Mount Gilead pastor retires

A local pastor has begun her retirement.

Rev. Leila Evans officiates at a "Blessing of the Animals" service, Oct. 2013 in Mount Gilead, N.C. (Kathy McRae photo, from Facebook)

Rev. Leila Evans officiates at a “Blessing of the Animals” service, Oct. 2013 in Mount Gilead, N.C. (Kathy McRae photo, from Facebook)

Rev. Leila Evans came to First Presbyterian Church in Mount Gilead in 2008, and on May 25 she preached her final sermon as the church’s full-time minister.

While at First Presbyterian, Evans led the congregation’s participation in a number of ecumenical services in the community. Last October, she officiated at the town’s first “Blessing of the Animals” service.

Leila Evans had previously served a congregation in Gastonia, and, before accepting the call to ministry, she was an English teacher. While in Mount Gilead, she completed her Master of Divinity degree at Union Presbyterian Seminary.

Evans was also active in the community, as a member of the Chi Sigma Club, a member of the boards of the Piedmont Art Guild and the Mount Gilead Community Concerts Association, and a singer in local theatrical productions and the Mount Gilead Community Choir.

Leila Evans was celebrated at a reception held Sat., May 31, at First Presbyterian Church. She has relocated to Columbia, S.C., where she will be near family.

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