Pastor Anthony Thompson Explains Why He Forgave Charleston Church Shooter and How It Changed His Life

Pastor Anthony Thompson faced the most unthinkable circumstance on June 17, 2015, when he learned that his wife, Myra, was one of the nine black victims gunned down by a white shooter during a Bible study at Emanuel AME church in Charleston, South Carolina.

It was an event that horrified the nation and the world, and one that left Thompson — who is a preacher at another South Carolina church — and other victims emotionally broken. But rather than choose hate or anger, Thompson opted for something else entirely: forgiveness.

The pastor’s public act of forgiveness for the gunman absolutely stunned America. Listen to Thompson, author of the new book, “Called to Forgive,” on a recent episode of “The Pure Flix Podcast” reveal why he chose to forgive the unrepentant killer:

People might remember the stunning moment Thompson and other victims stepped forward and forgave the shooter, boldly proclaiming the gospel to his face at a bond hearing — a court appearance that unfolded within days of the horrific massacre.

“To be truthful with you it was kind of instantaneously,” Thompson said of his choice to forgive. “I didn’t want to go to the bond hearing. After being coached to go, I went and I told my children not to say anything, because I wanted to get there [and] leave as fast as I could.”

But as Thompson was preparing the leave the courtroom, he felt prompted by God to stand up and speak.

“I was getting ready to leave and God said, ‘Get up. I have something to say,’ and I had no idea what it was he wanted me to say,” Thompson said. “As I walked to the podium, the words just came to my mouth.”

In that moment, the pastor could have chosen words of rebuke or he could have broken down and yelled at the gunman. But instead, he implored the young man to accept Jesus.

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Source: The Blaze