Victory Chapel First Phoenix’s Pastor Gary Marsh has vowed that the church’s commitment to street preaching will not waver, even after their outreach director, Hans Schmidt, was shot in the head last week while spreading the Gospel on the streets.
During Wednesday night’s worship service, Pastor Marsh updated the congregation on Schmidt’s condition, stating that although there are signs of recovery, Schmidt remains in critical condition.
Marsh urged the congregation to continue lifting Schmidt and his wife, Zulya, in prayer.
During Sunday night’s service, Marsh described the aftermath of the shooting as a “chaotic situation” but emphasized the church’s unwavering dedication to its mission. “We stood out on the same street corner the last two nights in a row in large numbers to make a statement: Satan, you are not going to stop us,” he declared.
Marsh clarified the church’s stance on the perpetrator, stating, “We’re not wishing evil things upon the perpetrator, but pray that he would at least be brought to light and let the law system handle him. We’re never going to stop doing God’s work.”
Highlighting the congregation’s determination, Marsh assured, “Even if I’m not around, the guy that follows me, he’s going to be more radical than I am; just plan on that. That’s who we are as a fellowship.”
During the morning service, it was revealed that around 100 people from various churches gathered on Friday to preach on the same street corner in solidarity with Schmidt. The outreach resulted in salvations, with at least two people reported to have found faith.
The congregation’s commitment continued on Saturday, with 80 to 100 people from diverse churches proclaiming the Gospel on all four street corners. The speaker emphasized the message: “Jesus is still alive no matter what our circumstances are.”
As Schmidt remains in critical condition, law enforcement is actively investigating the incident. Gina Winn, the public information officer for the Glendale Police Department, urged the public’s assistance in obtaining information related to the shooting. She highlighted the urgency of the situation, noting Schmidt’s role as a 26-year-old military medic, recently married with two small children.
Winn stated during a press conference, “We believe there is somebody within the valley that does know something about what happened. This is a horrible, horrible offense. It is imperative that the public reach out if you do have information so that we can bring justice to Hans and his family.” The Glendale Police Department provided a non-emergency number (623-930-3000) for anyone with information to come forward.
In the face of adversity, Victory Chapel First Phoenix remains steadfast in its mission, unwaveringly proclaiming the name of Jesus to a world in need. As the congregation rallies around the recovery of their outreach director, they send a powerful message of resilience and faith to their community.