Pauline Jacobi, who in January will turn 93, said the event, which occurred about 4:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 19, was not of her nature.
"It was God using me," she said. "I'm a shy person, really. What happened there was the Lord using me."
According to Jacobi - "GrandPolly" to her grandchildren and more than a dozen great-grandchildren - she had placed groceries into the driver's side back seat of her tan-colored Toyota Corolla, which was parked in one of the disabled spots near the grocery side entrance of the Wal-Mart SuperCenter.
"It was later than I usually like to get out," she said. "I'd had a pretty busy day and I was kind of skittish. It was getting dark. But I'd finished my shopping and got into the car. There were people walking to and from, passing back and forth in front of me, so I didn't start my engine so I wouldn't scare them."
After a few minutes waiting for the right time to move, the front passenger door opened "and a tall man, raggedy looking, sat in right next to me. His knees were touching mine."
Oddly, she said her thought was that the man was putting his feet on her chicken she'd placed in the floorboard.
"He was bundled up with a heavy jacket and cap," Jacobi said. "And he said 'Give me your money.' I said, 'No, you're not getting my money.' I didn't have anything more than a $10 bill, I think, but I didn't want him to get my medications."
Twice the disheveled man, who Jacobi said appeared to be in his 50s, demanded money. The third time, he said if she didn't comply, he would kill her.
"Then the good Lord took over," Jacobi said. "I said, 'If you kill me, I'm going straight to heaven. If you kill me, you're going to hell.'"
She said the man looked at her as her words spilled out.
"You look like you've had an awful time in this world," said Jacobi to the man. "And as bad as that is, it's nothing compared to hell. Hell is much worse than anything here ..."
"Jesus is sitting in the car with me," she told him, as he glanced in the back seat. "He'll protect me if you kill me. I'll go to heaven."
Jacobi said she was looking intently at his eyes during the talk.
"He had such sad eyes," she said. "The cap over his face made him look unkempt, but his eyes weren't mean-looking."
"I asked him his name," she said. "He said it was Ricky, and he was from Halls."
"Ricky, you drink, don't you?" asked Jacobi. "He said he was hungry. I said if you didn't spend your money on drink you'd have money for a meal."
"Then I asked him, 'Ricky, would you like to go to heaven?'"
"'Yes, I sure would,'" he said. "'But I'm afraid the Lord won't take me."'
"Yes he will. He will take you if you believe. He'd save you right here and now. All you have to do is believe in Him and accept Him as your savior."
She said he told her he didn't know how to pray.
"Oh, you can pray anytime you want," she said. "Anytime, anywhere."
After a brief silence, Jacobi told the man she was going to give him what little money she had.
"I reached into my purse and opened the clutch bag and pulled out what I think was the $10 bill. I said 'Ricky, I'm going to give you money. Don't spend it on liquor. Get something to eat."
Jacobi said Ricky hesitated.
"I want you to have it," she said. "You weren't going to take it from me, but I'll give it to you.
"He started to cry. Then he leaned over and gave me a kiss on the cheek."
The shaken man then opened the door and walked into the night.
Jacobi anxiously started the car and drove to her Troy Avenue home. After thinking over what had happened, she said she fell fast asleep.
Tuesday morning after waking, the full impact of the experience welled up, and she called a friend. That friend urged her to call the police.
The police report notes from video surveillance of the parking lot that the man was in Jacobi's car for almost 12 minutes before he exited. The recording also shows several dozen shoppers walked by the car during the time Jacobi was ministering to the man.
A member of the First Baptist Church for more than 70 years, Jacobi said she frequently prays asking for ways to bring friends and family closer to the Lord.
"I do think maybe this was it," she said.