Pastor John Hagee Recounts Shooting Attempt

The Christian Post reports on a recent appearance by Pastor John Hagee on James Robison’s TV show:

December 1971, I started to teach my congregation about the biblical position of demonology because I was raised in a denomination that did not believe it, and said they certainly couldn’t belong to our denomination, although the devil was sitting probably on every pew. …

And it was in the second series on a Wednesday night. As I’m teaching a man walks in the front door with a loaded gun in his hand; and he walks up the aisle and he roars like a lion. My people thought it was an illustrated sermon because I talked about Jesus, the demon’s coming out with a loud roar. And they thought, boy, the preacher is really going all out.

Hagee has actually told this story of the “demonized man” numerous times over the years. According to the main details as related here, the man ordered Hagee to beg for his life or face death at the count of three; Hagee stood firm, and the man fired six shots after a count of two. Despite being just eight feet away, the man missed, with the bullet holes later found to Hagee’s left and right. The man attempted to flee, but an athletic member of the church apprehended him and he was taken away by the police.

A fuller account of the story appears in Hagee’s 2004 book The Seven Secrets (pages 63-64), which dates the occurrence to 23 December 1971 (actually a Thursday). It adds the details that the man was taken by police to the Rusk Hospital “for the criminally insane”, but released 90 days later. The man then hanged himself from “the highest tree in his backyard”.

Apparently, there were “front page” newspaper reports at the time of the shooting incident; there is also an audio recording, which Hagee played to his congregation earlier this year.

Hagee also told the story to Glenn Beck in 2011, in which the man this time managed to get out of the building, where he was “knocked down”, presumably by a vehicle, before being apprehended.

An earlier version was apparently published in the John Hagee Ministries magazine in May/June 1993, although I have only been able to see a partial re-print of the text as quoted in another source. In this version, it’s “December 24, 1972” (a Sunday), and the man “was under the direct orders of a witch”. The shots all “missed”, although (unless this part of the story has not been quoted), there’s no reference to bullets on Hagee’s left and his right. I suspect the “witch” detail reflects the Satanic Panic period during which it was published, and has been discarded in later versions.

There is also another version of the story, although the source is second-hand. A writer named Ballah Kemah claims to have seen Hagee discussing the incident on TV with Paul Crouch; this time, the gun “jammed”, and just one shot was fired, into the ceiling. Of course, Kemah’s recollection could be faulty as to these details.

Re-tellings by third parties also introduce other elements, such as a comment here where we’re told told that that the man was “an ATHEIST”.