FL Man Attempts Church Robbery During Sermon

A Melbourne Man attempted to rob a church during sermon Sunday morning, pointing a gun at the Pastor’s 76-year-old mother’s head as he demanded cash.

He was shouting obscenities. My mother was trembling and falling. Then he told my wife to tie up the children … I just knew I had to act,” Pastor Les Snodgrass of The Door Christian Fellowship Church in Melbourne told FLORIDA TODAY.

Snodgrass and his son were eventually able to take down man, later identified as John Grace, and hold him until police arrived.

Grace, 21, of Melbourne, was later arrested and charged with a deadly weapon and false imprisonment. The gun was later identified as a BB gun, modeled after a Sig Sauer pistol (depicted below).


At the time of the attempted robbery, there were seven people, not including Grace. What was odd about Grace’s actions, despite the fact that they came during sermon, is that he has been to the church multiple times with his parents.

(John’s) parents come to our church and he comes out periodically,” said Darius Snodgrass, the pastor’s son. “But for some reason he just stood up and held a gun up to my grandmother’s head and forced me to go to the altar.”

Allison Leslie is a University of South Florida graduate with a bachelors degree in Mass Communications. She joined Genesis in 2016. With a passion for sports, Allison has interned with 620 WDAE, Pewter Report, Trifecta Team: St. Petersburg Bowl, Bullscast, and many other publications. Being a native to the Bay Area, she has followed and supported Tampa Bay teams her whole life.