Home Christian News ‘Hero’ Deacon Who Tackled Church Gunman Says He ‘Had To Do Something’

‘Hero’ Deacon Who Tackled Church Gunman Says He ‘Had To Do Something’

clarence mccallister
L: Brandon Polite aims a gun at Pastor Glenn Germany. R: Clarence McCallister tackles Polite. Screengrabs from Facebook / @Glenn Germany

The church leader who tackled a gunman attempting to shoot Pennsylvania Pastor Glenn Germany in the middle of Sunday service May 5 said he knew he “had to do something.” Deacon Clarence McCallister was behind the camera, capturing Germany’s sermon on livestream, when 26-year-old Bernard Polite stepped in front of the stage, aiming a gun at the pastor.

“My pastor’s life was in danger. I had to do something,” McCallister told Fox News Digital. The shocking incident took place at Jesus’ Dwelling Place Church in North Braddock.

Those present say that Polite’s gun misfired. When Polite accosted the pastor, Germany flinched and took refuge behind the pulpit while McCallister ran from behind the camera, tackling Polite. With the help of Germany and another congregant, McCallister subdued the gunman and took his firearm. 

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“I heard it click, and I thought, ‘Oh, my God, thank God that gun jammed,’” McCallister said. “[Germany] ducked down, and the guy’s going after him. That’s when I leaped up out of that chair and went after the guy. I put his arms to his sides so he couldn’t move, turned him around and sat him down.”

Deacon Clarence McCallister Labeled a ‘Hero’

On the afternoon of Sunday, May 5, Pastor Glenn Germany was preaching from 1 Peter 1:3, which says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” 

This passage, said Germany, shows that believers should rejoice and praise God out of gratitude for his “abundant mercy.” As the pastor continued to expound on the text, explaining that Christians are called out of darkness into light, Polite stepped in front of Germany and pointed a gun at him.

Congregants expressed shock as Clarence McCallister and the other two men subdued the gunman. In the footage of the incident, McCallister can be heard asking someone to call the police. 

Afterward, Germany said, “I’m thankful to God that I’m still here because [Polite] definitely pulled the trigger.” The pastor called McCallister a “hero.”

Reports indicate that Polite’s mental health was suffering. “He said that he was possessed by spirits,” said Germany. “He said that it was spirits that was talking to him. It was spirits that told him to come and shoot inside the church.”

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“He was in the church for a while,” said McCallister. “He could have killed anybody, but the voice that he heard told him to kill the pastor.”