My Parents – Thomas and Stella Evans

Tom & Stella Evans were missionaries to India and served in that country for 27 years. Tommy Evans, as he was affectionately known, was an Englishman by birth but a Welshman by nature

At the age of 17 he became a Christian at a revival meeting conducted by the famous healing Evangelist Stephen Jeffries in a local Congregational Church where he lived in Cwmbach, South Wales.

On the 3 December 1919 he was “Born Again” and Baptised in the Holy Spirit.

From that moment his life was radicly changed & set on a new path.

While praying one day on the hillside of his Welsh valley home, he received a Divine Call to Missionary service. (1Chronicles 16:24. 1Chronicles 28:10.)  

At the age of 20 he went to Bible School in London and then sailed for India on SS. The City of Canterbury, to commence his calling as a pentecostal missionary.

He was met at Bombay by Danny Walter, a Welsh missionary who later travelled with him to Poona where Tommy was based.

It was in Pune (Poona) that he met and married a young Stella Prior Wheaton who was a maiden missionary from Adelaide, South Australia.

The full story of Tommy Evans can be read in the book “To Run With His Promises” by Elizabeth Evans.

Stella Evans was brought up in a large Christian family in South Australia.

Her ancestors dated back to some of  the early settlers of South Australia who had left England to settle in the colony of South Australia in 1845.

Stella was a remarkable young woman with a passion to serve God and the people of India.

She sailed for India as a maiden missionary at the age of 21.

During her first five year term of service she learnt the Marathi language and became a fluent preacher of the Gospel.

It was while she was preaching to crowds at a Hindu festival at Alandi, that she was stricken with Smallpox.

The Indian Doctors gave her little hope of recovery.

She was diagnosed with the worst form of  the disease – ‘Confluent Haemorrhagic Smallpox.’

They said that even if she miraculously recovered she would be blind and her skin marked by this terrible disease.

Immediately telegrams were sent to her family and believers in the homeland giving the news of her condition.

Much prayer was offered on her behalf  by Christians around the world for her healing from this dreadful and mostly fatal disease.

Just prior to her hospitalization she was anointed with oil & given communion by a missionary leader and prayer offered according to the scriptures James 5:14-15.

Immediately the haemorrhaging stopped and she completely recovered.

Her eldest sister Doris Wheaton prophesied while in prayer that “her skin shall be unmarked as a Rose” , and so it was.

On the 5 June 1930 at the age of 23 she married Tommy Evans and so began their journey of life together serving God.

In 1934 Tommy and Stella Evans pioneered and founded the Zion Pentecostal Church in Kirkee (Khadki) India.

Under their ministry the church grew and young Indian families were saved and added to the church.

Among them was the Shantwan Ghorpade and Boodle familieswho are still members of the church today.

Ps. Matthew Boodle is the current Senior Pastor of the Zion Pentecostal Church.

In November 2009 he kindly invited my brother Andrew Evans and I to be the guest speakers for the 75th Anniversary of the founding of the  church.

Hundreds of people attended these services and it was a joy indeed to see the growth of the church since its birth in 1934.

We were treated like royalty and duly had the privilege to visit some very historic places.

One significant place was the Bhosari village home where my mother led her first convert a 15 year old girl, Sarabai  to the Lord 75 years ago.

As the descendants of Sarabai crowded into her tiny house for worship, I was emotionally moved as I rose to speak to these wonderful people.

Here was an example of one seed of the Gospel being sown on good ground in the slums of Bhosari in the early 1930s.

We also visited the Emmanuel Assembly of God Church in Napier Rd. where my father was instrumental in co-founding the church in Pune India.

The web site of the church in Napier Rd. Pune is Emmanuel Assembly of God Pune, India

When visiting these places of worship I felt overwhelmed by the incredible legacy my parents had left in India.

Indeed one can never under estimate the ongoing influence of a life time dedicated to the cause of Christ.

Tom and Stella Evans had four children. Eirwen (pronounced Irwen) was born in Cwmbach Wales. Andrew and Evelyn (Evie) were born in Pune India. Fred (Freddie) was born in Adelaide South Australia.  

They had thirteen grandchildren and twenty one great grand children

One of the unusual features about the Evans family is the remarkable generational call to the Vocation of Christian Ministry.

At one time during the 1990s there were seven men who were credential holders with the Assemblies of God in Australia now known as Australian Christian Churches.

Apart from Tommy & Stella Evans’ ministry (Stella was the first woman to be ordained in Australia by the Assemblies of God).

Their two sons Andrew & Fred followed in their footsteps and are ordained pentecostal ministers.

Four of their grandsons also hold ordained ministers credentials (OMC) with the Assembly of God (Australian Christian Churches).

Recently a great grandson Mark Evans also entered full time ministry.

Tom & Stella Evans lived a full and productive life and went to their reward in the late 1990s.

Stella died in 1995 aged 88 and Tom died two years later in 1997 aged 96. They are buried together in the Enfield Lawn Cemetery in Adelaide, South Australia.

In this video David sings at his Grandmothers Funeral Service, which was conducted and scripted at her request by Pastor Paul Newsham, at the Paradise Assembly of God.

This was her home Church!

It sent her out as a single Missionary to India in 1927 at the age of 21 and finally sent her home to her reward in a grand farewell service on 31st March 1995 aged 88. F W T L (Forever With The Lord)

2 Timothy 4:7-8

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