UCC Archives Oral History - Rev. Dr. Joseph Evans

UCC Archives Oral History - Rev. Dr. Joseph Evans

   UCC Secretary Joseph Evans
takes time to talk during
General Synod, 1977.
Welcome to an oral history interview with the Rev. Dr. Joseph Evans, recorded August 20, 1986. During this interview, Nathaniel Guptill interviews Joe about his private life, his life in the church, and the Union that created the United Church of Christ. This interview comes to you from the Oral History Collection at the United Church of Christ Archives. Special thanks to the United Church of Christ Historical Council for coordinating this and several other oral history interviews during the 1980's. Make a secure donation to the UCC Archives Fund to support this and other projects of the UCC Archives.

Joseph Evans   
Rev. Dr. Joseph Evans, known to many as Joe, is probably most known for his tenure as the Secretary of the United Church of Christ (1967-1983) and as the first African-American elected to serve as UCC President (1976-1977). Just as important, Joe touched lives and hearts of the congregations he served. Listen as Joe talks about his calls to ministry at churches such as Mt. Zion Church in Cleveland, Ohio, and Church of the Good Shepherd in Chicago, Illinois.

In a 1983 press release announcing Joe's retirement as Secretary, Rev. Dr. Yvonne V. Delk, then executive director of Office for Church in Society, describes Joe:


UCC Secretary Joseph Evans
talks with a group of people
at the UCC's 12th General
Synod, 1977.

"...he has built bridges across the barriers of race and spiritual ancestry, across the suspicions of youth and age, across the tensions of church and world. As pastor, prophet, priest and healer, he has given to us the love, faith and courage we need to face the joys and sorrows of our time."

Harriette and Joseph Evans   

Listen as Joe talks about his family, his call to ministry, his mentors, the congregations he served, his term as UCC Secretary, and how the UCC and he navigated through the loss of Rev. Robert Moss.

Click here to read the transcript of the interview.

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Contact Info

Bridgette Kelly
Archivist and Records Manager
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44115