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Asking for God’s Guidance: Hero of Sutherland Springs Shooting

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Stephen Willeford became a household name one year ago through no intention of his own, but perhaps fate had a hand to play in it. The fame wasn’t for something negative. If you’re unaware as to the magnitude in which his actions were praised, he received an acknowledgment from the president of the United States, complete strangers sent him gifts and words of gratitude, and the national media thanked the Lord for what he’d done. Who is he? Willeford is a plumber. He’s also a coveted public speaker (now,) and he’s the man who put a stop to Devin Patrick Kelley’s shooting rampage at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

The details of that day – his realization of what was happening, his actions, what was driving him, and how it all ended – are found in countless videos and written form. His belief is that what took place was purely driven by good vs. evil. On a number of occasions, he has taken the time to reiterate that he was terrified during his experience, but he believes any calm he experienced during the confrontation, the ensuing chase, and the end result, was due to the Holy Spirit taking the reins. He sees no other explanation for why he wasn’t hit by the gunman despite several attempts, and he believes that God not only protected him but guided him throughout his life in order that he would be the person performing his role on November 5, 2017.

Asking for God’s Guidance: Hero and Survivor of Sutherland Springs Shooting

Photo: Facebook/Sean Barfield

Willeford’s life truly does appear to have been molded in a fashion that would make him the perfect “tool” for this work. Not only does he have a strong passion for his community, but his interest in shooting has been polished to almost an art form. He’s had his share of hard times and trials, including the loss of his parents as a result of a drunk driver, followed by the loss of his childhood home just weeks later at the hands of an arsonist. He and his wife Pam lost a child in pregnancy not long after his parents’ funeral, and just a short time later, he lost his job. Yet, through it all, their faith stayed strong. And, with all of this pain in his life, his reaction after the Sutherland Springs event doesn’t come as a surprise. He identified crying more in the days following that event than he had in his entire life up to that point. He was overwhelmed.

Asking for God’s Guidance: Hero and Survivor of Sutherland Springs Shooting
Photo: Facebook/Ken Leonard

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