One member of a church group is dead and three others are injured after their prayer service last night turned into a horrific stabbing rampage.
CORPUS CHRISTI -
A pastor is offering forgiveness to the man accused of killing a member of his congregation during a prayer service last night. Now police are trying to find out what set off the deadly attack.
"We all can make mistakes and we all can be misled, and I pray that whatever he has committed, we are willing to forgive him," Pastor Janson Abraham said, the pastor of a small, non-denominational congregation that gathered at a ministry home last night.
What began as a night of prayer and worship turned into deadly panic and horror. The prayer gathering was brutally interrupted by a man that police have identified as 28-year old Marco Moreno, when he suddenly started attacking people with a knife.
One member of the congregation, 61-year old Frank Castillo, was fatally stabbed. Three other people, including the Pastor Abraham, were injured.
This took place in a home on the 12-hundred block of Cambridge Drive, between Staples and Brawner Parkway, just a few blocks from Ray High School.
The Pastor's pain is twofold. Not only was his congregation viciously attacked, but he says it all started with a man who was one of their own.
Now Pastor Abraham is focused on healing his congregation, but also on a difficult task: forgiveness.
The congregation is a devoted group. Members of Kingdom Acts Ministries, they meet every week for Sunday service at their church, Harvest Tabernacle International Church.
However, ever single night they came together at a ministry home to share song and prayer, part of a 40 day spiritual ritual of prayer and fasting.
Their sacred space is now violated by crime.
"It is shocking to all of us, that we still can't believe what happened here yesterday," Pastor Abraham said.
According to police Moreno, a member of the congregation, launched a bloody stabbing rampage. Pastor Abraham heard the commotion from a back room.
"When the women scream, normally it was a roach. That was my initial thought. But when I entered in, I saw what was going on," Pastor Abraham said.
The attack left one member of the congregation dead.
Three others were injured, including the Pastor, stabbed, trying to stop the attack.
"My initial thing was to somehow stop this individual, and that's how I entered and held this guy actually, and brought him to the door," Pastor Abraham said.
Another member of the congregation was also injured trying to prevent more bloodshed, and Pastor Abraham says the suspect's mother also tried to prevent him from stabbing members of the group.
Tonight, one church leader recovers in the hospital, where he was taken after the stabbing with life threatening injuries.
Another leader in the congregation, 61-year-old Frank Castillo, leaves behind a family, dying from a stab wound in the neck.
"He was a good husband, a good father, a good brother. He will be dearly missed. You know, no one can fill his space," Pastor Abraham said.
The pain is unexpected, and the brutal act, allegedly carried out by a man who's mother regularly attends church meetings, a man that Pastor Abraham had baptized just last year.
"It's hard," Pastor Abraham said. "But as a Pastor, leading the people you have to be strong."
He now puts aside his pain, and puts on a face of strength and leadership so his congregation can heal, and forgive. It is something difficult after such great loss.
"It is, it is, but you know love is always painful. Love is always sacrificial," Pastor Abraham said through tears. "Our prayer is that he will be recovered, and that he will be completely whole and well. Then a life will be transformed through all of this."
The group has cancelled prayer services for now, but they plan to resume those in the next few days. Although such a horrific act took place in their ministry house, Pastor Abraham says the congregation will likely return because right now, being together is what is most important.
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