Evans Crawford, an educator, administrator, theologian and dean at the Howard University School of Divinity for more than 50 years, died Feb. 16. He was 96.
Crawford’s service to Howard University and the School of Divinity began in 1958 where for more than 50 years he would served in a number of capacities that included dean of Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel, assistant professor, acting associate dean of the School of Divinity and interim vice president for university advancement.
Crawford was born July 2, 1923 in Temple, Texas, to Mary Enge and Evans Edgar Crawford Sr., according to historymakers.org. His father, a Methodist preacher, traveled often due to his job with the Santa Fe Railroad. Following the death of his mother, a former teacher, when he was just 3 years old, Crawford was raised by his paternal grandmother, Rosie Crawford.
Religion was extremely important in his family, and Crawford was called to the ministry at the age of 11. In 1939, Crawford graduated from Dunbar High School, where his extracurricular activities were devoted to speech and oratory competitions.
In 1943, he graduated from Huston College (now Huston-Tillotson College) and continued his education at the Boston University School of Divinity, earning his bachelor’s degree in sacred theology in 1946 and his doctorate in theology in 1957.
Crawford retired in 1991 as professor emeritus of social ethics, but continued to teach courses on preaching and social ethics as an adjunct professor at Howard.
In 1996, Crawford served as president of the Academy of Homiletics, an international organization of instructors who teach preachers. He also served as president of the National Association of College and University Chaplains, as a Danforth Associate and a member of the Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Crawford authored several books about the African-American church, including “The Hum: Call and Response in African American Preaching” (1995).
He is survived by his wife Elizabeth P. Crawford, whom he married in 1949, and a host of other relatives, friends and colleagues.
Crawford will be eulogized March 8 at the Howard University Law School. Donations can be made to the Dr. Evans Crawford Scholarship Fund at the Howard University School of Divinity (2900 Van Ness Street NW, Washington, DC 20008) and the Alzheimer’s Association National Office (225 North Michigan Avenue, Floor 17, Chicago, IL 60601).