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Guide to the Evans Family Papers, 1930-2002

Abstract

J. Claude Evans was a United Methodist minister who served in South Carolina, Texas, and North Carolina along with his wife, Maxilla. He edited the South Carolina Methodist Advocate from 1952 to 1957, and was chaplain at Southern Methodist University in Dallas from 1957 until his retirement from the ministry in 1982.

The majority of the family's papers relate to the pastoral and counseling career of J. Claude Evans, and include drafts and copies of his sermons, articles, columns, and other writings from the 1940s through the early 2000s on wide-ranging topics such as Christianity, spirituality, abortion, race, sexuality, sexism, nature, equality, aging, and violence. The papers also include some personal materials, correspondence, genealogy, notes and printed materials from his many professional activities, and Evans' subject files. There is a small amount of material created and collected by Maxilla, J. Claude's wife, largely relating to her bird watching and breeding of songbirds in Texas and North Carolina.

Descriptive Summary

Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Creator
Evans family.
Title
Evans family papers 1930-2002
Language of Material
English
Extent
30.0 Linear Feet, 22,500 Items
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

This collection has been arranged into nine series, most of which reflect the life and work of J. Claude Evans. One series, the Maxilla Evans Materials series, relates exclusively to Maxilla Evans' interests in birding, bird breeding, and horticulture, and also includes some of her writings, correspondence, family history, and other collected materials.

One of the largest series relating to J. Claude Evans is the Sermons series, with sermons arranged alphabetically by title. Files in this series reflect Evans' own arrangement of his papers, which typically include sermon copies with annotations punctuating his delivery and emphasis, notes and research about the subject, lists of when the sermon was preached and at which church, and occasionally bulletins from various services. Sermon topics varied widely, with many fairly liberal sermons on controversial issues like women's rights, abortion, racism, drugs, communism, atheism, and homosexuality.

Another large component of the collection is the Subject Files series, collected by Evans to support his research and writings both as a pastor and a columnist. This series includes many clippings, notes, and other materials curated by Evans, and is also arranged alphabetically by subject.

Evans' Correspondence is arranged into alphabetical and thematic sub-series. Most of the correspondence is sorted alphabetically by correspondent, unless Evans purposefully collected and grouped a batch of letters together under another heading; usually these are letters he received in reaction to an article or sermon on controversial issues like race, abortion, and so on. Evans also segregated letters between him and Maxilla during World War II and his other travels. These headings are listed beneath the alphabetical correspondence files.

Evans' Personal Files relate to largely non-pastoral or counseling topics, including his childhood, marriage and family, military life, family history and photographs, and scrapbooks. The Pastoral Activities series includes Evans' materials from various churches and community organizations such as the Intentional Growth Center, as well as counseling and theology professional memberships. This series also includes a small amount of audiocassettes recording Evans' devotionals, seminar workshops, and other speaking engagements. Finally, the Courses and Notes series contains most of Evans' handwritten notes from the many seminars, workshops, and classes he both took and taught during his long career as a pastor and counselor.

Evans' prolific Writings began while he was a student in the 1930s and continued until he retired from writing columns for the Waynesville Mountaineer in 2000. The series is arranged into Published Articles, Drafts, and Prayers. Within the Drafts are Evans' multiple working copies of his Mountaineer columns, arranged alphabetically by title. (Copies of the published versions are filed chronologically under Published Articles.) Additional reactions to Evans' writings can also be found in the Correspondence series. The Prayers are unsorted, except for a batch of prayer cards organized by subject, kept by Evans during his chaplaincy at SMU.

The Printed Materials series contains texts both written, edited, and collected by Evans, including college yearbooks, bound copies of the Methodist Advocate dating from his tenure as editor, and other books that reference Evans and his work as an abortion counselor.

Administrative Information

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

This series contains sermons written and preached by J. Claude Evans throughout his career. The materials include handwritten and typed drafts, notes, and some reference materials such as magazine or newspaper clippings. Many of the sermons were revised and reused throughout the decades, and Evans's own lists of the places and dates he preached particular sermons are often included with the text.

