NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) —Isaiah Stewart is the pastor at House of Healing Ministries in New Orleans. The Church is on Conti Street in a mid city neighborhood that has seen more than it’s fair share of crime.

“In the book of Luke, Jesus told the disciples, that you need to sell your purse and buy you a sword. Why did He say that if he didn’t mean that you need to be able to defend yourself. The church has been involved in protection. A lot of people forget about the Deacons for Defense, in the 1960’s. So this isn’t taboo. It’s not new,” says Stewart.

Stewart teaches more than what is written in the bible. He is owner of Angel Arms NOLA and teaches home defense and personal safety courses about when and where to operate a firearm for protection. The courses take place in the middle of a church sanctuary.

“As a pastor you are to look after your sheep. This is done in response to what is happening in New Orleans, with all the excessive home break-ins, robberies and car jackings,” says Stewart.

The most recently class held 66 people and was sponsored by the U.S. Concealed Carry Association. After months of violent crime in New Orleans, this was the largest class Angel Arms has seen.

Lillie Fleury and her husband attended the course and say, “we are not trying to go out to be a vigilante. We are making sure we have the right training to have a firearm and to be responsible gun owners.”

There’s a lot that participants take in that include, learning how to remain calm, ready and having a thorough knowledge about the local laws and rights that protect people defending themselves, in and outside of their home.

The most basic lesson taught is, if you own a gun, you need to know how to use it. Life-altering moment come quickly, as the FBI says there is only about 2.3 to 2.5 seconds to pull a gun out and get it on a target that is charging towards you.

During the course, participants can earn a certificate as well as an application for the state. It’s a very peculiar combination of faith and firepower, as residents across the country search for ways to stay safe, amongst a trending rise in violent crime.

“The bottom line is some of that stuff will go down, if people begin to combat the threat. It seams very scary and it seams alarming, but the harsh reality is, that if you don’t prove to them, that I am not a victim, they will continue to victimize you,” says Stewart.

Isaiah’s next course is August 13th, followed by one on August 20th. To learn more, click here.