Celebrating the life of Rev. Clay Evans of Chicago, Illinois (1925-2019)

The world lost a titan in the field of African-American religion on November 27 when the Rev. Clay Evans passed away at the age of 94 in his home city of Chicago. Evans was the founder and long-serving pastor of the Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church and an accomplished recording artist and songwriter.

The Baylor Libraries’ Digitization and Digital Preservation Services team worked tirelessly for several years to digitize and thoroughly describe the video archive of Rev. Evans’ recorded sermons, with the goal of adding them to a refreshed digital collections site in 2020. The videos will be searchable and extremely useful to researchers thanks to the efforts of Evangeline Eilers, who spent months reviewing the recordings and documenting the necessary metadata to make them into useful digital objects. (We previously wrote about the Clay Evans connection to Baylor here, in a post detailing Evangeline’s trip to his 92nd birthday party back in 2017.)

The Baylor Libraries join in the memorializing of Rev. Evans and mourn his passing along with countless others across the country and around the world who were touched by his connection to God, his passion for civil rights, and his gift for song.

For an example of Rev. Evans’ engaging, unique style, suitable for the season, here is a video clip of a presentation of the story of the birth of Christ to a group of children from FMBC.

For more information on Rev. Evans’ remarkable life, the Chicago “Tribune” offers a fitting obituary and write-up, available here.


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