Evans's sermons address a broad range of subjects. Most of them address contemporary socio-political topics, issues of faith and Christianity, or, frequently, both. Examples of sermons that address the Christian faith directly include seasonal, sacramental, or celebratory topics such as "Advent Joy," "What Can I Believe about Baptism?" or a variety of sermons for weddings. Also included are sermons about belief and the place of religion in modern life, such as "Liturgy and Life" and "Science and Religion: A Needless Argument."

More numerous are the sermons which address contemporary socio-political issues and current events. These sermons address abortion (as in "The Problem of Unwanted Pregnancies"), race ("Racism: A Contemporary Wilderness"), women ("Are Women Really Persons?"), homosexuality ("My Sister Was a Lesbian"), communism and politics (as in "Marxist Communism and the Christian Faith"), marriage and family ("My Son Was a Runaway" and "Enduring Marriage: An Impossible Possibility") and, later, dementia and illness.

The sermons are filed alphabetically by title.

Sermons: A-C
Box 1
Sermons: C-D
Box 2
Sermons: E-G
Box 3
Sermons: G-I
Box 4
Sermons: I-L
Box 5
Sermons: L-M
Box 6
Sermons: N-P
Box 7
Sermons: P-S
Box 8
Sermons: S-V
Box 9
Sermons: W
Box 10
Sermons: W-Y
Box 11

The Subjects series includes an assortment of newspaper and magazine articles, advertisements, and other clippings, including materials from numerous religious periodicals such as the Methodist Advocate. Evans collected much of this material while researching subjects for his sermons and columns. The subjects reflect current events, especially of the 1960s and 70s, as well as theological issues.

Subjects contained within the series can for the most part be grouped under three categories; current events, counseling, and faith or religion. A sample of subject files from the current events group include information on the Berkeley riots, capital punishment, the draft, energy, homosexuality, J.F.Kennedy's assassination, modern medicine and health care, and playboys and playmates, among many others. There are additional materials related to the abortion issue that Evans collected in an album, which is included in the Personal series.

Subjects pertaining to counseling include files on anxiety, apathy, death and hope, depression, grief, hypnotism, and suicide. Subjects regarding faith include documents on the bible, Catholicism, church and state, evangelism, vocation, and files on other pastors such as Billy Graham, among others. There are also a number of files labeled "Column Ideas" which include materials that Evans had specifically put aside as sources for his writing.

The Subject series is filed alphabetically by subject.

A-Anger
Box 12
Apostolic-Christ
Box 13
Christian-Columns
Box 14
Columns-Counseling
Box 15
Counter Culture-Ecology
Box 16
Education-G
Box 17
H-Jewish
Box 18
Job-Marriage
Box 19
Marxist-O
Box 20
P-Repentance
Box 21
Resurrection-Sexuality
Box 22
Shakespeare-Wink
Box 23
Women-Z
Box 24

The Correspondence series contains letters, greeting cards, postcards, notes, and telegrams sent to and by J. Claude Evans throughout his lifetime. These letters include personal correspondence such as Christmas cards, correspondence with Evans's wife, Maxilla, and other family members, and a number of letters exchanged while Evans was stationed at various locations while serving in the navy and during later trips to Central and Eastern Europe. For additional personal letters to Evans's family, please see the scrapbooks and albums in the Personal series.

The majority of the letters concern professional matters, such as Evans's sermons, appointments at Clemson, SMU, and the Mountaineer, correspondence regarding Evans's counseling practice, and exchanges with colleagues at various institutions. Some letters were written to Evans in response to controversial subjects as abortion or race which he addressed in his sermons and columns.

The Correspondence series is filed alphabetically by the correspondent's last name with the exception of certain file folders which contain correspondence grouped based on topic, which are included at the end of the list below.

