Stray bullets fall through church ceiling during New Year’s service

HARLINGEN — It was supposed to be just another New Year’s service for the parishioners at Faith Pleases God Church.

The sermon was being televised as people waited for the first day of 2016.

Around midnight New Year’s Eve as church members celebrated with each other, fireworks were being blasted outside.

However, it turned out not just fireworks were being shot off.

Someone, somewhere outside the church fired gunshots into the air to celebrate, as well.

At least two of those bullets crashed through the church ceiling and fell into the service. More than 50 people were inside.

Nobody would have even known — if a bullet hadn’t fallen near one parishioner.

She heard something fly past her head as she walked through the sanctuary during the service.

She even noticed the ceiling tile move.

Young children were close by and when she looked to the floor, she saw one bullet lying there.

Another was found less than 10 feet away from where children were standing.

Faith Pleases God Senior Pastor Kevin Ortiz said the church was grateful nobody was hurt.

The church filed a report with the Harlingen Police Department.

Ortiz said he did not want to comment further on the incident.

Today, you can still see the gunshot holes in two of the ceiling tiles inside the church.

The police report classified the incident as “deadly conduct.”

No arrests were made.

The report said an unknown person intentionally and knowingly discharged a firearm in the air.

The ministry at Faith Pleases God has moved forward. Their regular weekly services and ministries are still scheduled for today and Sunday.

Faith Pleases God Church will be hosting its annual Faith Conference Jan. 10-17 at 7 p.m. It will bring pastors from around the area and the world, to be broadcast for viewers around the world.

Their Victory in the Valley praise and worship sermon is televised Monday through Friday at 6 a.m. on KVEO TV 23.

The Faith Pleases God Church is located at 4501 W. Expressway 83 in Harlingen.

They offer a Sunday service at 11 a.m.