"He was reaching back in his pants and I just felt like he had a gun or ill intent, and at that point, I knew I could not let him back inside," Macedonia Free Will Baptist Church member Kevin Toler, told WXII-TV.
Toler and another church member brought the suspect, identified as Christopher Bennett, to the ground in the incident caught on surveillance video outside of Vanceboro, N.C.
Bennett was arrested by Craven County deputies who used a taser on him, WITN-TV reported. Officers said he continued to be combative and seemed to be under the influence of drugs.
Authorities said Bennett had assaulted a family member before the incident at the church. The woman told officers Bennett was on crystal meth at the time, WXII reported.
He was charged with trespassing, disorderly conduct and other charges, WITN reported.
The incident came just a week after a White Settlement, Texas, church member shot and killed a gunman who entered the building and murdered two people.