Melbourne pastor fights off robbery suspect

Pastor Les Snodgress was just wrapping up his sermon on the value of human life at The Door Christian Fellowship Church in Melbourne when police said a member of his flock whipped out a gun and put it to another parishioner’s head.

Melbourne Police told Fox 35 that John Grace was also armed with a large kitchen knife when he demanded money from everyone inside the church, including the pastor’s wife and kids, and threatened to shoot them if they didn’t pay. 

Grace picked the wrong pastor to mess with.

"He threw on the ground some ties, some cable ties, and told my wife to start tying my children up," Pastor Snodgrass said. "I wasn’t going to put my family in a place where they were bound up and could not fight back. And, I had all the confidence in the world I could subdue this man. When I got about this close [2 feet away], I dropped the mic, grabbed his shoulders and pinned him against the wall. I pushed him as hard as I could against the wall. And then, I put my forearm up to [his throat].”

That’s when the pastor’s 18-year-old son sprang into action.

“My son leapt across the church and began punching him in the head. He hit him once, hit him twice… the second hit, I felt his body loosen up and I managed to pull the gun out of his hand.”

That’s when Snodgrass realized the gun, which appeared to be a Sig Sauer pistol, was actually just a very real looking BB gun.

Real or not, Grace is now facing charges for armed robbery.

At his first appearance Monday afternoon, a Brevard County judge ordered Grace to be held without bond. 

Up Next:


  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories You May Be Interested In – includes Advertiser Stories