Sunrise: October 9, 1927 — Sunset: February 21, 2023
Mary Earl Evans was born October 9, 1927, to Mamie Day (Watkins), and Lindsey Day in Dixon’s Mill, Alabama. She was a gifted storyteller. One of the many stories she shared with her children was the journey she made as a child with her mother and siblings from her paternal grandparents’ farm and birth home of Dixon’s Mil to Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
Her spiritual life was very important to her. She began her Christian journey as a member of the Starlight Baptist Church in Hattiesburg. As a young woman in Hattiesburg, she met her husband, Albert James Evans, Sr. They married in 1947. She then joined True Light Baptist Church where he was a member.
Mary and Albert had nine children, but she still made time to be active in her church. She was a Vacation Bible School teacher and led the children’s choir. She lost Albert to an aneurysm in 1965 and continued to raise her children as a single mother, but with strong community and family support.
Mary saw the limited opportunities the segregated city of Hattiesburg offered. In the summer of 1971, she made the decision to move her family across the country to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she felt her children would have a brighter future.
She was a great caregiver. She supported her children by caring for all 15 grandchildren like a second mother, leaving cherished memories and an indelible imprint on each of their lives. In caring for her community over her lifetime, she was the president of the school’s PTA, a childcare provider, and a nursing assistant.
Mary will be remembered for her humor, especially memorable quotes like, “Okey-dokey a nickel and a tokie,” or “I might have been born at night, but not last night!”
Her home was always filled with music. She sang with her children in her Hattiesburg home. You could often hear her singing hymns while cooking in her Minneapolis kitchen. She loved playing her many gospel albums and leading a praise and worship song during church service.
Her work as a young woman in the church would eventually lead to her being an evangelist. If you were fortunate, you had the opportunity to hear her preach the gospel while evangelizing in churches where she was a member across Minneapolis or in churches she visited throughout the Twin Cities.
Over the 50 years, she spent in Minneapolis, she was a member of Faith Temple Church of God in Christ, Faith Center, and at the time of her passing, she was a member of Church of New Life with Pastors Sam and Shirley Nero.
The Lord called Mary home on the morning of February 21, 2023, at the age of 95. She was proceeded in death by her mother and father, her siblings, Theresa Stamps, Lillie Mae Myers, Daisy Henderson, Hattie McLaughlin, James Day, Dennis Day, Johnnie M. Day (her twin), Charles Day, Tiny Bee Day and her sons, Kenneth Evans and Joseph Ray Evans.
Left to cherish her memory are her seven children, Elder Albert James Evans, Jr., (Doris) Buffalo, NY; Brenda Lynn Evans, Hattiesburg. MS; Jerry Leon Evans; Mamie Catherine Stokes (Michael); David Earl Evans; Pamela Joy Henderson; Vickie Diane Evans-Nash (Ewell); all of Minneapolis; 15 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren; her Goddaughter, Apostle Bertha Lanier, and countless church members, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
Homegoing services for Evangelist Mary E. Evans will be held on Tuesday, March 7 at Church of New Life Christian Ministries, 8600 Bloomington Ave. South, Bloomington, MN, 55425. Visitation held at 10 am with the services to follow at 11 am. Internment at Ft. Snelling Cemetery.
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