I received the book Healed Without Scars by Bishop David Evans and it’s accompanying CD from my friend Phyllis Cadell and immediately called her to say that I would love to review the CD but we had an editor here that handles all Christian books and I did not want to step on her toes. Phyllis was ok with that but told me “I really think you should check out the book because it’s good and has help so many people” “Ok I’ll take a look at it but really Phyllis, I don’t review books” was my steadfast reply.
So with that last statement in mind I popped the CD in my player and focused on reviewing it only and just “looking” at the book. Immediately I heard a soothing voice on the CD tell us that as we go through problems we should “Never let anything separate us from God” and this is how the first song “I’ll Let Nothing Separate Me” opened up. From that encouraging word, the beautiful tenor voice of Pastor Lonnie Hunter took flight and this melodious tune caressed the heart. With each verse of this song the healing began. The wonderful string and piano arrangements are highlighted and deliver a heavenly melody. Next was the song “Life” which expresses the hardships we face on this journey called life. With its bumping jazzy smooth groove, the vocal finesse of Ivan Payne and the acoustic segment for the chorus this song allows the listener to just flow and groove with each beat. Song after song on the project spoke of deliverance through pain and it ministered to my heart. One standout on the project is the full bodied church jam “To Praise Him” which gives us that foot-tapping gospel song that we all love.
Since the CD was good I thought to myself that maybe I should check out the book so, after clearing things up, check it out I did. The introduction focuses on the familiar bible story of Shehadrach, Mesach, and Abednego and how they went into the fiery furnace but once God came in the midst of their situation they were saved. They stepped out of that furnace without any traces of smoke. They did not smell like smoke, there was no black soot on their clothes and best of all there were no scars on them from the fire. They were completely healed and this inspired Bishop Evans to write the book. He states “I was reading that story one night, you know how you read the bible and see stuff a thousand times then one day you see it like you’ve never seen it before. Well I saw this one verse that stated that they came out of the fire without anything about their person change, without a hair singed on their head or the smell of smoke on their bodies. That just blew up in my spirit that they had gone through an extremely intense situation that was designed by the enemy to destroy them and here they come out of the situation without any effect at all.” That wholeness that the three men of God received is how we could be healed from the fires of our past according to Bishop Evans.
This intrigued me fully and I begin to read and was consumed by the words on the pages of this book. In the first chapter he speaks of a female passenger on a plane that basically tells him her entire painful life story. Bishop Evans speaks about how he ministered to her right then and there. The next chapter deals with God’s desire for us to live a complete and whole life. With each chapter Bishop Evans takes his readers through personal revelation and working through the healing process all the while giving sound biblical principals as steps towards progress. He is engaging, very frank and open and the book reads like a conversation more so than a lecture. I found this story of the passenger a bit hard to take in and decided that I needed to check this author out for myself. I called Phyllis and told her not only would I review the CD but I would love to interview Bishop David Evans and so it was that our conversation late one evening began.
Besides being a noted author, Bishop Evans is also the pastor of Bethany Baptist Church in Lindenwold, New Jersey and the Prelate of the Abundant Harvest Fellowship of Churches. Bethany Baptist Church He had just left a business meeting where he’s working with the Community Development Corporation of Bethany Baptist to build a new medical center. The center will have radiology, cardiology, infectious disease, internist, pediatrics, and many other medical practices all under one roof. There will also be a study conducted at the facility that will cover the effects of cancer on African-Americans. “My revelation for ministry has been need driven so as the people in the community have revealed that they have these issues we try to address them” said Evans.
Bishop David Evans
This is also the foundation of his book; being that Evans has a membership of well over 20,000 he found that he did not have enough hours in the day to counsel all of the people that needed healing and thus Healed Without Scars was written. “I’ve been counseling people for the past 15 years. I’ve been counseling for four days a week, someone every 30 minutes from 5 o’clock to 7o’clock every Monday through Thursday. It doesn’t matter if we are newly saved, unsaved or maturely saved (because) everybody has been through something that still has some effect” states Evans. “The devil knows as long as we stay fractured we can’t fully possess promise.”
