A pair of would-be Texas bandits picked the wrong church to rob. They were armed with 2×4’s – but the preacher was armed with a Glock.
James McAbee pastors the Lighthouse Worship Center in Beaumont. He’s licensed to preach the Gospel and to shoot a gun – known around town as the pistol-packing preacher.
And on Sunday morning’s he stands in the pulpit armed with the Sword of the Lord – as well as some man-made protection.
And the attempted robbery inside his church back in 2011 prompted him to encourage other people to arm themselves.
“I believe God used David with five smooth stones to stop Goliath,” he said. “The law of the land in Texas says if someone is trying to take your life you can use deadly force.”
After the school shooting in Sandy Hook, Conn. Pastor McAbee decided to offer concealed handgun classes for local school teachers – free of charge.
“If teachers are allowed to carry guns in school I want them to be prepared,” he said.
More than 150 teachers showed up at the first class. Next month’s class is already filled to capacity and April’s class is already being booked.
“They’re just filling up – boom, boom, boom,” he said. “My phone is ringing all day long.”
He normally charges $50 for a lesson – but the pastor is refusing to take any money from school teachers.
“I’m trying to do my part,” he said. “We live in evil days.”
McAbee said teachers and school officials are scared.
“They don’t want to be sitting ducks,” he told the local Fox television affiliate.
He said the best protection would be to have an armed security guard posted at every school. But if that can’t happen, he said teachers should be prepared to defend themselves and their students.
“There should be a sign up in front of every school that says ‘Our teachers are armed to the teeth.You come here looking for trouble. It’s going to be returned to you,’” he said.
McAbee said he grew up around guns – a way of life in the Southern states.
“I’ve got pictures of me as young as three years old shooting a BB gun,” he said. “I was five years old and remember going squirrel hunting with my grandfather.”
Today, he has an arsenal that includes an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and even a Red Rider BB gun.
“I’ve even got a 44 Magnum – just like Dirty Harry,” he said. “I’ve got almost every caliber they make.”
But don’t mistake McAbee for a Rambo Reverend.
“I don’t have a Rambo mentality,” he said. “I’m not the machine gun preacher. But I would protect my sheep and myself. I’m not looking for trouble but if trouble comes a knocking, I would have to defend myself and my parishioners.”
McAbee said he’s never had to dispatch a criminal to the Almighty – and he prays he never has to. The best way to win a gun fight, he said, is to avoid one.
“But I’ve got three children and a wife and if a felon or someone wants to invade my home – I would have to stand my ground and protect my family,” he said.
Some liberals might suggest a man of the cloth should refrain from weapons – but McAbee disagrees.
“Jesus asked his disciples if they had swords and when they said they didn’t, he told them to go out and buy one – for protection,” he explained. “I think firearms are the modern-day swords.”
It’s perfectly Scriptural to protect yourself, he added.
“It doesn’t say anywhere in the Bible ‘Let the criminal come and rape you – let the criminal come and take your life,’” he said. “And you can’t defend yourself with an umbrella.”