Evans, Derrick T. (1827– ?)

By Denis Fortin

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Denis Fortin is professor of historical theology at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, Andrews University, in Berrien Springs, Michigan. Since joining the seminary faculty in 1994, he has served in several administrative roles, including dean (2006-2013). Among the most recent of his many publications on Adventist history and theology are One in Christ: Biblical Concepts for a Doctrine of Church Unity (Pacific Press, 2018) and the annotated 125th anniversary edition of the Ellen G. White classic, Steps to Christ (Andrews University Press, 2017).

D. T. Evans was the first Seventh-day Adventist minister ordained in Canada.

Born in Vermont around 1827, D. T. Evans became a Sabbatarian Adventist in about 1851. His wife, Lucinda, appears to not have followed him in his new faith until shortly before her death twenty years later.1

Evans started doing evangelism as a self-supporting lay preacher in Vermont and Canada East (now Quebec) about 1858. In 1859, sensing that he lacked wisdom and judgment, Ellen White saw in vision that he “could do errands for the Lord,” but because he was not a “thorough laborer” should not travel extensively and see himself as a full time itinerant evangelist. She would rather see him laboring with his hands to support his family (he was a shoemaker by trade).2

Evans did evangelistic work in Melbourne, Canada East, in the summer of 1860, and was subsequently ordained as a minister, the first Seventh-day Adventist minister to be ordained in Canada.3 Evans continued to preach intermittently for some time but the extent to which he followed Ellen White’s advice is not clear. A few years later, in 1864, Ellen White pointed out the same problems again in a testimony.4 After the publication of this later testimony the Vermont Conference voted to place Evans “under the watchcare of the Executive Committee” and “to encourage him to preach in his sphere.”5 Evans received ministerial credentials in Vermont from 1868 to 1874 and the Review carried occasional reports of his activities up to about 1879.

Lucinda Evans died in June 1871, leaving two young children. D. T. Evans appears to have moved from Vermont in the later 1870s and spent the remainder of his life in Nebraska and Wisconsin. He remarried to Lucia (née Horr) but lost his second wife in September 1881 while living in Nebraska.6 The Review did not publish an announcement of his death.

Sources

“Evans, D. T.” In The Ellen G. White Encyclopedia, edited by Denis Fortin and Jerry Moon, 371. Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald, 2013.

Hutchins, A. S. “Lucia Evans obituary.” ARH, February 7, 1882.

Hutchins, A. S. “Lucinda Evans obituary.” ARH, July 4, 1871.

Hutchins, A. S. “Our Visit to Canada.” ARH, November 13, 1860.

The Ellen G. White Letters and Manuscripts, vol. 1, 1845-1859. Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald, 2014.

Pierce, Stephen and D. T. Bourdeau. “Second Annual Meeting of the Vermont Conference.” ARH, June 28, 1864.

White, Ellen G. Ellen G. White to D. T. Evans. September 1859. Letter 21, 1859. Ellen G. White Estate.

Notes

  1. A.S. Hutchins, “Lucinda Evans obituary,” ARH, July 4, 1871, 23. Evans’ first name is rendered “Dimick” in the 1880 United States Census, Arcadia Valley, Nebraska; Roll: 756; Page: 165B; Enumeration District: 163, accessed March 30, 2021, AncestryHeritageQuest.com.

  2. Ellen G. White to D.T. Evans, September 1859, Letter 21, 1859, Ellen G. White Estate; see also, Ellen G. White, “Proof of the Call to the Ministry,” Manuscript 1, September 24, 1859.

  3. A.S. Hutchins, “Our Visit to Canada,” ARH, November 13, 1860, 205.

  4. Ellen G. White, “Unconsecrated Ministers,” in Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1 (1868), 448-449, Ellen G. White Writings, https://m.egwwritings.org/en/book/116/info. Evans is referred to as “Brother C.”

  5. Stephen Pierce and D. T. Bourdeau, “Second Annual Meeting of the Vermont Conference,” ARH, June 28, 1864, 33.

  6. A.S. Hutchins, “Lucia Evans obituary,” ARH, February 7, 1882, 94.

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Fortin, Denis. "Evans, Derrick T. (1827– ?)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 28, 2021. Accessed September 22, 2021. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=H99P.

Fortin, Denis. "Evans, Derrick T. (1827– ?)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 28, 2021. Date of access September 22, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=H99P.

Fortin, Denis (2021, April 28). Evans, Derrick T. (1827– ?). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved September 22, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=H99P.