Evangel University's School of Theology and Church Ministries has announced the first recipients of the W.I. Evans Outstanding Graduate Award — Daniel Thomas Prevost (above right) and LaVonna G. Ennis (above lelft).
Evans served as top administrator of Central Bible Institute from 1929-1954 and the administration building (below) on the CBC campus was named for him.
Prevost, among the 224 students who transitioned from CBC to EU as part of the 2013 consolidation, was recognized Thursday, May 1, during EU's baccalaureate service in the Robert H. Spence Chapel. He received his B.A. in church ministries at Evangel's commencement on Friday morning, May 2.
Ennis was given her award Saturday morning, May 3, when she graduated with a Master of Arts in intercultural ministries at the AGTS commencement.
"The award is designated for the consolidated Evangel University's most outstanding graduates demonstrating potential for vocational Christian service or, in the language of CBC's historic mission, service as a 'minister or missionary,'" said Dr. David Bundrick, dean of the STCM.
The STCM was created from the May 2013 consolidation of Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, Central Bible College and the former EU Theology Department.
With the support of Evans' two daughters, donors have created the award because of their desire to highlight the legacy of CBC's undergraduate professional ministry preparation, which continues in the STCM.
Professor Emeritus Dr. J. Calvin Holsinger, who taught for many years at both CBC and Evangel, and his recently deceased wife, Adena Holsinger, who also taught at CBC, made contributions to fund the award program initially for five years.
Those wishing to contribute towards the permanent endowment of the Evans Award may send tax-deductible contributions designated for the "Evans Award" to Evangel University, 1111 N. Glenstone Avenue, Springfield, MO 65802 or give online at www.evangel.edu/give-online/.
Evans (left) served as the top administrator of CBI for 25 years, 1929-1954, and as a revered teacher within the Assemblies of God fellowship. Prior to coming to CBI, Evans served for six years as principal at Bethel Bible Training School in Newark, N.J., which merged with CBI in 1929.
William Irvin Evans was born in Philadelphia, Pa., in 1887. Raised in a Christian home by Methodist parents, he gave his heart to the Lord when he was 12 years old. After his conversion, he began attending Christian and Missionary Alliance services.
In spring 1906, Evans attended an evangelistic campaign conducted by R.A. Torrey and Charles M. Alexander in Philadelphia. One evening during the sermon, Evans was greatly moved. Soon after, he told his mother he felt called to preach the Gospel. His parents were pleased and offered to help him financially to prepare for the ministry. He chose to attend the Missionary Training Institute (now Nyack College, a Christian liberal arts school of about 3,500 students) in Nyack, N.Y. There, Evans experienced the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
Evans' first pastorate was in Richmond, Va. During this time, he also attended Richmond University for three years and later took additional training at the Biblical Seminary in New York.
In 1914, he married Hilda Mae Lindberg. Evans held pastorates in Ossining, N.Y., and later in Butler, N.J. In 1917, he joined the faculty of the one-year-old Bethel Bible Training School, and in 1923, Evans succeeded Frank M. Boyd as principal at Bethel, a position he held until 1929 when he came to Central Bible Institute.
An article in the 1955 Cup, the CBI yearbook, states: "His life at CBI was characterized by several outstanding traits. The first was his life of prayer and fellowship with God. Another characteristic of Dean Evans was his exaltation of Christ and the Word. He insisted that each experience and each idea be judged in the light of the Bible. But the thing for which most of the students will remember Dean Evans is the great passion which he showed for the movings of the Holy Spirit."
The article concludes with this description: "The life of Dean W.I. Evans can best be summed up in his own favorite classroom and chapel illustration. To each freshman class, he told his impressions of passing through the Kansas wheat fields. As he rode along, he noticed how the wheat stacks yielded even to the slightest moving of the air. To him, this was a picture of what should be true in a Christian's life. It should be yielded to God, and so sensitive to Him, that the slightest movement of the Spirit would be obeyed."
W.I. Evans concluded his journey here on earth in 1954, but his legacy lives on.
For more information, contact Dr. David Bundrick at (417) 865-2811, ext. 8814.
Evangel is a national, Christian university of arts, sciences and professions located in Springfield, Mo., and draws 2,400 students from all 50 states and abroad. Evangel offers more than 100 undergraduate academic programs and 10 master's programs. The Assemblies of God Theological Seminary at Evangel offers five additional master's degrees and four doctoral degrees, including two Ph.D.s. For more information on Evangel University, visit http://www.evangel.edu.
By Paul K. Logsdon, director of public relations and publications
PHONE: 417-865-2815 ext. 7292 or cellular 417-838-0425