TERRELL, Texas — Longtime Southwestern Christian College (SwCC) President-Emeritus Jack Evans Sr. died on Friday, November 1, 2019, the university and family announced. He was 81.
Evans served as the president of SwCC for nearly 50 years, making him the longest serving college president in America, according to the college.
He served from 1967, after being appointed the college's first African-American president, until 2016 when he retired. Upon his retirement, the SwCC Board of Trustees named Evans the President-Emeritus.
Earlier this year, the community mourned the loss of Evans' wife, Patricia Evans, the college's Queen Mother and First Lady. Together, the Evans leave a lasting legacy that won't soon be forgotten.
A public visitation will be held on Thursday, November 14, 2019, at Sacred Funeral Home from 1 p.m. until 7 p.m. and on Friday, November 15, 2019, at Southwestern Christian College from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. to be followed by a memorial service.
A final viewing is scheduled for Saturday, November 16, 2019, from 9 a.m. until noon at Southwestern Christian College followed by a celebration of life.
Statement from Southwestern Christian College President Dr. Ervin D. Seamster, Jr.:
"On Friday, November 1, 2019, in the quiet hours before daybreak, Dr. Jack Evans, Sr., the longest serving college president in America, made his transition following a lengthy illness. His family was at his side.
Dr. Evans was a native Texan, born in Houston and blessed with a gift from God. He was one of a handful of talented gospel preachers who studied under the great Marshall Keeble at the Nashville Christian Institute. After graduation, Evans enrolled at Southwestern, where he graduated in 1959.
From the age of 16, Evans had been a towering figure in the pulpit. As his education and training continued, at several institutions, his reverent booming voice became one of his most recognizable instruments.Word of his undeniable prowess in the pulpit and his impressive knowledge of the Bible preceded Evans wherever he traveled. His popularity skyrocketed. Everyone who saw or heard Jack Evans knew this man was something special.
In1963, the former student enthusiastically accepted position sat his alma materas dean and history instructor. Four years later, Dr. Evans’ hard work catapulted him onto the national stage—as a preacher and a president.
In 1967, Dr. Evans was appointed president of Southwestern Christian College, making him the first African American to ever hold the position. Evans would remain President nearly 50 years, until his retirement at the end of 2016. At that time, the SwCC Board of Trustees named Evans our beloved “President-Emeritus.”
Under his leadership, Evans helped place Southwestern, and the city of Terrell, Texas, on the map. In 1973, the College earned its full accreditation and the student population soared. Evans presided over more national SwCC Lectureships than any other administration, helping to plan and execute an annual event that brought supporters and donors from New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, from across Texas and the world, to the little campus in Terrell.
Thousands of prominent ministers, church workers, former board members, heartbroken alumni, our students, and Churches of Christ across America, all join with the Southwestern Christian College family to mourn a giant and his legacy.
Dr. Evans is preceded in death by his wife, Patricia Evans. They raised three sons: Jack, Jr., Herbert, and David. To them, and to the entire Evans family, we send our love, prayers, and heartfelt condolences. There will never be another Jack Evans, Sr."