Correspondence: A-M
Box 25
Correspondence: N-Z
Box 26
Germany: Letters to Family, 1966-1967
Box 26
Correspondence Re: The Christian Century
Box 26
Correspondence Re: Article "Together"
Box 26
Correspondence Re: Various Articles and Sermons
Box 26
Christmas Cards
Box 27
Correspondence from Unnamed Correspondents
Box 27
Correspondence Re: Sermons on Race, 1942-1944
Box 27
Correspondence Re: Accusations of Communism, 1960s
Box 27
Correspondence Re: Abortion
Box 27
Childhood Letters to Sister Mary ("Polly"), 1926-1932
Box 27
Letters to and from Maxilla Evans during WWII
Box 27
Correspondence with R.C. Griffith
Box 27
Correspondence Re: Articles (Rejection notices, etc.)
Box 27
Correspondence Re: Articles (General)
Box 27
Correspondence Re: Sermons on J.F. Kennedy's death, "Meaning of a Tragic Death"
Box 27
Family Correspondence, 1945-1962
Box 27
Letters to Maxilla Evans during Europe Trip, 1973
Box 27

The Personal series includes documents from J. Claude Evans's youth, military and pastoral careers, and family life. These materials are Evans's passports, official navy orders and records, information on his education, a childhood diary, awards and certificates, court records, and articles about Evans, among other documents. The series contains photographs from J. Claude's youth and years at Duke as well as later, professional photos. A large scrapbook contains wartime letters and postcards from J. Claude to Maxilla while he was stationed abroad and an extensive scrapbook Evans created with articles and other notes regarding the abortion debate. The Personal series also includes a leather-bound bible that is inscribed by Evans in 1944 and has a note that it belonged to a T. Ligau c. 1896.

There are also a number of files pertaining to the Evans family's genealogy, including extensive research into both J. Claude and Maxilla Evans's family history. This includes a large photo album from the early twentieth century.

Articles about Evans
Box 28
Awards and Certificates
Box 28
CD Collection Records
Box 28
Claude Evans Passports
Box 28
Court Documents
Box 28
Death of Joseph Evans (Father), 1952
Box 28
Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary, 1990
Box 28
Evans Cabin (Repairs, etc.)
Box 28
J. Claude Evans's Childhood Diary, 1928
Box 28
J. Claude Evans Education
Box 28
Foxfire Theatrical Production, 1982
Box 28
Margaret M. Evans Will and Estate
Box 28
Military Orders, U.S. Navy Reserve
Box 28
Miscellaneous
Box 28
Miscellaneous Articles
Box 28
Navy Chaplaincy
Box 28
Persona Vitae
Box 28
Private Practice for Personal Counseling
Box 28
Robert Everett Evans Education and Selective Service
Box 29
SMU Chaplaincy Appointment, 1957
Box 29
SMU Retirement, 1979
Box 29
Unicef
Box 29
Veteran's Administration
Box 29
Evans Family Genealogy: Articles on Evans/Everett Families
Box 29
Evans Family Genealogy: Family Trees, Photo, and Notes
Box 29
Evans Family Genealogy: "The Everetts of Martin County, N.C." Bound Genealogical Research
Box 29
Evans Family Genealogy: Family Reunion, 1991
Box 29
Family Photographs
Box 29
Hamilton-Everett House
Box 29
John Evans Re: Stanley Hicks
Box 29
Golden Age of Texas M.S.M. Reunion(Photographs)
Box 29
Maxilla Evans Genealogy
Box 29
Miscellaneous Photographs
Box 29
Professional Photographs
Box 29
Weddings
Box 29
Evans Leather-bound Bible, 1944
Box 30
Wartime Scrapbook of Letters to Maxilla, 1945
Box 31
Photograph Album (Youth and Duke University)
Box 32
Family Photograph Album (Early Twentieth Century)
Box 33
Scrapbook of Abortion Clippings and Articles
Box 34

The Writings series includes three subseries: Published Articles and Columns -primarily J. Claude Evans's writings for The Mountaineer, Drafts, and Prayers. These materials include Evans's writings throughout his career for various pastoral and professional purposes.

