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Reverend Clay Evans

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Information about Reverend Clay Evans

Profile image of Reverend Clay Evans

Profession

Category:
ReligionMakers
Occupation(s):
Minister
Nonprofit Chief Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black, Blue, Gray
Favorite Food:
Soul Food
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall, Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
Trust In The Lord With All Your Heart And Lean Not On Your Own Understanding; In All Your Ways Submit To Him, And He Will Make Your Paths Straight.

Birthplace

Born:
6/23/1925
Birth Location:
Brownsville, Tennessee

Profession

Category:
ReligionMakers
Occupation(s):
Minister
Nonprofit Chief Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black, Blue, Gray
Favorite Food:
Soul Food
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall, Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
Trust In The Lord With All Your Heart And Lean Not On Your Own Understanding; In All Your Ways Submit To Him, And He Will Make Your Paths Straight.

Birthplace

Born:
6/23/1925
Birth Location:
Brownsville
See how Reverend Clay Evans is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Civil rights leader Reverend Clay Evans was born on June 23, 1925, in Brownsville, Tennessee to Estanualy and Henry Clay Evans. After graduating from George Washington Carver High School in Brownsville, Evans moved to Chicago to attend seminary school. He studied at the Chicago Baptist Institute, the Northern Baptist Theological Seminary and the University of Chicago Divinity School.

Evans was ordained as a Baptist minister in 1950; and, in 1958, he founded the Fellowship Baptist Church, affectionately called "The Ship" by its parishioners on the South Side. He also sang with various church choirs and wrote gospel songs, including “By and By,” a 1950s hit for the Davis Sisters. In the pulpit, Evans developed a reputation as an innovative and passionate preacher. He also gained an extensive evangelical following throughout the Midwest and the South where his weekly sermons are aired on radio and television. Evans has also influenced scores of new evangelists, as over eighty ministers have studied under him. In 1965, Evans teamed up with the Reverend Jesse Jackson to start Operation PUSH, one of the country’s leading civil rights organizations; and, three years later, he ordained Jackson as a minister. Between 1971 and 1976, Evans served as chairman of Operation PUSH and set direction for the group. Evans published an autobiography, From Plough Handle to Pulpit, in 1982, chronicling his journey from the fields of his childhood home in Tennessee to the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement. He released his first musical project in 1984, What He's Done For Me, and his second album in 1986, Things Are Going to Work Out Somehow. Evans was appointed to the International Committee of Reference in 1988, which worked to create a global ministry. He later released nine more albums: From the Ship (1987), He’ll Be There (1988), Reach Beyond the Break (1990), I’m Going Through (1993), I See A Miracle (1994), I've Got A Testimony (1996), Coming Home (1996), He’s a Battle Axe (1997), and Constantly.

Evans received a 1997 Soul Train Music Awards nominations for Best Gospel Album for I've Got A Testimony. He also served as Rainbow/PUSH’s national board chairman from 2008 to 2012.

Evans married Lutha Mae Hollingshed on October 15, 1946. They had five children. Evans passed away on November 27, 2019.

Evans was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 30, 2003.

See how Reverend Clay Evans is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about the Civil Rights ministers who influenced him
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about the role the church played in the black community
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about the impact the Civil Rights movement had on the U.S., pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about the impact the Civil Rights movement had on the U.S., pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reverend Clay Evans describes the tenets of the Bible
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reverend Clay Evans describes how he wants to be remembered
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Slating of Reverend Clay Evans' interview
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reverend Clay Evans describes his parents and his siblings
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reverend Clay Evans lists his favorites
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about his family's background as sharecroppers in Tennessee
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reverend Clay Evans describes his maternal and paternal grandfathers
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reverend Clay Evans describes his father, Henry Clay Evans
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about working alongside his father, Henry Clay Evans, growing up as sharecroppers in Tennessee
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Reverend Clay Evans describes his mother, Estanuly Evans
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Reverend Clay Evans describes the sights, smells, and sounds of his childhood
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about the racism and discrimination he experienced growing up in Tennessee in the 1920s and 1930s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reverend Clay Evans describes the violence and racism he experienced as a black youth growing up in Brownsville, Tennessee
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reverend Clay Evans describes himself as a slow learner as a student
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about attending Woodlawn Baptist Church growing up in Brownsville, Tennessee
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about the role of religion in his household growing up in Brownsville, Tennessee
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reverend Clay Evans describes attending Woodlawn School and then Carver High School in Brownsville, Tennessee
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about moving to Chicago, Illinois in 1945 after graduating from Carver High School in Brownsville, Tennessee
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about wanting to be an undertaker like the prosperous black undertakers in Brownsville, Tennessee
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about spending his summers in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about marrying his wife, Lutha Mae Evans, in 1945 and entering the Chicago Baptist Institute to become a preacher
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Reverend Clay Evans describes attending seminary at the Chicago Baptist Institute
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Reverend Clay Evans describes developing leadership skills as a preacher
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about his relationship with other denominations and religions
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about starting the Fellowship Baptist Church in Chicago, Illinois, in 1950
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about the growth of his congregation through his broadcast through WYCA in Gary, Indiana
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about his influences and values when founding Fellowship Baptist Church
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about the role of music in his ministry
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about the split in the National Baptist Convention during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1961
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Reverend Clay Evans describes working with Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. when he came to Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about getting involved with HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr. and working with Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. when he came to Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about the difficulty of getting the Fellowship Baptist Church built in the 1960s in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Reverend Clay Evans describes working with Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the 1960s, when he came to Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about beginning Operation PUSH with HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr. in 1971
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Reverend Clay Evans describes his relationship with HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr.
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about the death of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Reverend Clay Evans describes working on the Poor People's Campaign in 1968 in Washington D.C.
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about his theology and religious philosophy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Reverend Clay Evans describes what he wants his legacy to be
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Reverend Clay Evans gives advice to young people seeking spirituality
  • Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Reverend Clay Evans talks about his hopes and concerns for the black community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Reverend Clay Evans narrates his photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Reverend Clay Evans narrates his photographs, pt. 2