Pastor Shot At His Church Says God Told Him To ‘Stop Trying To Die’ As He Returns To Pulpit

Zionfield Baptist Church Pastor Clemmie Livingston Jr.
Zionfield Baptist Church Pastor Clemmie Livingston Jr.

A Tennessee pastor who was shot in the face just outside his church, has said God told him to “stop trying to die” as he bled in the aftermath of the shooting.

Pastor Clemmie Livingston Jr., of Zionfield Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee, said this as he returned to his pulpit just weeks after the shooting that happened outside his church as he tried to stop thieves from stealing a Sunday School teacher’s car on Sunday, February 25.

In his Easter Sunday message, which was shared on Facebook, the 71-year-old pastor expressed his gladness to be back, drawing cheers of “amen” and applause from his flock.

“Glad to be here to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I remember the words of Peter. … He said, ‘Lord, it’s good to be here.’ And sometimes we take being here for granted, but it’s good to be here,” Livingston said after directing his congregants to Matthew 28:5-6.

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“Say what you will. I don’t care what you’re going through. You can always stand on the Word of God. His Word is everlasting all the way to everlasting,” Livingston said.

Pastor Clemmie Livingston Jr and wife
Pastor Clemmie Livingston Jr and wife

“When I look at the things of the world, when I look at things not just in the City of Memphis but when I look at things going on around the world, it would do you good to go back and read the Word of the Lord,” he said.

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The pastor later spoke about his experience, using it to encourage Christians not to give up on their faith.

“You’ve got to hold on. You’ve got to hold on. A few weeks ago, my faith was tested. A faith that cannot be tested cannot be trusted,” he said.

“Just a few weeks ago, I had to hold on to the faith when I was struck by a stray bullet. Don’t know where it came from. I just saw myself going down on my knees. I said I wasn’t going to talk about this … because it’s not easy to talk about,” he continued.

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“But I was struck by a stray bullet that put me down on my knees. I didn’t know what was going on. All I could feel was blood coming from every direction. All I could remember was Troy Franklin and my daughter Tracy holding my head,” he recalled. “My daughter Tracy wouldn’t let me shut my eyes. And I remember Sister Franklin saying, ‘hold on.'”

Zionfield Baptist Church Pastor Clemmie Livingston Jr.
Zionfield Baptist Church Pastor Clemmie Livingston Jr.

“‘You can’t keep bleeding the way you are and not die,'” he recalled telling himself, as he thought he was going to die in few minutes.

But God had another plan for him.

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“When I was down on my knees, let me tell you what He said. He said to me, ‘Stop trying to die and start back living.’ He said to me, ‘Not yet, not yet,'” Livingston declared to shouts of praise from the congregants. “When you’re rooted in the Lord, you can feel His presence. I felt the presence of the Lord.”

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