The Published Articles and Columns subseries is filed alphabetically by the name of the newspaper or periodical in which Evans's writing was published. The Drafts subseries is filed alphabetically by title, with drafts for columns listed under "C" and then listed alphabetically by title within the folder.

Christian Horizons Column, 1939: "Applying the Spiritual Dynamic"
Box 35
Southern Christian Advocate Published Columns, 1941-1948
Box 35
The Pulpit Published Columns, 1944 and 1951
Box 35
Greenville News, 1955
Box 35
Christian Century Articles and Columns, 1971 and 1979
Box 35
South Carolina United Methodist Advocate, 1971 and 1987
Box 35
Charlotte Observer, 1983: "Abortion: A Sad and Tragic Choice"
Box 35
The Christian Ministry, 1986
Box 35
The Mountaineer Published Columns, 1987-1992
(6 folders)
Box 35
The Mountaineer Published Columns, 1993-2000
(8 folders)
Box 36
The Mountaineer Published Columns, undated
Box 36
Notes about Evans's Mountaineer Columns
Box 36
Letters to the Editor Re: Evans's Mountaineer Columns
Box 36
Abortion is a Pastoral Concern, Re: SB-553, 1971
Box 36
Accidental Death and the Easter Faith
Box 36
Article Drafts by Evans, 1960s
Box 36
Assorted Lectures and Notes
Box 36
Civil Rights and the Republican Strategy to Crack the Solid South
Box 36
The Conflict of Race: Washington St. Church "Blowup", 1942-1944
Box 36
Counselors Talk
Box 36
Column Drafts
(8 folders)
Box 37
Holiness Movement in the Methodist Church with Especial Attention to the S.C. Conference, 1878-1900
Box 38
Lectures on Marriage Counseling
Box 38
E.R. Mason Article: An Organized Vicious Minority Versus an Unorganized Gullible Majority, No Date
Box 38
Roman Catholic Views on Church and State Relationships
Box 38
Second Fall of Man, 1965 and No Date
Box 38
Sex and Christian Morality
Box 38
A Story in Memory of Frank F. Gumpert
Box 38
A Theological Trek
Box 38
This is the South, Suh/A Key to Understanding the South
Box 38
Paul Tillich Speech
Box 38
What is Life For? (Population Article), c. 1970
Box 38
The Word, the World, and the Sacrament, 1963
Box 38
Youth Culture Lecture, Dallas, 1972
Box 38
SMU Prayers, thematically
(2 folders)
Box 39
Rotary Prayers
Box 39
Prayers
(4 folders)
Box 39

The Printed Materials Series includes a range of materials saved and collected by J. Claude Evans. It contains assorted clippings, publications, and articles on theology, women's issues, and LGBT. The series also includes bound copies of the South Carolina Methodist Advocate dating from his time as editor (1952-1957), and bound bulletins from Southern Methodist University dating from his time as chaplain (1959-1979). Other materials include Evans' yearbooks and those from his sister, Eugenia (Gene), from the 1930s and early 1940s. This series also includes books, written by others, which mention Evans and his pastoral and counseling work.

Ritual books
Box 40
Apathy, Apostasy, and Apostles book jacket (with Evans illustration on cover)
Box 40
Seminar programs, 1978-1991
Box 40
Art exhibitions
Box 40
Liturgies, 1961-1972
Box 40
Duke Divinity School: Christian Horizons, 1938-1940
Box 40
Miscellaneous monographs to study
Box 40
Articles reprinted from South Carolina Methodist Advocate, 1950s
(3 folders)
Box 40
Assorted publications and clippings by other authors (not by Evans)
(8 folders)
Box 41
Bound copies of the Methodist Magazine, 1800
Box 42
SMU bound bulletins, 1959-1979
Box 43
Books mentioning Evans re: abortion and Roe v. Wade
Box 43
Miscellaneous books from Evans' library, including some with inscriptions to him
Box 43
Bohemian yearbooks (J. Claude Evans) from Wofford College, 1935-1937
Box 44
Bonhomie yearbooks (Eugenia Evans) from Furman University, 1938-1941
Box 44
Bound copies of the Methodist Advocate, 1952-1957
Box 45

The Pastoral Activities series includes materials from J. Claude Evans' professional work as a pastor and counselor to communities throughout the South. Some materials relate to his professional affiliations and memberships; others to his counseling work in Dallas and Waynesville; and others to specific churches where he ministered or preached.

