Pastor and bestselling author Tony Evans announced his engagement to Carla Crummie on Sunday, four years after his first wife, Lois Evans, died.
Evans was accompanied on the stage of his church during a celebration service for his' 74th birthday by his four children, Priscilla Shirer, Jonathan Evans, Anthony Evans Jr. and Crystal Evans Hurst, to make the announcement.
"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, the senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, told his church on Sunday.
Lois passed away on Dec. 30, 2019, after battling biliary cancer.
"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."
The pastor also thanked his congregation for their continued support for himself and his family amid the loss of his late wife, The Christian Post reports.
Although 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 said as the congregation responded with 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," he added, "I wanted to share this and give you the opportunity to meet my new fiancée, Miss Carla Crummie."
Although the church gave a standing ovation, Evans told the congregation to be respectful to others who were still grieving the loss of Lois.
"It's a sensitive time," Evans stressed. "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."
Throughout the years, Evans lost his father, brother, sister, brother-in-law, a niece, and his wife. Several of the deaths took place within a year of each other. His father and wife passed away within a month of each other.
Carla has faced similar losses, including the deaths of her mother and husband.
"Just pray for us," Evan asked. "This [has] already invoked some grief in some people, which I can understand because we're reminded about the fingerprints," he continued.
"The one thing I've appreciated about Carla is that she has held Lois Evans high in honoring her legacy here."
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.
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