Police have arrested two men over the murder of pensioner Alan Greaves, who was attacked as he walked to church in Sheffield on Christmas Eve.
The 68-year-old was found with head injuries on the pavement close to his home on Greengate Lane at around 11.15pm.
The suspects, both from Sheffield, have been arrested on suspicion of murder, South Yorkshire Police said. One is in his 20s and the other in his 40s.
Officers are searching properties in the High Green area and a police spokesman has said there is a "high-visibility police presence".
Mr Greaves, a retired social worker, had been an organist and lay preacher at St Saviour's Church in High Green for nine years.
He died on Thursday night surrounded by his family at the city's Northern General Hospital.
Police have called the attack "brutal" and are continuing to appeal for witnesses to come forward.
Detective Superintendent Matt Fenwick said it is likely a weapon was used but the motive for the attack is not known.
Friends and neighbours have described Mr Greaves as a good and kind man. His wife Maureen, a church community worker, is said to be devastated.
"He was a good man and this was an evil act," said Canon Simon Bessant, who worked closely with Mr Greaves and his wife.
"He was a gentle soul. He wasn't foolish - he would have handled the situation as best as anyone would but we don't know what he encountered."
Mr Bessant said Mr Greaves had been attacked 250 yards from the church and that his family had been at home.
"His wife wants justice but she doesn't want vengeance. She is not embittered but obviously she wants this person to be caught."
Mr Greaves had four adult children and had recently become a grandfather to twin boys adopted by his daughter in Mozambique.
He and his wife had recently set up a food bank and community project in the area where he was murdered.