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Cussing Homeless Man Stops Pastor Mid-Sermon. Then Something Powerful Happens

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A pastor who went viral for stopping in the middle of his sermon to offer kindness to a homeless man is sharing the real-life story behind the touching video of his compassionate act.

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Pastor Ed Newton of Community Bible Church in San Antonio, Texas, told CBN News why he chose to engage the man — named Anthony — and why he believes the interaction offers an important lesson.

For those unfamiliar, the story began when Anthony yelled expletives toward the pulpit during an April church service, leaving Newton and parishioners in a bit of shock.

Anthony wasn’t angry, though. He had reportedly noticed the pastor’s shoes and yelled out a curse — an inappropriate reaction inside a church — to express how “cool” he thought they were. The scenario put Newton in a strange position as a pastor on stage, mid-sermon, in front of a massive audience.

The preacher paused to briefly address the incident and ask for Anthony’s name, then “just moved on and then got into the bulk of the message.” The moment has since gone viral. CAUTION: LANGUAGE:

“We were actually preaching through our core values, and the core value of that weekend was ‘celebrate life change,'” Newton told CBN News. “We [had] … just baptized like over 200 people, and so we celebrate.”

Newton continued, “We actually have like a pep rally when people get baptized.”

After Anthony interrupted, the pastor went back to talking about the story of the parable of the lost sheep found in Matthew 18 and Luke 15, and how the Pharisees were critical of Jesus.

Little did Newton know, but Anthony was about to call out to him again from the audience.

“That’s … where Anthony yells out again and … as I’m talking about the Pharisees, he goes, ‘That’s blank, blank,” Newton said, indicating Anthony again cursed aloud. “All I knew to do in that moment was to go, ‘Hey, listen, if we’re one on one, I’m not correcting you,’ but because we got little ears in the room, I had to somewhat kind of just say, ‘Hey, you’re welcome here. You’re loved here [but let’s not curse].'”

It was a gentle and loving rebuke, but a moment that preceded something Newton likely couldn’t have imagined. Anthony spoke aloud again and revealed that another man in the audience named Michael had brought him to church that day — and had saved his life.

See, Anthony was reportedly planning to commit suicide that morning before Michael met him and took him to church.

“It wrecked me,” Newton told CBN News, reflecting on the moment he learned this key detail. “If you watch the video … it wrecked me, because he actually gave a time stamp. [Anthony] said, ‘I was just a few minutes away from stepping out in front of a bus.'”

The viral video shows the preacher, who was deeply moved at the pulpit, inviting Anthony and Michael up to the stage, where he embraced Anthony and learned more about his story and how Michael came to encounter him.

It turns out Michael had come to an earlier service, heard Newton’s message about transformation, and promptly went out to feed the homeless.

“He came to the 8 [o’clock service], heard the message and … bought … somewhat of a breakfast meal to give to a homeless person,” Newton said. “And when he went to go give it to her, she wasn’t there. And then, he saw Anthony.”

After the two chatted, Anthony essentially “invite[d] himself to go to church with Michael.” So, the faithful parishioner headed back to church with Anthony to hear the message. Newton said he was truly struck by Michael’s decision to live out the sermon message so selflessly.

“Michael was the sermon,” he said. “He lived it out.”

As Newton spoke with Anthony, people kept coming up to the stage to drop off money, with the congregation amassing $5,000 for the homeless man.

The stunning acts of kindness from Newton down the line led to 35 decisions to accept Christ that day. As for Anthony, Newton and the church stepped in to lovingly help him get medical help at a local hospital over his claim he wanted to end his life.

They have also stepped in to help the man in other ways. Newton hopes the interaction sparks a powerful lesson for believers to remember God’s love for everyone.

Watch the video to find out more about the touching story.

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About The Author

Billy Hallowell writes for CBN's He has been working in journalism and media for more than a decade. His writings have appeared in CBN News, Faithwire, Deseret News, TheBlaze, Human Events, Mediaite, PureFlix, and Fox News, among other outlets. He is the author of several books, including Playing with Fire: A Modern Investigation Into Demons, Exorcism, and Ghosts Hallowell has a B.A. in journalism and broadcasting from the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, New York and an M.S. in social research from Hunter College in Manhattan, New York.