Local pastor uses faith to ward off thief

Local pastor uses faith to ward off...

SOMERSET COUNTY, Md. - Its a crime that has many people across Delmarva questioning if there's any place left to feel safe. 

An attempted robbery during bible study at a local church sparking a continued conversation about safety in houses of worship. 

After chatter on social media surrounding the event, the Salisbury pastor is sitting down exclusively with 47ABC to set the record straight. 

A peaceful bible study in Princess Anne turned upside down when an armed man walked inside demanding money. 

This all played out at the St. Andrews Episcopal Church's Parish House last Thursday.  

For the first time, the pastor involved is speaking out with his first-hand account of what happened. 

Dr. Julius Zant says the suspect ordered the group to take out their phones and hand over their money. 

"He has this black holster and it looked like it had a gun in it and he's demanding this and one of the ladies actually took out her phone and out it on the table." 

But Dr. Zant refused to go along with the program. 

"I stood up and said no we're not having this. We're not doing this. And I walked around and walked up to him and said 'Leave in Jesus name'. "

 Pastor Zant says he had to draw on his faith.

"I think that when I told him that we were here worshipping God, that he changed. His demeanor changed and it was as if an awareness came to him that perhaps this wasn't the right thing for him to do."

The man seemed to back off, but made another threat to try to get something from the Pastor.  

"He never pointed it at my head but he touched my neck with the thing. He was saying he didn't want to to do it. And I'm saying well then don't do it. You don't have to do this."

Zant is a retired medical doctor turned pastor.  He says his faith and his God guided him. 

The suspect left without hurting anyone.

"In this situation it was a matter more-or-less of just standing in the gap. People were being threatened. And it was just a response to the situation."

But Pastor Zant says there's an important take-away here.

"The power of God is real. You know, the Lord is my Shepherd. He prepares a table for us in the presence of our enemy. It is real. The power of God is real. The protection of God is real." 


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