A pastor used the power of prayer to stop a potential armed robbery and shooting after spotting four armed men sitting in the pews of his church.
Marquaello Futrell, a former St. Louis police officer, was in the middle of Sunday service at All Creation Northview Holiness Family Church in Ferguson, Missouri when the group walked in wearing masks.
Noticing the young men had guns in their waistbands, Pastor Futrell used divine intervention and policing instincts to intervene.
‘I immediately just had the hairs [stand] on the back of my neck. I’m like, ‘OK, something’s about to happen,” Futrell said to KSDK.
‘Me being a former police officer, I immediately noticed their waistbands. I’m like, ‘There’s something there.”
Marquaello Futrell noticed four masked men with guns in their waistbands enter All Creation Northview Holiness Family Church in Ferguson, Missouri on February 12
The former St. Louis cop used his policing instincts and the power of prayer to prevent what he believed to be a potential armed robbery
Futrell interrogated the men over the church’s microphone and convinced them to stay seated while the congregation prayed for them and keep everyone safe
The chilling encounter from February 12 was captured on camera as Futrell streams his services online.
Futrell instructed his media team to train their cameras on the four men who were sitting towards the rear of the church.
He then summoned the congregation to pray for the group while directing staff to lock the church doors and call the police.
Futrell can be heard telling the men they are on ‘Holy Ghost turf’ before informing them that ‘God’s changing the plot’, while the rousing sounds of gospel music is played live on a church organ in the background.
He then made his way over to where the group were sitting and began interrogating them over the church’s microphone.
‘Who sent ya’ll here? Just saw the church and decided to come?’ Futrell asked. ‘Talk to me.’
‘Let’s praise God for them coming. I said praise God that God sent them here!’ Futrell proclaimed as he encouraged the congregation to applaud.
‘Don’t you play with me – I still got a cop anointing and I still know what’s going on and I still know what’s about to happen.
‘God is about to change the plot of the enemy. Lift your voices and shout unto God for what he’s about to do!’ Futrell said with a rousing tone.
Futrell became a member of the clergy in 2009 after time as a St. Louis police officer
After summoning up the courage to speak with the men, the pastor then had members of his congregation surround the men and pray for them
Members of the congregation pray for the foursome who have their heads bowed
After summoning up the courage to speak with the men, he then asked members of his congregation to surround them and pray for them – with some even placing their hands on their heads and shoulders.
‘Would you guys permit me to pray for you? Do you mind if I pray for you?’ Futrell said.
The gunmen bowed their heads in silence as the entire congregation sang and said their prayers in earnest.
‘See, that wasn’t so bad, brothers,’ Futrell told the men. ‘Thank you all for letting us pray for you. And we’re thankful that for whatever reason, the Lord let you all come here. That when you walked on the ground, you walked on Holy Ghost turf.
‘We are thankful that for whatever reason the Lord let you come here and I believe that you will never be the same again,’ Futrell said to applause from his congregants.
The men were in the church for 20 minutes before they left and police are still searching for them
‘I just heard the Lord say, “This is what happens when you illegally trespass,”‘ Futrell said as a final thought during the service.
Futrell told Fox News on Monday night that he realized early on that something wasn’t quite right with the group.
Pastor Marquaello Futrell is pictured alongside wife Kanesha. They have been married 19 years
The incident happened at All Creation Northview Holiness Family Church in Ferguson, Missouri
‘They came into church. We believed that they were up to no good. I just had that instinct and I just started maneuvering while trying to conduct the service to keep the people calm,’ he told Laura Ingraham.
‘Eventually we found out later that one of those guys actually dropped his gun on the ground before I even went over to pray for them and that’s when the police were alerted.
‘We found out later they were wanted in connection with two robberies from convenience stores.
‘We believe that they were intending to rob us, do some harm, but we believe that God is the greatest power and we cannot be defeated so I had those instincts. I engaged them and we prayed form and they knew that they were being recorded.
‘I had my media team put the cameras on them knowing that possibly the police were on the way. We found out later that hours earlier one of the guys had committed a robbery at a convenience store.’
The pastor said his worshippers were thankful for how he navigated the extremely delicate situation.
‘A lot of people really didn’t know what was going on. Many did and we had our children’s ministry on lockdown and so many of the congregants were just thankful those able to navigate them through that process with the help of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Ghost,’ Futrell said.