Christian ministry has always been a challenging field, but the trials of the last several years seem to have made it even more difficult for pastors to remain steadfast in their work throughout an entire lifetime, from start to finish.
Though the recent season may appear unprecedented, today’s generation is not the first to experience such societal upheaval, and the North American Mission Board has launched a podcast called “Start to Finish” that tells the story of Evans, a faithful pastor who has endured much through the years and held tightly to God’s Word through it all: Tony Evans.
“I am so humbled and honored about this podcast that kind of unveils my life, history, ministry, family, worldview and perspective,” said Evans, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas. “It’s a privilege to be able to share with others who I am, where God has brought me from and hopefully where He is taking me to in whatever time He gives me in life and ministry.”
Evans has been the senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship for more than 40 years. He became a household name in evangelicalism over the course of his ministry with a daily radio broadcast that has grown such that it can be heard on more than 2,000 radio outlets around the world.
“In a time with so many examples of institutional and leadership failure, it’s important to honor those who are finishing strong,” said Trevin Wax, NAMB’s vice president of research and resource development. “Dr. Tony Evans has had an incalculable impact on the evangelical world, and there is much wisdom, insight and inspiration we can receive from the ministry impact God has accomplished through him.”
Many might see the outward successes that Evans’s Kingdom-focused ministry has had through radio broadcasts, books and publishing the first full-Bible commentary and study Bible ever produced by an African American, but fewer might know his full story — growing up in a family transformed by the gospel, coming of age during the Civil Rights Movement, meeting his late wife, Lois, during a evangelistic trip in Guyana and attending college in Atlanta, seminary in Dallas before starting Oak Cliff in Dallas.
“Start to Finish” provided Evans the chance to reflect on and tell his own story along with dozens of the people who know him best — his children, family, mentors, professors and those he has discipled.
Among those who sat down to talk about Evans were Super Bowl winning coach, Tony Dungy; gospel artist, Kirk Franklin; and his daughter Priscilla Shirer, a renowned Bible teacher and author in her own right.
The podcast launched Aug. 17, and episodes be found here as they release, and they will also be available on every major podcast platform.
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EDITOR’S NOTE — This story was written by Brandon Elrod and originally published by the North American Mission Board.