SHIVELY, Ky. (WHAS11) -- The music plays and the voices rise with a song inside the walls of Mt. Sinai AOH Church of God Friday morning. Along those singing is Minister James Mathis, standing and raising his arm in worship, a miracle considering what happened less than one month earlier.
"I ended up getting shot a total of six times in this struggle fighting for my life," he said.
Mathis said he had just moved into a room at a house in the 3800-block of Dixie Highway when he was awakened on the morning of April 19 by a man claiming to be from LG&E there to fix a gas leak. Mathis said the man came in, locked the door and pulled out a gun, demanding money and drugs, then shooting Mathis several times during the struggle. Shively Police said Mathis was found on Dixie Highway.
"My heart sunk. It was a pit in my stomach," Pastor Gena Redmon of Mt. Sinai AOH Church of God said. "But the fact that he was talking to me on the phone and he had just been shot six times, I thought to myself, 'What a mighty God we serve.'"
"No major organs were hit," Mathis said. "Every bullet went in and out of my body simultaneously. It's like the Lord was there and he was fighting with me."
Mathis survived. A knuckle in his pinky finger took the most damage in the shooting.
"If everything goes well, I'll have my pinky finger, but it everything don't go well, I'll have my life - amen - which is greater than my pinky finger," he said.
With his new lease on life, Mathis, Redmon and their church are hoping to effect change and bring an end to the violence through the same power they believe saved his life – prayer.
"At first, you give a little prayer here, a little prayer there, but until it affects you personally until it comes to your personal door, it really doesn't set home," he said.
"The Word of God says you can ask believing anything and you shall receive," Redmon said. "Why are we not asking? It's time now for us to ask God for these things."
They are starting a three-month long 24-hour prayer chain pleading for an end to the bloodshed and a return of hope to the Louisville area.
“When we pray, change comes," Redmon said. "It is effective and we just believe when we pray, we can help restore the hope to Louisville."
Shively Police have not yet arrested anyone in Mathis's shooting.
Mathis and Redmon are looking for volunteers to join their prayer chain. People are needed to sign up for 30-minute intervals and can sign up by calling Redmon at 776-1541.
The prayer chain will begin at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, May 24. The church will also be holding a prayer vigil at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 23, to kick off the prayer chain.