Evans knows about being fractured because he experience hurt at a very early age. His father was an alcoholic and would often choose booze over food, shoes and rent. “I watched my father fight my mother. (He) never bothered us but we had to watch him be an alcoholic and all the behavior that went along with that” he states. “As a child I remember stabbing my father in order to get him off of my mother. He never touched her again. I was in third grade and he had come home drunk again and began to fight my mother. She wouldn’t bother or provoke him and I guess I had had enough in my little mind. So I gathered up my school books and put them down at the door and went to the kitchen and got a roasting knife and stood it up in his hand. He tried to chase me but of course he was too drunk to catch me.” Evans father went to school the next day to confront his son. His dad asked him if he did not like him hitting his mother and young Evans told his father no and if he hit his mother again he would stab him again. From that day on the father respected his son’s wishes and never touched his mother again. Eventually Evans mother and father divorce. Evans speaks about this incident in his book and reveals so many hurts from his past. One poignant story is one where he describes how he attempts to visit his father at his last known residence only to discover that his father had moved month’s earlier and did not leave a forwarding address or say goodbye to him. The next time Evans sees his dad is in his casket at his funeral.
It is his ability to open up about his past hurts and how God helped him to overcome them that draws in the readers of Healed Without Scars. He states that out of all the chapters in the book his chapter about his father is the one he receives more mail and comments on. “Grown men are saying they are sitting in the break room at work and they have made the mistake of reading the father chapter and they break down crying because it’s so relevant”
Evans contends that fathers and mothers have a profound effect on the lives of their children and it is often these hurts that shape our lives. We talk about how instructions are given for everything but parenting. He adds that we are taught how to fish and bowl but we don’t always ask for directions on the most important things of our lives. He states that what he finally learned is what you lack in your life if you become that to other people it fills the void. This is what helped him deal with his past. He became a spiritual father to many and in turned it healed him.
One of the main themes of Healed Without Scars is to not only identify the problems of many but to give them steps to healing. It gives readers biblical steps as well as common sense instructions on how to be completely healed. “One of the purposes of Healed Without Scars is to grab a person by the hand and escort them out of the flame” he stated.
He talks about how to forgive and move towards healing. Evans says we can do this by faith and perseverance. When I asked him why these two traits were so hard for people to acquire he stated “They are not jazzy. They are not that exciting but the reality is endurance gives us the strength for the process. A lot of the stuff we experience in our previous lives there just is no microwave fix (for it). You have to be determined about the deliverance. The initial deliverance happens but you have to then walk in that deliverance as they use to say in the church where I came from. A lot of people have the altar experience but don’t complete the cycle.”
He goes on to say that when God delivers someone we have to move away from everything that was associated with that problem. “I liken it to the guy who was by the temple gate and they told him to rise up. Well he got up and went off leaping and running and screaming. When the blind man got his sight back he threw off his beggar robes. He disconnected himself not only with his blindness but with the physical representation of his blindness” says Evans. He adds that making the physical, social and psychological healing moves a person to wholeness.
After many years of self healing and growing in his relationship with God, Evans has completed his cycle and is living a life that he says is free and complete. He and his wife have been married for 19 years. He is the proud father of two children both girls. One daughter he and his wife adopted and he swears that they are just alike. “She looks like me; she acts like I do, and like the older folks say if you feed them long enough they start looking like you. One day we were sitting at the table eating chicken and my daughter and I eat chicken alike because my family is known for stripping chicken down to the bone. My wife was like ‘You know what you can tell me now. I’m not gonna leave you. You arranged this didn’t you?’” he chuckles. “She’s really your daughter right?” joked his wife. "We got a good laugh out of that one!" he adds. His older daughter is going into the ministry and he says he is really proud of her. “She is a tremendous singer and a great preacher.”
Healed Without Scars has sold over 400,000 copies so far which far exceeded his expectations. “I was just hoping to sell about 40,000 books initially” says Evans. Now the book has a CD to accompany it because Evans ran across another bible verse that speaks on the prophet Elijah becoming upset and needing music from the minstrel to help him release his gifts. From that verse Evans decided he wanted original songs to be available for each chapter of the book to minister to people when the book was not around. Working with his Pastor of Music Lonnie Hunter they created the CD. Now the project is being played on thousands of stations across the country.
After talking with him personally I can honestly see how a complete stranger on an airplane would open up to him and tell every painful thing about them. He makes it easy for you to be open with him because he doesn’t mind being revealing himself. I asked him how was he able to let everything about him out on the pages of the book and he stated “I understand why we shut people out because confession is good for the soul but can be bad for the reputation.” But he adds that you have to be careful not to shut God out while you are shutting people out. “I think that transparency is what has really helped people” he states.
One of his favorite songs on the Healed Without Scars CD is the song “Remove the Mask” and Bishop Evans removed his with the hope that others will follow. He believes that this action will in the end allow others to be healed completely and live their authentic lives. What a wonderful thought and so far hundreds of people seems to agree with him.