Many churches have pastor appreciation days, but one day wasn’t enough time for a Ludowici church to show how much the congregation loves its pastor and his wife.
St. James Missionary Baptist Church kicked off its appreciation of Pastor James Evans and his wife Minister Joan Evans on June 6 during the Wednesday night prayer meeting and concluded on Sunday at the weekly service.
Ruth Johnson, a lifelong church member, said the couple deserves the recognition.
“He and his wife deserve our appreciation,” Johnson said. “He’s hardworking, dedicated and a man who loves the Lord, his wife and the people of our church. He promotes our church all of the time, and all I can say is we got a winner in him.”
The church’s oldest member, 92-year-old Hilton Frasier, also had nothing but praise for Evans.
“I’ve seen a lot of the preachers here. He does a pretty good job as far as I can tell,” Frasier said.
The Evanses, who have been at St. James for 12 years, have focused on training staff and establishing outreach programs in recent years.
The outreach ministries include providing clothing to the needy, visiting the home-bound elderly, a Women of Wisdom classes, and evangelizing. The pastor also said his church is always available to other churches and families.
“Often times a smaller church may not have the space for a funeral or a wedding, we work with these churches, and let them use our church,” Evans said.
He added, “It doesn’t matter the color, the creed, whatever, we want to do our best to help others. That’s what a church is supposed to do.”
Emma Williamson, who visits the 132-year-old church regularly, said, “This is a fine church. It’s the largest black church in Ludowici, and they are always doing something to help out this community. The pastor is always right in there helping, and he does a wonderful job too.”
According to Evans, the church has about 85 active members and about 150 on its roll. He said he has hopes as the church grows.
“Right now we want to train our staff to minister to the needs of our church and the community. But as for long-term goals I have a vision of us having a multi-purpose building with classrooms and facilities that would accommodate youth activities. I also would one day like to see us along with the other churches establish a community center, working together to do the Lord’s work.”
St. James has Sunday school at 9:30 a.m., and worship service at 11 a.m. Wednesday prayer meeting begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by Bible study at 7. And on Thursday, the Woman of Wisdom class is at 6 p.m.