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Woman attacked in Arlington church robbery worked in Victoria church

By KBell
March 5, 2011 at 9:05 p.m.
Updated March 4, 2011 at 9:05 p.m.

Flowers lie at the front door of NorthPointe Baptist Church in Arlington. The pastor of the church was found dead and an assistant was found severely beaten at the church Thursday afternoon.

The ministry assistant who was severely beaten in what police suspect was a robbery of an Arlington church Thursday served in the same capacity at a Victoria church more than a decade ago.

Judy Elliott, who worked at Parkway Church before moving with her husband to Arlington, remains hospitalized after the attack, according to the Associated Press.

"Judy was always caring for young pastors," Parkway Pastor Mike Hurt said Saturday. "That's exactly what she was doing in Arlington, as well at this church where she was serving."

The attack at NorthPointe Baptist Church resulted in the death of its pastor, the Rev. Clint Dobson, 28, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

A convicted felon was arrested Saturday and faces a capital murder charge in the slaying of the pastor.

Steven Lawayne Nelson, 24, was arrested at an apartment complex following a brief standoff with Arlington police, department spokeswoman Tiara Ellis Richard said. Nelson apparently had been staying in an apartment a few blocks away from the NorthPointe Baptist Church, where Dobson was found dead and Elliott was severely beaten Thursday.

Arlington police said they're still searching for Elliott's vehicle believed to have been stolen in the attack, the Star-Telegram reported.

Hurt said he has not yet been in contact with Elliott, but other church members said her condition was improving.

"She's still in guarded condition, but it's improving," Hurt said.

Hurt said Elliott's husband, John, worked at Citizens Medical Center for several years. The couple had moved to Arlington before Hurt returned to Victoria in 2008 to pastor Parkway Church, he said.

But Hurt remembered Elliott contributing to the church's early days, back in 2000, when the growing congregation was still meeting at the Victoria Mall.

"She is really good at organizing things and getting teams together and helping people find their spiritual gifts," Hurt said.

He added, "She's dearly loved, and there's lots of people in Victoria praying for her and hoping for a full recovery."

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