Pastor Tony Evans announced his engagement to Carla Crummie on Sunday, four years after the death of his wife, Lois Evans.
During a celebration service for Evans’ 74th birthday at his church, the senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas was joined on stage by his four children to make the exciting announcement.
Evans' late wife, Lois, whom he was married for nearly five decades, died Dec. 30, 2019, after battling biliary cancer.
“As I come up to the fourth year of the loss of Lois, my wife of 49-and-a-half-years, it is a tender time. There are reminders everywhere of her life and her influence on me, my family, and this ministry,” Evans told his church on Sunday in a video shared online Monday.
The respected church leader made the announcement surrounded by his children, Priscilla Shirer, Jonathan Evans, Anthony Evans Jr. and Crystal Evans Hurst, standing by his side in solidarity.
“We are a very close family,” Evans said, “and all that has happened in my life, family, church, Urban Alternative, books, tapes, everything, has been defined by [Lois], so we’ve had over these four years the ups and downs and the roller coaster of emotions, sometimes high, sometimes low, but it comes with it.”
Evans thanked his congregation for grieving with him and his family through it all. The minister acknowledged that Lois’ loss was “outside of our hands. We had to put it in the hands of a sovereign God.”
“As I worked through the ups and downs of singlehood, God in His sovereignty has brought someone into my life,” Evans told the congregation as they erupted in cheers.
“This someone has traveled this similar road,” Evans explained. "Carla Crummie and her husband were on their way to Lois’ funeral when “her husband died."
“As I’ve tried to share the ups and downs of my life with you,” Evans continued, “I wanted to share this and give you the opportunity to meet my new fiancée, Miss Carla Crummie.”
The church gave the pastor a standing ovation, but he redirected the congregation to be respectful to those who were still grieving the loss of his wife.
“It’s a sensitive time,” Evans reiterated. “During a time like this, you're also reminded of loss. And so I want your sensitivity as you pray for me as we walk through this journey, as she walks through the grief that she’s had to walk through.”
The Evans family has suffered much loss in recent years. Evans lost his brother, sister, brother-in-law, a niece, his father, followed by his wife in succession. Some deaths were within a year of each other, while his father and wife died within a month of each other.
His new fiancée experienced back-to-back losses as well, with the deaths of her mother and husband within a year of each other.
“Just pray for us,” “This [has] already invoked some grief in some people, which I can understand because we’re reminded about the fingerprints,” he said.
“The one thing I’ve appreciated about Carla is that she has held Lois Evans high in honoring her legacy here.”
Jeannie Ortega Law is a reporter for The Christian Post. Reach her at: firstname.lastname@example.org She's also the author of the book, What Is Happening to Me? How to Defeat Your Unseen Enemy Follow her on Twitter: @jlawcp Facebook: JeannieOMusic