Well-known author and senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Tony Evans, surprised his congregation on Sunday, announcing that he is engaged.
Leading up to the fourth anniversary of his wife's death, 74-year-old Pastor Evans brought his family to the stage, honouring his late wife before making the announcement.
"As I come up to the fourth year of the loss of Lois, my wife of 49-and-a-half-years, it is a tender time. There are reminders everywhere of her life and her influence on me, my family, and this ministry,” said Evans to his church. "All that has happened in my life has been defined by her."
He thanked the congregation for grieving alongside him and holding him up as he worked through the rollercoaster of emotions that comes with grief.
"As I work through the ups and downs of singlehood, God in His sovereignty, has brought someone into my life. This someone has travelled this similar road. In fact, she and her husband were on their way to Lois's funeral when her husband died," said Evans to his congregation. "As I have tried to share the ups and downs of my life with you, I wanted to share this and give you the opportunity to meet my new fiancée, Miss. Carla Crummie."
The crowd responded with cheers as Carla made her way onto the stage.
"One thing that I have appreciated about Carla is she has held Lois Evans high in honouring her legacy here."
"It's a sensitive time," said Pastor Evans. "During times like this, you're also reminded of loss. I want your sensitivity as you pray for me. As we walk through this journey. As she walks through the grief, she has to walk through."
The pair have not yet set a date for their wedding.