Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Rev Edward George Evans

Kariega Baptist Church, Baptist Union of Southern Africa, Baptist Union Historical Society, Rev Edward George Evans
Kariega Baptist Church Then.
The Rev Edward George Evans was born in London in 1857, he was trained for the ministry at Spurgeon’s College, and ever retained a great admiration for its famous founder. His first brief pastorate was at Belfast from 1879-1880. In 1883 he was sent out by Mr Spurgeon to South Africa, and started the church at East London, where he remained five years, being greatly assisted in his pioneering enterprise by his young wife, who came out to him from Bristol. He then moved to Port Alfred for another five years. The church there has not only the reminder of a portrait in the vestry, but also a porch built in his ministry. He was Chairman for a while of the village management board before the time of the town council.
At Kariega for 15 years, he ministered to a congregation of farmers in picturesque surroundings. The erection of the church had been delayed 20 years after the foundation and lower walls had been built, owing to the scattering of the people by early Xhosa wars. There he became schoolmaster and postmaster as well as minister. In the graveyard alongside the church lie the remains of one of their children. The place retained very sacred memories to them by their loss as well as by the many associations with the families around. For a dozen years after leaving Kariega Mr Evans carried on a school at Rocklands, north-west of Grahamstown, and he always manifested the keenest interest in education and scholarship, as well as in the preaching of the Word.
Kariega Baptist Church, Baptist Union of Southern Africa, Baptist Union Historical Society, Rev Edward George Evans
Kariega Baptist Church is now listed as a national heritage site.
His last pastorate of nine years was at Wakkerstroom, in the Transvaal, where he had to contend with the gradual change of the population, which made it increasingly difficult for any English-speaking congregation to maintain itself. He retired fifty years after undertaking his first charge, and spent the next thirteen years of retirement in Johannesburg, where he and his beloved wife formed very happy associations with the three churches, Central, Troyeville and Rosebank. He was always intensely interested in everything that concerned the churches and ministers of his beloved denomination. He was especially concerned about our young ministers, and acted as Secretary for some time of the Ministerial Education Committee.
All who have known him through past years, and also in his declining days, will remember his courtliness and gracious address, which leave the delightful impression of a Christian gentleman who adorned the doctrine of God our Saviour.
Written by: Syd Hudson-Reed

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