Facts about Rachel Held Evans
Rachel Held Evans Biography
The brief career of Rachel Held Evans as a commentator on Christian evangelism ended when she suddenly died in the hospital after medical complications in 2019.
A young mother, Evans was admitted to the hospital April 14 for the flu and an infection. She died three weeks later. It was reported that her reaction to medications cause seizures, and a medically induced coma could not stop her brain from swelling. She was 37 years old.
Her family moved from Alabama when she was 14 to Dayton, Tennessee, where her father joined the faculty of Bryan College, a Christian school. Rachel Held earned her degree there in English literature in 2003, the same year she married Dan Evans.
She went to work at The Herald-News in 2004, and by 2007 she was locally recognized for her humor columns. In 2008 she released a memoir, Evolving in Monkey Town (Dayton was the scene of the famous 1925 “Monkey Trial” of John Scopes, over the issue of teaching evolution in school).
Rachel Held Evans made her name by telling the evangelical community they should reach out and embrace the LGBT community, rather than shun and denounce people who have different sexual orientations. Overall her differences with traditional evangelicals were primarily political.
Her 2012 book, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, was a light-hearted memoir of trying to live as a woman according to the rules in the Bible. Searching for Sunday (2015) explored her relationship with the church, and Inspired (2018) reflected on the nature of the Bible.