A Fort Worth pastor held a bullet in his hand as he preached on New Year's Eve, just moments after it narrowly missed his head and the drummer on stage.
The incident happened before midnight when someone on the southeast side of town decided to ring in 2019 with gunfire and a stray bullet came through the roof of Ramp Church. Pastor Evan D. Risher, 33, was immediately rushed off the stage by armed security guards.
"When I realized it was a bullet, even though I’m a man of faith, I was terrified," Risher told Fox News. "I didn’t know what happened."
But after authorities determined it was safe, the congregation erupted in applause and prayer. He returned to give his sermon with the bullet in his hand. When asked why he held the bullet, Risher referenced the scripture Isaiah 54:17, and added: "To let the devil know that he missed again!"
The Liberty University graduate told FOX 4 he was just "one step away" from getting hit by the bullet.
"Thank you, Jesus! In tears man...that’s crazy!” Risher wrote on Instagram. “The devil lost again. Lord, thank you for allowing me to see another year.”
Fort Worth Police investigated but were unable to say precisely where the .40 caliber bullet came from. They responded to 63 shots-fired calls on New Year's Eve in the area, most believed to celebratory gunfire.
The close call reassured the pastor and the church, whose NYE service was only the second in that building, are in the right place at the right time.
Risher plans to keep the bullet for moments where he needs to be reminded of the value of life.
“When the devil can’t kill you on purpose, he’ll try to kill you on accident," Risher said, "so I’m just thankful and grateful for life.”