Megachurch pastor stabbed and robbed during home invasion in North Carolina

Pastor Matt Bentley performs during a service at a Forest Hill Church campus in North Carolina.(Twitter/Forest Hill Church/Matt Bentley)

A pastor at a North Carolina megachurch has been robbed and stabbed in his home by an intruder.

When Matt Bentley of Forest Hill Church in Charlotte opened the door of his home Wednesday afternoon, an intruder who was already inside attacked him, according to friends, CBN News reports.

The assailant "just kind of bum-rushed him, kind of swinging, asking for keys, wallet, phones,'' the victim's roommate Hudson Hower told news station WSOC-TV Thursday afternoon.

The suspect stabbed Bentley four times on the arms, side and face before driving off with the pastor's vehicle. None of the wounds were life-threatening and the pastor was out of the hospital by Thursday morning, Hower said.

Church communications director Stacey Martin said the pastor is "in good spirits'' and feeling lucky to have survived the vicious attack.

As news of the attack spread in the community, Martin said a groundswell of support poured in. "So he's being loved on, cared for well, being covered in prayer.''

Police later identified the man who broke into Bentley's home as 25-year-old Corey Edgerton, who has a rap sheet for break-ins in Wake County and was wanted by probation officers as an absconder.

Edgerton, who was set to make his first court appearance in the case on Thursday, was charged by police with robbery with a dangerous weapon, breaking and entering, and assault with serious bodily injury.

Bentley is a ministry leader and a musician who prepares the congregation for worship at the Forest Hill Church's Ballantyne campus, one of the church's six locations throughout North Carolina. The church is affiliated with 39 outreach programmes and services that serve homeless men and women, low-income families, students, those struggling with addiction, as well as victims of domestic violence, according to The Christian Post.

TV news reports say this was the second time the same church was "struck by a difficult situation." Former lead pastor Gentry Eddings, who was replaced by Bentley, reportedly lost his two sons in a car crash.