Captain of the Ship honored for 19 years of service

BY ALLEN A. BUCHANAN, Staff Writer

ST. PETERSBURG – Rev. Dr. Gastson E. Smith traveled from Miami last Sunday, Nov. 20 to honor Rev. Dr. John A. Evans Sr. for his 19 years of service as the captain of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, also known as the Ship.

Ship is an acronym for S = Serving and Saving H = Helping and Healing I = Inspiring and Instructing P = Praying and Praising, which are all a part of their mission.

The lively service epitomized the leadership of Rev. Evans for almost two decades. Altogether Dr. Evans has served in the ministry of God for 39 years.

“What is the preacher going to say today to speak to my situation,” asked Dr. Gastson, looking out over the congregation as Dr. Evans has done thousands of times. He honed in on the concerns that many people are having across America and abroad about the new president-elect. To those who are worrying, he let it be known who really is in charge.

“I’m not worried about what the president-elect is going to do because we’ve had worse time than these,” he exclaimed. “God has brought us through worse times than these…I’m not going to go slit my wrist; I’m not about to go jump off of no bridge. I’m not fixing to go and leave the country. God took care of me then, and he’ll do it again.”

As always on the Ship, ever event ends with a large meal with friends and family in the Upper Room.

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