Man who interrupted Sullivan’s church service held ‘gun-shaped’ driftwood to head

James Goulah

A man who interrupted a Sullivan’s Island church service Sunday apparently put a gun-shaped piece of driftwood to his head in front of the congregation, according to court records.

James Goulah, 45, whose address was not available, appeared Monday for a bond hearing on charges of congregating for unlawful purposes and disturbing religious worship. He has not yet posted $21,040 bail from Charleston County jail.

Goulah walked into Stella Maris Church during a service Sunday and down the center aisle toward the altar, according to the arrest affidavit. At the altar, he turned to face the congregation and stood on one foot, extending his arms upward, the document states.

Goulah then reached into his pocket and pulled out a “gun-shaped item” and placed it to his head. He was quickly removed from the church and the item was determined to be a piece of driftwood, according to the affidavit.

Officials have not said if Goulah said anything or made any threats during the incident.

Reach Melissa Boughton at 843-937-5594 or at

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