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Punches Thrown in Front Row During Pastor’s Sermon; Church Commits to Walking Alongside Assailant

Bishop Kevin Adams
Photo from TMZ taken from YouTube @Olivet Baptist Church

While preaching this past Sunday, Bishop Kevin Adams, the Senior Pastor of Olivet Baptist Church (OBC) in Chattanooga, Tennessee, witnessed one man approach another in the front row and punch him in the head.

In a video captured from the church’s livestream, Adams can be heard preaching from Matthew 2 and reading, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and we have come…”

It was then that 34-year-old Marcus Williams casually walked up to pastor Chris Sands, who was sitting in the front row, and punched him in the face.

Sands, who is Adams’ first assistant and is the church’s youth pastor, swiftly jumped out of the pew and defended himself while absorbing some more of Williams’ blows. As the scuffle broke out, some congregants can be heard screaming, and Adams calmly told Williams to “stop” while others restrained him off camera.

WTVC News reported that Sands told officers that Williams had threatened him a few months ago because he thought Sands insulted his mother.

Adams said that Williams, who started the fight, grew up in their church and that the man’s mother is like a sister to him. “Wonderful young man. I think the world of him,” Adams explained in a Facebook live video. Adams also revealed that Williams had just left rehab.

“All of us go through stuff. You all know I’ve been through my stuff. We all been through stuff,” Adams shared, expressing his care for the man who disrupted their Sunday worship service.

Adams said that Williams was supposed to return to rehab, but was nearby the church and decided to come in. The pastor explained that Williams was “under the control” of “some other forces and influences” when he approached Sands and started to attack him.

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“We know that the Bible says, we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but it’s principalities, powers, and spiritual wickedness in higher places,” Adams said.

When Williams was removed from the sanctuary and brought to the fellowship hall, he reportedly began to cry and was immediately apologetic for what he did. “It was almost like he didn’t even know he was there,” Adams told his followers on Facebook.

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Jesse is the Content Editor for ChurchLeaders and Site Manager for ChristianNewsNow. An undeserving husband to a beautiful wife, and a father to 4 beautiful children. He serves as a deacon, a growth group leader, and is a member of University Baptist Church in Beavercreek, Ohio. Follow him on twitter here (https://twitter.com/jessetjackson)