“Just call me Jeremy,” is his request to church members and community alike. Dr. Jeremy Evans, a native Texan, became the new senior pastor at Woodridge Baptist Church in Kingwood Jan. 1.
“It seemed like a great day to start,” said Evans.
“The great thing about Woodridge Baptist is that it had steady leadership for 25 years under Greg Wallace, and after getting here, I’ve come to learn that the people at Woodridge are great. So, what I would like to do is to build on a great foundation that has already been laid here,” he said.
Evans and his family now call Kingwood their home, relocating to Texas from North Carolina. Jeremy and his wife, Wendy, have four daughters – Avery, 12, Kaely, 9, Maggie, 7, and Lila, 5.
“Wendy is a nurse by training, but is staying at home since the girls are so young,” said Evans.
“Since we are in Texas now, our girls get the opportunity to visit their grandparents, which was not easy to do in North Carolina,” Evans said. “Our parents also can visit us now and they frequently do.”
Jeremy’s parents still live in Mineola, just north of Tyler, where Jeremy was born, and Wendy’s parents are in Port Neches.
“We also have other family close by. I have a brother that lives in Katy and Wendy’s sister lives in Baytown. Seeing family has really been a most welcomed change!”
“Coming here gave us a chance to be nearer to family since we’ve been living outside of Texas for about 12 years. We spent a few years in New Orleans not long after Hurricane Katrina, and then spent almost nine years in North Carolina. In both New Orleans and North Carolina I was a professor and a pastor,” Evans said.
Evans received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Texas A&M University, majoring in speech communication; a Master of Divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth; and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Texas A&M University.
The couple left Texas for New Orleans the summer after Hurricane Katrina devastated that city. Jeremy was offered a position at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and served on staff at Edgewater Baptist Church, which is located in an area of New Orleans that was hit hard by the hurricane.
Prior to arriving at Woodridge, Evans taught at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C. and was the minister at Wendell Baptist Church there.
Evans embraces the family atmosphere at Woodridge, and emphasizes that organization is key.
“I would like to see our commitment to church planting increase (maybe in Washington, D.C., Portland and New York City),” he continued. “We already have seven overseas mission trips planned for 2017, and I’d love to see that number go up in the coming years.”
He explained, “There’s also the priority of taking care of the needs of people in Kingwood and the surrounding area. Along with our missions pastors, I was recently a part of a meeting for Love Houston, which partners churches with local schools to provide a mentoring program for children. If we can make a positive impact in the life of a kid, I’m for it. But I would also like for Woodridge to be a place where people can come and find help with the struggles they are having in life. Most importantly, I want Woodridge to be known as a church that values the things Jesus values, and puts those commitments to work in our everyday lives and vocations – how our love of Jesus shapes what it means to be a good husband, father, mom, wife, coworker and friend.”
Woodridge Baptist Church offers many programs and ministries, including the Hope Ministry for special needs. “Hope Ministry seeks to share the love of Christ with children, teens and dependent adults whose successful participation in worship and Bible study is limited by the traditional classroom setting. One-on-one and small group settings are available,” according to their website at woodridge.org. “We provide a safe, loving, Christ-centered program for the special needs child or adult while parents and siblings attend worship service, Sunday school or serve in the church.”
Woodridge Baptist is already getting ready for the annual egg hunt at Kingwood Town Center April 8.
“Woodridge Baptist Church is a special place with a great spirit,” said Evans. “There’s always the matter of getting settled into a new place, especially for the kids, which can be hard. But the people are great, and I look forward to working with the team here every day.”
Woodridge is located at 5707 Kingwood Drive and the main number is 281-361-6800.