Evangel Island Journey – Preface (restored/expanded fall 2019)

Preface to Timothy Smith’s Evangel Adventures

by the late Evan Jones, Director of the Kodiak Baptist Mission

Evan (pronounced “Even”) Jones in his kitchen, Kodiak, 1996.

Evan Jones was a visionary leader whose ministry transformed the Kodiak Baptist Mission from an orphanage to a community ministry with deep roots in Kodiak and the surrounding area. His wife and children have continued to minister in the Kodiak area with great effectiveness. He and his wife Anne “discovered” my parents, Rev. Norman and Joyce Smith, retired but quietly continuing their mission work in Ouzinkie, and brought them back into renewed fellowship with the Kodiak Christian community.

When my Father passed away in 1996, Evan Jones preached at his funeral. Later, he was instrumental in the ordination of my Mom to serve as pastor of Ouzinkie Chapel, a position she held until her death in 2006. I’m honored to have his introduction to my articles on the ministry of the Evangel and the work of Norman and Joyce Smith.

Evan Jones’ Preface:

Tim stood and looked at the remains of the once proud little vessel that his father had captained and his mother had made home in the years they sailed the waters around Alaska's Kodiak Island. Through the ministry of the Evangel, the message of the Gospel was brought to the little villages and even the canneries where people gathered.

A flood of memories called out to him. These are memories, Tim's memories–not a history, but memories. A history can be written very accurately with names and places and dates all letter-perfect and then promptly placed on a shelf where it will affect no one. Not so with memories... Memories are the distilled dew of history. They go with us across miles and time. They shape us–who we are, what we have been and even our destinies. Tim has shared with us not a history, but a memory.

Evan Jones, August 2003

Left: Kelly Smith (white shirt) and his sons surveying the remains of the Evangel, October 1996. The author in the Evangel Museum circa 1997.

I Am Going to Walk Among the Stars

Earth has been fine and I have trod,

Worn and lonely paths below

But always has my Spirit looked high above

To the stars and their mysteries sublime.

“The heavens declare the glory of God,”

The Shepherd boy wrote to us

As night unto night he gazed

At the light of 5000 circling suns.

Pride falls away the moment we gaze

At the vastness that we call space.

I am little on earth, a simple speck,

But the Saviour promised eternity

And I shall walk among the stars.

I  know I’m taken from the earth

And from a simple clod

And walk thru this life my heavy step to plod

But I shall walk among the stars

With eager steps and free.

I believe I have my Saviour’s words

That this will some day be.

Evan J. Jones, I, November 2003

Evan Jones passed away from a brain tumor on December 24, 2003

Top: Evan Jones and Anne Jones (seated) visit my Mom, Rev. Joyce Smith, in Baker Cottage Baptist Mission (Ouzinkie Chapel) in this undated photo.

Bottom:  In Memoriam - Evan Jones wrote this poem in November, 2003, the month before he died. It was shared via email by their son, Evan John Jones, now a doctor in Kodiak.

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