancing toward the pulpit to get to Germany before Clarence McCallister, a deacon of the church, runs into the video frame and tackles him from behind. Germany quickly joined McCallister in subduing and disarming Polite until a state trooper arrived.

The video, which was Livestreamed on Facebook, had a time stamp of just after 1 p.m.

In court documents cited by the AP, Polite told authorities that “God told me to do it.” He also noted that he planned to “wait to be arrested” so he could go to jail and clear his mind.

Polite is facing charges of aggravated assault and attempted homicide. Authorities further confirmed that they found the body of Derek Polite, 56, in a home near the church, but they haven’t yet confirmed if Polite is connected to this shooting.

Polite had no connection with the church prior to his attack on Sunday and told authorities he just heard the music and decided to go inside, court documents said.

In an interview with Trib Live, Germany said the incident shook his congregation but not just in bad ways.

“You can tell it brought us closer together as a church,” he said. “We just stayed there, spoke about the incident, saw how the children were doing. The adults were all fine, and we just really talked with one another.”

The pastor explained that many members of his family were at the church on Sunday including his wife, daughter and brother, Gary Germany, who is the senior pastor at the church.

“Watching the effect on my daughter when we got in the car, seeing her break down, it really just broke me down,” he recalled. “Just making sure she’s OK has been my priority at this point.”

He recalled just thinking about surviving when he first saw Polite pull out the gun.

“When I saw the gun, I was just trying to get out of the way. I didn’t have time to think, I just reacted,” Germany said.

As for the deacon who stepped in to subdue Polite, the pastor called him a true hero.

“He was unselfish and unafraid to actually jump on a guy who he saw having a gun,” Germany said. “I’m just glad and grateful. It was truly a miracle.”

McCallister, who was operating the cameras for the Facebook Live broadcast, said he is grateful the gunman never got to fire a shot and no one was physically hurt.

“I was just hoping he didn’t get a shot off,” McCallister said. “I was hoping that the pastor quickly got out of the way. I’m thankful that the pastor was getting out of the way, and that the bullet got jammed in the gun. I’m just so thankful that nobody got hurt. Thank God that that bullet got jammed in that chamber.”

Contact: Follow Leonardo Blair on Twitter: @leoblair Follow Leonardo Blair on Facebook: LeoBlairChristianPost

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