With new details continuing to emerge surrounding the horrific mass shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Sunday, stories of heroism show the power and presence of love amid the most unthinkable scenario.
Faithwire already told you about Joann Ward, the mother who reportedly saved two of her kids’ lives when she pushed daughter Rihanna Garza, 9, to the floor and shielded three of her younger children from the bullets being fired by gunman Devin Kelley. Now, there’s another story about a similarly selfless act inside First Baptist.
Zachary Poston, 18, reportedly survived the ordeal after his grandma, 56-year-old Peggy Lynn Warden — a volunteer Sunday school teacher at the church — helped shield his body from a storm of bullets.
Despite being hit six times, Poston survived the ordeal, The Daily Mail reported.
And according to Jimmy Stevens, Warden’s brother, Poston’s survival came after the grandmother’s selfless act. Stevens also painted a picture of Warden as a woman who gave her time and effort toward helping people through the church.
“My sister spent her whole life working at the church,” Stevens told WOAI-TV. “It was always her goal to serve and teach children the word of God. There was nothing she would have rather done. And she served people basically her whole life.”
On Sunday, Warden made it her final act to once again serve others, this time her teenage grandson. What’s perhaps most shocking is that she had just started attending the church again a month ago after staying home over the past year to help her husband, who died in July after a battle with lung cancer.
“My sister — as someone who would serve and protect — put her body over his when the shooting started,” he said. “And that’s when she got shot.”
Stevens said Warden “died serving the Lord” and that “she will be missed every day.”
Poston reportedly also helped hide a little girl under a pew after his grandmother’s kind act, showing yet another act of bravery in the midst of a horrific storm. Kelley reportedly shot him five or six times, shattering his kneecap as Poston helped hide the child under the pew.
A GoFundMe set up by Poston’s great aunt offers more details about the injuries he sustained, as the family has raised over $12,000 of the intended $50,000 for Poston’s recovery and education.
“Upon arriving at the hospital he went into surgery. The first of many was to put in pins to hold his bones together and to support his left wrist which was hanging on by ligaments and tendons,” Korri Scheel Stevens wrote. “He will need many more surgeries and is looking at a long road to recovery.”
Let’s all pray for Poston and the other survivors and families of the deceased.