Reverend Dr. Clay Evans is the prolific founder of the Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church where he served as pastor and shepherd for fifty years. He is known as the pastor of pastors around Chicago and vicinity, and today is affectionately referred to as “The Godfather.”

Rev. Evans was born June 23, 1925, to the late Henry Clay and Estanauly Evans in Brownsville, Tennessee. He has been married to Lutha Mae Hollingshed for seventy years. Together they had five children: Diane, Michael, Ralph, Claudette and Faith Renee; they also raised a nephew, Stevie Stewart.

Rev. Evans was ordained a Baptist Minister in 1950, and matriculated through various institutions of higher learning, including Chicago Baptist Institute, Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, Trinity College and International Bible Institute & Seminary, and the University of Chicago Divinity School. He also received an Honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree from Arkansas Baptist College.

Rev. Evans has been responsible for launching the ministerial careers of over 90 men and women. He has been involved in civil rights since the 1950’s and a leader in the Civil Rights Movement since 1965.

Rev. Evans is Founding Chairman of Operation PUSH and Chairman Emeritus of Rainbow PUSH. He is the Founding National Chairman of the African American Religious Connection (AARC), the Founding President of Broadcast Ministers Alliance (BMA), the Founder of the Clay Evans Scholarship Foundation, Inc. (CESF), and the Chairman of Concerned Clergy for a Better Chicago. He has served as advisor and board member of numerous civic and religious organizations, including the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.

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Rev. Evans has authored six meaningful publications, namely, From Plough Handle to Pulpit, Gateway to an Abundant Life, A Chat with the Elder, Questions and Answers to Daily Situations, It is No Secret What God Can Do and The Fellowship Manual, A Handbook of Church Polity and Practice.

Rev. Evans has been the featured soloist on more than thirty albums recorded with Fellowship’s 250 voice choir, directed by his sister, Dr. Lou Della Evans Reid. A new CD release in 2016, “Trust in the Lord,” featuring some of Rev. Evans’ most beloved music, has climbed to #3 on Billboard. Whether preaching or singing, Reverend’s message is timeless.

Rev. Evans retired as pastor of the Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church on the last Sunday in December 2000, but he continues to counsel, comfort the sick in hospitals, mentor ministers and civic leaders, preside at the funeral services of old Fellowship members, as well as maintain an active preaching schedule in and around Chicago and across the country.