The nuns are all from Nigeria, and reside at the convent. Police say 55-year-old Sister Obiama was there alone when the attack happened.
Goodness said the 52-year-old Calvin Battle punched and kicked her. She was taken to a local hospital.
A church sexton said Battle had come to the church earlier in the day asking for money and was turned away.
Sister Obiama was released from the hospital later Thursday with some bruises.
Battle who has nearly three dozen arrests and 12 felony convictions for robbery, burglary, and theft related offenses, was arrested and charged with Aggravated Assault, Robbery, Burglary, Theft, and Criminal Mischief.