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'God Did a Victory Right in Front of Our Very Eyes': Plot to Kill Church Members Foiled

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A Virginia pastor says God's power saved lives when an armed man's plot to kill church members was thwarted by church security and an off-duty police officer. 

Rui Jiang, 35, was arrested moments before tragedy was able to strike at Park Valley Church on September 24th. While officers credit the church security team for saving more than a thousand worshipers, the lead pastor is pointing to a higher power. 

"God did a victory, right in front of our very eyes," said Pastor Barry White. "We give 100 percent of the glory to God because God did something absolutely miraculous to help avoid a tragedy."

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Police in Maryland first heard about Jiang when a woman called to report frightening images and vague threats of violence posted by Jiang on social media. Posts included a Bible-burning video, a picture of a gun pointed at a church, and photos of Park Valley Church with the quote, "Blood will be on your hands." 

Officers connected the post to Jiang who lives in Fairfax County, VA where officers were dispatched to make contact with him. However, Jiang had already left and was believed to be in the process of executing a violent plan. 

"As far as mental health concerns, there may be concern there," said First Sgt. Jonathan Perok with the Prince William Co. Police.

After surveying Park Valley Church by taking pictures and posting them on social media, police say the suspect came back to Sunday morning service. He entered through the building's North doors armed with a gun and two folding knives, prepared to allegedly carry out America's next deadly mass shooting. 

With thousands of members spread across three campuses, Pastor White knows firsthand how crucial security teams are to gospel ministries in today's culture. 

"I've got to tell you, our security team was absolutely amazing," White said.

Pastor Barry White of Park Valley Church

White says security immediately identified Jiang as suspicious after walking in wearing all black and dark sunglasses on a rainy day. Security accompanied by an off-duty Prince William County officer approached Jiang and arrested him for carrying a handgun, loaded magazine, and two folding knives. 

"It's hard to tell what his mindset was at the moment when we encountered him," said Perok. "He was cooperative and not defiant, went along with what we asked him to do – he turned over his weapons when asked. He was relatively calm at that moment."

In addition to lives saved physically that day, White says God acted in a mighty way spiritually. 

"One of the reasons I told our church is, God wanted these services to happen because we were giving people an opportunity to accept Christ," said White. "And 14 people, I believe, new names were written in the Lamb's Book of Life as a result of those services happening without a hitch."

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The incident happened just days before Park Valley's 20th anniversary, as Pastor White encouraged the church to pray for Jiang to find help, healing, and ultimately to know Christ. 

"It was almost like he wanted to show just show how powerful he was right before our 20th anniversary," White said. 

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About The Author


Brody Carter has been reporting and anchoring at CBN since 2021. In his time at CBN, he has found his stride in national news, including political and foreign affairs, extreme weather, and in-depth faith-based reporting. Brody frequently covers news for The 700 Club, Faith Nation, Newswatch, and Christian World News. Brody is passionate about news and displays standout dedication and work ethic in the field. Since starting at CBN, Brody has not only grown as a journalist but also as a person of faith thanks to close family, friends, co-workers, and the church body in Virginia Beach. He