Prominent Church Elder Knifed During Worship Service; Attacker Charged With Attempted Murder

(Photo: Facebook)Karl George, a prominent businessman and elder at the New Jerusalem Apostolic Church in Rocky Lane, Aston, was among three persons injured after he was attacked by a knife-wielding man during a worship service on Sunday September 10, 2017.

Karl George, a prominent businessman and church elder in Birmingham, U.K., was left "shaken" on Sunday after he was knifed along with two other members of his church during a worship service on Sunday morning.

George is the managing director of The Governance Forum, which "consists of specialist organizations working together to deliver exceptional standards in the whole area of governance."

"Hi all just to update you. I'm fine a little shaken but all is well. Thank you all for your texts messages, prayers and love," George said in a post on Facebook after the incident.

Minister Kevin Hutchinson, told the Birmingham Mail that about 150 people were worshiping inside the New Jerusalem Apostolic Church in Birmingham when a man armed with a knife rushed into the sanctuary.

"A man with a knife stormed inside our sanctuary. Our normal Sunday service was going on and while that was going on he came. He was challenged at the door by our ushers. At that point he was restrained by them," Hutchinson said.

"He drew out a large kitchen knife and was restrained by a number of members, about three. Three members were injured and were taken to hospital. The men in the church were able to restrain him until the police and paramedics came," he added.

The church later publicly identified George as one of three stabbing victims Sunday morning but noted that none of their injuries were life-threatening.

"Three members of our congregation were injured following a knife attack all of whom have been taken to hospital. The following individuals were injured - Elder Karl George, Adam Brooks and Jorge George. No injuries were life threatening," the church said.

"At this time we are restricting hospital visits to family only and we will keep you updated as regularly as possible. We would like to thank all of our members and friends that were with us this morning for your cooperation, bravery and support and thank everyone else for your prayers," the church added.

The West Midlands Police said in a release Sunday that that they were called to the church at 10:50 a.m. and told that a man had been stabbed. On arrival at the scene, they arrested a 46-year-old man on suspicion of attempted murder. The knife-wielding man was later identified as John Delahaye, 47, of Eittington Road, Aston.

The church explained in a follow-up post on Facebook Monday that the attack by Delahaye was "unprovoked" and they were working with local authorities to ensure he gets the "help he requires."

"Yesterday, a man came into the church during our morning service and launched an isolated, deliberate, and unprovoked knife attack. We are pleased to update you that all of the victims who were injured during the attack are recovering well," the church said.

"The assailant is now in police custody and we are continuing to cooperate with the ongoing police investigation to ensure the safety of our congregation and community. We understand that the individual has unfortunately had a number of issues in the past and we do hope and pray that he receives the help he requires in this regard," officials added.

New Jerusalem proudly promotes its designation as a LOUD church — a congregation "designed to equip the Church to 'Return to Government' and take her place in society as the driving force for social change."

Church officials said they won't allow the incident to distract them from their mandate.

"[We are] committed to our community and will continue to dedicate our time and resources to working with all people in our community regardless of their background and circumstances. Our mission is to transform lives forever and we will not be distracted or deterred from this," the church said.