Durbin Honors Chicago Civil Rights Icon Rev. Clay Evans On Senate Floor

WASHINGTON – In a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) honored the life of Rev. Clay Evans who passed away on November 27 at the age of 94.  Rev. Evans was highly regarded as a Gospel legend and civil rights icon.

“If you ever had the good fortune to witness the Rev. Clay Evans preach, you were lucky.  With his rousing sermons, his soulful baritone voice, and the ‘Ship’ choir behind him, Rev. Evans was memorizing,” Durbin said.  “My wife Loretta and I want to offer our condolences to his wife of nearly 74 years, Lutha Mae, their children, their grandchildren, their great-grandchildren, and all of those in the family of Clay Evans.”

Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor are available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here for TV Stations.

Born in Brownsville, Tennessee, Rev. Evans moved to Chicago in 1945, where he founded the Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church.  He shared his ministry through Gospel music and was influential in launching the careers of 90 ministers, including Rev. Jesse Jackson, during his 42 years as a pastor. In addition to his ministry, Rev. Evans was renowned as a civil rights leader because of his work alongside Dr. Martin Luther King and founding of Operation Breadbasket, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s economic justice project.