James McAbee is a Christian pastor at Lighthouse Worship Center in Beaumont, Texas. But he’s also a licensed gun owner who’s known around around town as the pistol-packing preacher. Since thwarting an attempted robbery at his church in 2011, McAbee has been encouraging others to prepare themselves for some good ‘ol fashion self-defense. Following the Sandy Hook massacre, the faith leader began offering local school teachers free concealed carry handgun classes.

McAbee, a fervent believer in the Second Amendment, claims he’s regularly armed with a Glock that has “17 in the clip and one in the hole” — even when he’s spouting Biblical messages from the pulpit. The Christian leader told Fox News’ Todd Starnes that he believes guns have the power to save lives.

“I believe God used David with five smooth stones to stop Goliath,” he said. “The law of the land in Texas says if someone is trying to take your life you can use deadly force.”

Here’s an interview the pastor did last year with KBMT-TV:

The pastor is hoping to help teachers learn the benefits of using firearms to ensure personal protection for both themselves and their students. If, indeed, educators choose to carry, McAbee wants them to be skilled and prepared. At his first session, 150 teachers showed up to take part and next month’s class is already closed out, showcasing intense demand. While he normally charges $50 per lesson, McAbee has waved those fees for teachers. 

“They’re just filling up – boom, boom, boom,” the preacher added. “My phone is ringing all day long.”

Noting his belief that administrators and educators, alike, are scared for their safety following recent events, the preacher believes he’s simply doing his part. McAbee supports having armed guards in schools, but if that’s not possible, he believes the next best solution is putting guns in the hands of teachers.

“There should be a sign up in front of every school that says ‘Our teachers are armed to the teeth. You come here looking for trouble. It’s going to be returned to you,’” he told Starnes.

See the pastor performing his teacher gun training session here:

And as for those who might argue that a faith leader has no business being a gun enthusiast who teaches others how to use firearms, McAbee fervently disagrees, noting that the Bible validates the notion that people should protect themselves. The pastor puts his rhetoric to action, too, as he owns more than 20 weapons.

“Jesus asked his disciples if they had swords and when they said they didn’t, he told them to go out and buy one — for protection,” he said. “I think firearms are the modern-day swords.”

But McAbee also made it known that he’s not “the machine gun preacher” and that he simply seeks peace and to take care of those around them. While he’d rather avoid conflict, if a gunman comes knocking on the church doors or into his home, he’s prepared to protect himself. And that ability is something he wants for others in his community as well.

(H/T: Fox News’ Todd Starnes)

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