Evans, John

John Evans (1767-1827), Baptist minister and schoolmaster, was a descendant of the Evans family of Radnorshire, Wales. He was the grandson of Caleb Evans (d. 1790), a Baptist preacher and schoolmaster in Wales, who was the half-brother of Hugh Evans (1712-81), President of Bristol Baptist Academy and pastor of the two congregations at Broadmead in Bristol, 1758-81.  John Evans was educated for the ministry at Bristol Academy in the mid-1780s, just after the return of Robert Hall to the Academy to serve as classical tutor. Evans completed his work at Bristol and then became a Ward scholar at the Universities of Aberdeen and Edinburgh, graduating from the latter with an M.A. in 1790. While in Scotland, he became a Unitarian, though he probably acquired leanings in that direction during his time at Bristol. He was ordained in 1792 by the General Baptist congregation at Worship Street, London, remaining there as pastor until shortly before his death in 1827.  That same year he was introduced to Mary Hays and corresponded with her. He opened his school at Islington in 1796 and earned much renown for his work with young preachers, continuing in that capacity until 1821.  He was a friend and correspondent of Russell Scott, son-in-law of Dr. Hawes.  He published some forty works in his lifetime, including his influential A Sketch of the Denominations of the Christian World (1795). Evans subscribed to Lanfear’s Fatal Errors along with his wife and four of his children.