Also includes a box of 30 cassette tapes of Evans speaking and preaching. These tapes are closed to researchers until use copies can be made.

AAMFT convocation, Chicago, 1997
Box 46
American Association of Pastoral Counselors, including Kanuga, 1996-1998
(4 folders)
Box 46
Altrusa - Rotary Committee
Box 46
Clergy consultation on abortion
Box 46
Committee on Resolutions for the South Carolina United Methodist Conference, re: homosexuality, 1998
Box 46
Cornerstone Class, First United Methodist, Waynesville, NC
Box 46
Dallas Community Campus Ministry
Box 46
Evolution of Psychotherapy, 1970
Box 46
Faith Methodist Church retreat, 1995
Box 46
Fall Fling re: dementia, 1999
Box 46
First National Conference on Christians' Economic Responsibility... "A Theology of Vocation"
Box 46
Growth Group, 1974
Box 46
Intentional Growth Center
Box 46
Intentional Growth Center: Beyond Competition: Clergy caring for clergy
Box 46
"Iron Curtain" Marxist-Christian seminar trip, 1973
Box 46
Liturgies, undated
Box 46
Lovers Lane Methodist Church
Box 47
NAPC Chicago, 1978
Box 47
NCAPC, 1993-1994
(2 folders)
Box 47
NW Texas Conference Pastor's Retreat
Box 47
Pairing Marathon, SMU, 1976
Box 47
PBS materials
(2 folders)
Box 47
Photographs, including weddings
(2 folders)
Box 47
Reconciling Ministries
Box 47
Religious Life Philosophy report, SMU
Box 47
Roundtable re: higher education, SMU
Box 47
The Sin of Being Single, November 1979
Box 47
St. Luke UMC, Walhalla, SC
Box 47
SC Clergy for Choice, 1991
Box 47
Underwood grant, 1974
Box 47
University Church, SMU, 1978-1980
Box 47
Vocation Study Group
Box 47
Washington Street Church, SC
Box 47
WNC materials
Box 47
Working on your Marriage, 1993
Box 47
Cassette tapes

Devotionals, seminar and conference presentations, and other tapes (include one with a debate on abortion). AV Identification numbers: RL0008-CS-0001 through 0026 and RL0008-MCS-0001 through 0004. Original audiovisual materials are CLOSED to researchers until use copies are made. Contact Research Services in advance.

Box 48
Certificates and awards (some oversize)
Box 49

Maxilla Evans' papers largely center on her bird watching, horticulture, and other nature conservation activities in Texas and North Carolina. There are also drafts of her writings, family correspondence, and research materials on Christianity, feminism, and Quakerism. She also collected genealogy and family history materials.

