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Praying for Coach Spann

Long-time student, friend and co-worker of Joey Spann says God's not done with him.

Students at Nashville Christian School watch Coach Spann’s live press conference.

They sat in silence, watching as the man they know as Coach Spann spoke to the media live Tuesday morning.

Students and staff at Nashville Christian School were relieved to see his face and hear his voice on TV.

“I thought he was going to shoot everyone,” Spann said during the news conference. “I thought I was dying.”

See the full video of Spann’s press conference 

It was an emotional moment to watch, but one they all know could have ended much differently.

Brian Bishop

“He’s amazing,” high school principal Brian Bishop told The Christian Chronicle.

Bishop has known Spann most of his life. Spann was his youth minister. He also was the minister who performed Bishop’s wedding. And now, in his adult life, Spann is one of his dearest friend and co-workers.

It was Sunday, shortly after the shooting Bishop says he received word of what had happened.

“I had been at church that morning. I was at home eating and we got a phone call,” Bishop said. “All I was told at the time was there’s been a shooting at his church and both he and his wife had been shot.”

Related: One killed, eight injured in mass shooting at Church of Christ in Tennessee

He rushed to Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he and several others waited to hear if Coach Spann would be OK.

It seemed like hours before word came that he had survived.

Coach Joey Spann

Bishop remembers another brush with death Spann had a few years ago when he went into cardiac arrest on the sidelines while coaching a girls’ basketball game. The coach’s ability to survive is proof God’s not done with him, Bishop said.

“Clearly, Coach Spann is doing great things because someone’s trying to put a stop to him,” Bishop said.

Nashville Christian School hosted a special time of prayer both Sunday night and during school Monday. Administrators are making sure students have resources available if they need to talk about what’s happened.

In the press conference, Spann joked about returning to the school and hoping he would still have a job.

No need to worry, Bishop said, adding that the school can’t wait to welcome him back.

“We’re planning for him to be back as quickly as he can be,” the principal said.


While Spann’s healing may take some time, Bishop says he knows this won’t hold him back.

“He’s going to keep preaching. He’s going to keep teaching,” Bishop said. “It’s not going to change him or his work at all.”

The school has started a GoFundMe page to help the Spann’s with their medical costs. They say donations can also be sent directly to the school.

Filed under: Burnette Chapel mass shootings National News Top Stories

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