A preacher is leaning towards the power of forgiveness after being shot by his cousin following a heated afterlife debate.
On January 7th, Pastor Jimmy McGauley and Keshawn Nesmith got into a heated debate over Heaven and Hell after attending a mutual family member’s funeral in Jacksonville, Florida. Nesmith, a U.S. Army veteran and atheist, pressed McGauley about religion despite him trying several times to change the subject when things began to get heated. The pastor says he tried to talk about sports, but Nesmith continued going back to religion. Witnesses at the scene say McGauley never threatened his enraged cousin. Yet, Nesmith became so upset he retrieved his weapon, striking McGauley in the hip and leg. Other family members held him down until the police arrived.
Despite the potentially life-threatening incident, McGauley says he forgives his cousin. He doesn’t believe the 26-year-old was in his right state of mind at the time of the shooting.
“I forgive him for two reasons, for one that’s my cousin and the other reason I’m a man of God,” says McGauley.
In terms of punishment, McGauley also is not interested in seeing his family member put behind bars for life. He believes that rehabilitation is needed but has no idea what that looks like as he tries to heal each day.
Nesmith has been charged with second-degree attempted murder, use of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and carrying a concealed firearm.