Texas Ornithological Society meetings, 1970-1976, 1991
(7 folders)
Box 50
Birding notebook, 1979-1980
Box 50
Breeding records, 1981
Box 50
Bird records, 1981
Box 50
Winning canary, 1983 and 1989
Box 50
Bird notes: Eagles Nest, Utah, Lake Junaluska
Box 50
Bird programs
Box 50
Bird study
Box 50
Bird report
Box 50
Breeding bird survey, 1989
Box 50
Bird survey, 1977
Box 50
Smoky Mountain Cage Bird Society directory
Box 50
NCWPS Roanoke R. Spring Meetings, Hills Ferry, 1981-1996
(5 folders)
Box 50
NC Nature Conservancy: Halifax County
Box 50
Three Days on the Roanoke
Box 50
Roanoke River Preservation
Box 50
Roanoke River Wildflower trip, 1989
Box 50
Ivory-Bill
Box 50
Alder Flycatcher
Box 50
Saw Whet Owl, 1979
Box 50
Band-tailed pigeon
Box 50
Eagle's Nest bird notes
Box 50
Simpson, Mark
Box 51
Bird records (including notebooks)
(4 folders)
Box 51
Record cards and handbook
Box 51
Bird and flower records
Box 51
50th Wedding Anniversary, 1990
Box 51
Eagle's Nest materials
(2 folders)
Box 51
Birth certificate, passport
Box 51
"Following the Gray Whale," 1973
Box 51
"A Beginner Birder," 1992
Box 51
"Shortia galacifolia," 1999
Box 51
Correspondence, 1970s-2000s
Box 51
Family correspondence, 1960s and undated
Box 52
Voluntary Simplicity
Box 52
Holy Ground
Box 52
Quaker research
Box 52
Re-Imagining
Box 52
Book reviews
Box 52
Westar Institute
Box 52
FGC Bookstore catalog
Box 52
Quaker and Feminist Christianity publications
Box 52

J. Claude Evans taught and attended many seminars, classes, and workshops in the course of his career as a pastor and counselor. This series includes syllabi, handwritten lecture notes, doodles, pamphlets, and reading materials from an assortment of these events, which have been loosely sorted into Courses Taken, Courses Taught, and General Notes. Many of the courses related to hypnotism, marriage counseling, and spiritual guidance. Courses have been arranged alphabetically by title and date from the 1960s through the 1990s. Many of the notes are on legal-size yellow notebook pages.

A-M
Box 53
M-Z
Box 54
A-M
Box 54
M-Z
Box 55
Notes
Box 55
Notes
Box 56

Historical Note

J. Claude Evans was born in Anderson, SC, in 1917. He graduated from Wofford College and Duke Divinity School (1940) and became an ordained member of the South Carolina Methodist Conference. He served pastorates in Columbia, Clemson, and Walhalla, was a Navy chaplain in 1944-45, edited the S.C. Methodist Advocate from 1952-57 (for which he wrote many editorials on issues like race and McCarthyism), and served as the university chaplain at SMU from 1957-82. In retirement he wrote regular columns for the Waynesville, N.C., Mountaineer, primarily on social justice issues. He also had a substantial practice in family counseling.

His papers consist of large numbers of sermons, articles (he wrote regularly for the Christian Century in the 1960s and 1970s), and columns as well as some correspondence. He began speaking out on racial justice in 1942 with a sermon attacking the biological idea of race that got him barred from the pulpit of Washington Street Methodist Church in Columbia. In the early 1970s, before Roe v. Wade, he was active in the Clergy Consultation on Abortion, an abortion referral network, and he wrote a number of sermons and columns on gay rights, drawing on the experience of having a lesbian sister.

Maxilla Evans was born in 1917 in Palmyra, North Carolina. She first attended the N.C. Women's College in Greensboro, but graduated from N.C. State University in 1940 with a degree in landscape architecture. She and J. Claude Evans married that year and had four children. Maxilla was an active birder and gardener, and raised prize-winning canaries along with collecting rare and unique Appalachian plants. She help found and create the Corneille Bryan Native Garden at Lake Junaluska, North Carolina. The couple later relocated to Asheville. J. Claude Evans died on September 7, 2007. Maxilla Evans died on December 25, 2007.

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Evans Family Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

The Evans Family Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift in 2006.

Processing Information

Processed by Elisabeth Narkin, Meghan Lyon, Jessica Rodriguez, Nicole Rudden, December 2012

Encoded by Elisabeth Narkin, December 2012; Meghan Lyon, January 2013

Accession(s) described in this finding aid: 2006-0074

This collection is minimally processed: materials may not have been ordered and described beyond their original condition.

Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, NCEAD guidelines, and local Style Guide.

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.