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Pungo Christian teacher remembered for love of God, family and school

In the midst of a tragic loss widely felt in the Belhaven and Pantego communities, hundreds gathered in the Pungo Christian Academy gym Thursday afternoon to remember and celebrate the life of Brenda Hamilton, a woman who was clearly respected, loved and a dear friend to many.

She was remembered during the service for her selfless love for family, her community, her students and school, and, above all, an unceasing love for Jesus Christ.

For 51 years, Hamilton gave tirelessly of herself in service to Pungo Christian Academy and its students. A teacher of English, language, typing and literature, she inspired in her students a love for the written word and was a constant source of encouragement for all she met at school and otherwise. She was one of the founding faculty members of PCA, and one of its greatest advocates.

“Her passion for education was astounding, and a testament to that is shown in the many different written words and memories shared during the past couple days by former and current students and staff here at PCA,” Union Grove Church of Christ Youth Minister Ethan Coltrain recalled. “She met students where they were.”

Her role as a teacher, however, went beyond the classroom. A faithful member of Union Grove Church of Christ, Coltrain said she was always there as a Sunday School teacher, a Vacation Bible School leader and an eager volunteer to help feed the congregation.

“The love of Jesus was seen in her every action,” Coltrain said. “In today’s society, it is hard to find someone who will treat everyone the same that they come in contact with. But she did just that. Everyone was so special to her, and she did everything she could to make you feel extra special. She had a way about her of helping rebirthing your thoughts so they would be encouraging instead of bitter.”

Hamilton was also remembered for her expert cooking skills, as a skilled rummy player and for the beach trips she led for her students and enjoyed with her family. Above all, she will be remembered as a Christian role model for the countless pupils to walk the halls at PCA and those she encountered in her daily life.

“The reason this gym is full here today is because Brenda Hamilton pointed everybody she ever met towards Jesus Christ,” said Scott Askew, former student and minister at Broad Creek Church of Christ. “If that is what we leave behind today with her, then she would be joyous to know that you might know Jesus a little better because you knew Brenda Hamilton. All she wanted us to do today, was to remember Jesus.”