Reverend Clay Evans, a civil rights leader and gospel icon, has died at the age of 94, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
Rev. Evans’ death was announced by Pastor Charles Jenkins of Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church, the house of worship Evans founded after being ordained a minister in 1950.
Rev. Evans served the church for half a century, while also acting as a civil rights leader, working closely with Martin Luther King Jr. and Rev. Jesse Jackson.
Rev. Evans “has been responsible for launching the ministerial careers of ninety-three people, including Mother Consuella York, the first female to be ordained in the Baptist denomination in Chicago,” according to the church’s website.