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Rev. Mickey Evans

 

Rev. Donald Edward "Mickey" Evans - Jan. 8, 1932 - August 22, 2014

Founder of Dunklin Memorial Camp

 

Mickey Evans was one of my first Christian role models. He walked out his faith each and everyday by shepherding thousands of people who came to him for help with their addictions.

I remember the first time I met Brother Mickey. It was in 1985 and I was working at Faith Farm upon my release from federal prison.

Mickey needed someone to videotape a prison seminar he was hosting at Dunklin Memorial Camp and Rev. Garland "Pappy" Eastham, founder of Faith Farm, loaned me out to Mickey to help with the project. 

Pappy knew I had television production experience so he let Mickey know I was available. However, I didn't have a clue on what to expect when I arrived at Dunklin. 

The drive there took me down a seven-mile unpaved road (it was known around the camp as "The Grade"... it has since been paved). There were thick deep swamps on either side of the road and it was in dire need of grading to level off all the bumps and gullies. I had to drive, what seemed like one mile an hour, so I wouldn't mess up my car's alignment or blow out one of my tires.

Once I turned into the camp I could feel the presence of God. Each and every time I visited the camp afterwards I sensed the same presence. I looked forward to each visit.

That first visit brought me face-to-face with Mickey Evans in the camp's mess hall. He brought me out to the cattle stockade where he and his veterinarian were working testing the camp's bull's sperm count. What an experience it was to watch that process. I was strictly a city-slicker and didn't have a clue what went on behind the scenes of a cattle ranch.

 

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Mickey Evans and Marty Angelo - 1985

 

I had my best sport coat and tie on (see above pic) along with a brand new pair of Fyre boots. I thought I looked the part of a minister who came to work within a Christian based drug treatment program.

The first thing Mickey did with me when we got to the stockade was to take out a pair of scissors and cut off my necktie! I was shocked, to say the least and he caught me completely off guard. Mickey said: "Ties are not allowed here at the camp. We are country folk."

The next thing Mickey did was walk me over to a big pile of cow dung, grabbed me by my right leg and pushed it down, along with my brand new Fyre boot, right into the hot wet dung. He said: "We have to initiate those new boots you have on Marty." 

The next thing Mickey said to me was, "Hey Marty... has anyone told you they loved you yet today? If not, let me be the first one to say it. I love you, Marty." I stood there in awe. I was not much for having people tell me they loved me at that time. I didn't know how to respond. 

The wonderful thing about Mickey Evans was I knew at that exact moment what he just said to me came directly from his heart. I knew he meant it, and I never questioned it again each time he asked me over the years. In fact, I looked forward to hearing it when we set eyes on each other. 

Marty Angelo and Rev. Mickey Evans - 1989

 

Mickey always had a big bear hug and an "I love you" every time he came in contact with any and everyone. That was one of his favorite things to do. It was so heartfelt that it brings tears to my eyes as I sit here and write about it.  I miss his words, hugs and Biblical knowledge. I only wish I had half of the anointing Mickey had on his life.

There will never be another Mickey Evans. He was one-of-a-kind and what an honor it was to have not only met the man but actually work with him on-and-off for over 30 years. 

I was honored and humbled when Mickey agreed to endorse my first book, "Once Life Matters: A New Beginning."

By the way, I never wore another sport coat or necktie again when I visited Mickey... nor even thought about wearing a new pair of boots! 

Obituary - Rev. Mickey Evans

Born in Okeechobee, Rev. Evans began working as a meat cutter while still in school. He graduated from Okeechobee High School in 1950. He made a profession of faith at the Grace Brethren Church in January of 1951, and married his high school sweetheart Laura Maye Campbell a week later. He was a pilot who survived three plane crashes. He finished seminary at Carson Newman and was ordained at the First Baptist Church of Okeechobee. 

Rev. Evans first pastorate was at Indiantown Baptist Church where he was serving when he received a vision to build a “city of refuge” for alcoholics and their families to find hope and healing. 

For the past 52 years, thousands of men and their families have come through Dunklin Memorial Camp and found freedom from their addictions through the grace of God. The ministry model developed at Dunklin has been replicated in several other states and countries. “Brother Mickey” as he was known, had a smile and a heart that left an impression of love with everyone he met, and had a world-wide impact for Christ. 

Evans is survived by his devoted wife of 62 years, Laura Maye Evans; children, Clint (Nancy)Evans, Dean (Rosalia) Evans, David (Chicky) Evans, Lauralee (Chris) Bryan; grandchildren, Ira Evans, Amanda (Frank) Seaton, Jennifer Evans and Zeke Bryan; step-brother, Billy Beville and extended family include Lenora Walker, Betty Gordon, Kim (Rick)Trask, Jerry and Juanita Walker, Gary, Gwen, Tuff and Kelly Marsh, Tammy (JR) Bricker, James, Suzanne and Matt Morton along with numerous cousins and kinfolk around Okeechobee. There are also innumerable spiritual sons and daughters who cherished him as a father in the faith . He is preceded in death by his mother, Edna Walker Beville; father, Albert Evans; two infant sisters, Louise and Margaret; and grandson, Christopher Dean Evans. 

 

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