Memphis preacher scuffles with carjackers - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis preacher scuffles with carjackers

Reverend Robert Barnes Reverend Robert Barnes

By Nick Kenney - bio | email | Follow us on Twitter

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Reverend Robert Barnes has an age old sermon to preach, after surviving a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

"I couldn't be a minister without forgiveness in my heart," he said.

Wednesday evening, the 76-year-old preacher showed up at Christ Temple Missionary Baptist Church for a nighttime service, only to get carjacked by two teenagers.

"At my age I could've been beaten, knocked out, or injured," he said.

Barnes thinks the carjackers waited inside an abandoned house next to his church until they had the opportunity to strike.  When he pulled up, they cut a path through some high grass and snuck up on him.

Barnes said he fought back after the pair grabbed him, scuffling for nearly three minutes.

"I mean, who wants to get beat up?  You don't," he said.

The pair gave up, but not before taking off with Barnes' car.  Thursday night, Memphis police spotted the car at the intersection of Orleans and Walker.  Cruisers followed until the pair wrecked at Winchester and Graceland.

The pair is now in custody, but Barnes' car is totaled.

"All of us have another chance," Barnes said. "I think, even with that deed, they have a second chance."

And this Sunday's services at Barnes' church will proceed as normal.

"There's always room for forgiveness," Barnes said.

No one has yet been charged in the carjacking.  Officials said a 17-year-old boy and an 18-year-old girl were in the car when it wrecked. They're in custody, as police try to figure out how or if they were involved in the carjacking.

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