A church elder was mauled to death by a pit bull last week while she walked to check her sister's mailbox in Virginia.
The dog, who has since been euthanized, bit 88-year-old Evangeline Brooks of the First Baptist Church of South Richmond in the neck early Monday morning last week as she went to check her sister's mail.
"A truck pulled up, and a man was saying, 'The dog bit her, the dog bit her.' I said, 'bit her where?' He said 'in the neck,'" Brooks' neighbor Roxanne Tune recounted to local news station WRIC. "I took off running down there, and I saw her laying there, and the dog's owner was holding her, and I said, 'is she breathing?'"
According to The Christian Post, Brooks was initially left brain dead from the attack and was placed on life support at a local hospital. However, her son, Howard Brooks, decided to take her off life support the next day.
"My mother went 30 minutes without breathing when they were working on her," Brooks told WRIC. "They said she would not come out of the coma that she was in."
He remembered his mother as an "incredible" woman and recalled regularly singing her favorite hymn, "Jesus on the Mainline."
"My mother was just incredible," Brooks added. "She was phenomenal."
First Baptist Church of South Richmond Senior Pastor Dwight Jones described Brooks as the "salt of the Earth" and "a wonderful person," WTVR reports.
"For a person in their upper 80s to lose their life in such a horrendous way, it is something that really causes us concern on top of our grief," he said.
The pastor told WSAZ 3 that Brooks was a loyal church member who served in multiple capacities.
"We have members who come and go, but then, there are special members who really mean a lot," he said. "She was a deacon, choir member and Sunday school teacher."
"We are just so sad that she would lose her life in that way, but we want to take a moment to remember her and thank God for a wonderful woman, a pillar in the church," he told WRIC. "She was indeed the salt of the earth and one in a million."
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Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.