In honor of Reverend Pharis D. Evans, Congressman Visclosky entered the statement below into the Congressional Record on June 2, 2011. Pastor Evans’s 50 years of service at Clark Road Missionary Baptist Church in Gary, Indiana, was celebrated at West Side High School last evening.
Mr. Speaker: It is with great pleasure and admiration that I stand before you today to honor and congratulate Reverend Pharis D. Evans on his 50th Anniversary as Pastor of Clark Road Missionary Baptist Church in Gary, Indiana. I can truly say that throughout his many years of service, Pastor Evans has been one of the most dedicated, distinguished, and committed citizens of Indiana’s First Congressional District. He will be honored at a lifetime achievement celebration hosted by Clark Road Missionary Baptist Church on June 10, 2011.
Reverend Pharis Evans graduated from Haywood High School in Brownsville, Tennessee. His passion and interest in theology grew from the church services he attended as a child, and he knew from a very young age that he was destined to be a preacher. He studied theology at Chicago Baptist Institute and continued his studies at Calumet College of Saint Joseph in Whiting. The first Sunday in April 1961, Pharis D. Evans became Pastor of Clark Road Missionary Baptist Church. For 50 years, Pastor Evans has administered spiritual guidance to his congregation that today includes more than 800 parishioners. He has positively impacted the lives of countless individuals through his spiritual teaching and generous nature. During his tenure, he has assisted the church and the community in numerous capacities. From 1963 to 2011, Reverend Evans has coordinated and maintained Radio Broadcast Outreach Ministry. From 2009 to 2011, he was appointed and has served as “Spiritual Advisor” for the Baptist Ministers Conference of Gary and Vicinity; and in 2008, Pastor Evans was awarded the prestigious community service Drum Major Award by the Gary Frontiers Organization. Additionally, he has served as President and Vice President of the Progressive National Baptist Convention for the state of Indiana. He also served as chaplain for the Gary Police Department. Because of his passion and remarkable leadership, Pastor Evans is a mentor for many young ministers and a counselor for pastors in search of guidance and direction. For his complete devotion to helping others in need of spiritual guidance, he is to be commended.
Personally, I am humbled to consider Pastor Evans a friend. My life and the lives of all those he has touched have been inestimably enriched by the wisdom of his words, his innumerable selfless acts of kindness, and his absolute devotion to Our Lord.
Equally important is Reverend Evans’s beloved family. He has been married to Ann Evans for 60 years this October. They have five wonderful children (one deceased), nine grandchildren (one deceased), and two great-grandchildren.
Mr. Speaker, I ask that you and my other distinguished colleagues join me in commending Reverend Pharis Evans for his lifetime of leadership and selfless service to others. Northwest Indiana and Clark Road Ministry Baptist Church have certainly been rewarded by the uncompromising loyalty he has displayed over the past 50 years. Throughout his tenure he has been the truest example of morality and wisdom, and he is worthy of the highest praise.