Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us — to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21
IN MEMORIAM — We lost our founder, Dr. Carless Evans Jr., in August of 2022.
In 1994, Ebenezer Ministries began as a way to give Carless Evans' little book, All About Heaven, to residents of nursing homes in the area around Lauderdale County, Mississippi. Soon, more ministers were giving the books away and thousands of lives were changed. Over the years, the ministry has expanded into 15 states with more than 50 ministers making sure the senior adults are ready to leave this world and go to heaven.
In 2005, Ebenezer Ministries moved into a newly renovated office building, the former home of Gordon and Berta Lee White. In 2006, Carless Evans began the “Lay Theological Seminary” with short-term courses aimed at church members in the Lauderdale County area. Soon he began to get calls from bi-vocational ministers who asked if they could enroll in the seminary. We renamed it Ebenezer Christian Seminary and started helping both called ministers and called lay people to grow so they can help others.
In 2007, retired pastor Paul Earley donated his extensive library to Ebenezer Ministries and we began to offer resources to people in our area. We set up a temporary library on the first floor of our office building. In 2013, the Jo and Carless Evans Library building was dedicated.
In 2011, we opened two new campuses in Jones County and in Rankin County. We discovered that others needed training just as much as they did in the Meridian area. Since then we have started more campuses in Mississippi and in Alabama. We are growing and opening new campuses as needed.
In early 2013, we were given two buildings next to our campus that we needed as office space and a library. Those buildings were renovated and put into operation.
In late 2019, we began offering courses through virtual classroom technology, so that now anybody anywhere in the world can take a course.
Each step of the way, we have asked, and God has given generously. Now we are asking again. As He has provided all along the way, He will provide as we move forward in His Kingdom’s work. We are on our way, but we’re not there yet.
Carless Evans • 1928 - 2022
We believe in offering affordable Biblical studies for everyone — your WAY to the way.
Dr. Carless Evans
1928 - 2022
As our founder and President Emeritus, Carless Evans held a special place in the heart of Ebenezer Christian Ministries — he will be greatly missed. In his own words:
“I began my ministry in the summer of 1948. In the summer of 1949 — at the age of 20 — I became Pastor of two country churches. Seven years later, I became pastor of the First Baptist church in Collins, Mississippi. By then I had already graduated from college and the seminary.
“Four years later (1953) I became Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Picayune, MS. At that time Picayune was a boom town with NASA building a facility to test fire the Saturn 5 rockets to take men to the moon. That facility is now being used to build rockets to take people to Mars. All of this and more was the reason we built a beautiful new Sanctuary with approximately 2,000 seats, a steeple 180 feet high and columns on the front and throughout the foyer and sanctuary.
“Skip forward ten years and I became an aviation professor in Gainesville, FL. I was teaching during the day and a working as a commuter airline pilot at night. On the weekend, I was an Interim Pastor. Five years later I became a aviation Instructor for the U.S. Navy at Naval Air Station Meridian, MS.
“I was helping young men to move forward in their paths to become Naval aviator and fighter pilots, teaching flying lessons and spreading the good word. After 20 years, I retired from NAS, but went on in 1994 to found Ebenezer Ministries. At that time, it was just me reaching out to nursing homes with my book “All About Heaven.” But God showed me there was a need for excellent Biblical studies at an affordable price (and on a good schedule), so in 2005 I founded Ebenezer Christian Seminary. Using the same education approach that I used in the Navy, I proved that lay people and bi-vocational pastors were ready for a right now, straight forward and to the point classes — and all at a very reasonable price!
“I became the first president of the Seminary and worked to grow our organization, while still promoting All About Heaven through enthusiastic volunteer pastors. At the age of 91, I retired as President and became the President Emeritus. At age 92, I continue to teach my classes at the seminary.”
EMC President Donna Harford felt the call to help people find the Word from an early age. Raised in a Pentecostal church, she also attended a Southern Baptist church and currently attends Hope Bible Church.
Her working career began after being a student at Meridian Community College, and included many years in the banking industry at Citizens National Bank in Meridian, MS. She was enticed away from the banking industry by ECM to become our librarian in 2019; her skills are prodigious and we offered her the position of President in January 2020.
Married to Stephen Harford, Donna is the mother of three children, Rachel Nicole, Adrienne Briana and Mia Pressley. Rachel is a traveling Registered Nurse; Adriene is also an RN at Anderson Regional Medical Center (with two children — so Donna has two grandchildren — Lake and Lane). Mia is the baby and still in school. Donna and her family currently live in Collinsville.
Anne Chalk is a member of Prospect Presbyterian Chuchn in Meridian. She is a 34-year past member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church where she served as a Vestry member, Vestry secretary, lay reader, chalice bearer and bereavement team member, as well as appointments as a representative at Episcopal annual councils.
She and her husband Duncan are both entrepreneurs and recently retired as owners of seven small loan companies throughout central and south Mississippi. They were original owners of D.T. Grinders restaurant downtown and were the initial restorers of that beautiful Free Classic-style Victorian era home.
Anne’s interests include the study of the Bible, her family, entertaining friends and exercise. She is enjoying her retirement because it gives her more time to devote more time to her charitable organization interests.
Retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Kris Gianakos currently teaches up-and-coming jet pilots at Naval Air Station Meridian. After flying A-10s, Kris came back to Meridian with his wife Bebe, and he has become very active in the community. He has served or is still serving on the boards of the following: Meridian Little Theater, Meridian Museum of Art, Meridian Symphony Orchestra, Meridian Council for the Arts, MUNA Federal Credit Union, Stage 2, Wesley House and the City of Meridian Taskforce for Emergency Response.
He has been a tireless worker and board member for many of Meridian’s premier organizations, with special emphasis on the Arts. He has been named “Volunteer of the Year” for the Meridian Museum of Art, but calling him a volunteer doesn’t begin to express how much time and energy he puts into his commitments to Meridian’s organizations. Many times, Kris has served as the “change agent” on the board, helping each organization envision the future and move toward it.
He was recently named one of Meridian’s Top 10 Over 50.
And, interestingly, Kris’ Dad (George Gianakos) was a dear friend of Dr. Carless Evans and served as one of the first Board Members for Ebenezer Christian Ministries.
Kenneth Dewayne Joyner
Kenneth is the founder and president of J&J Contractors Inc., headquartered in Collinsville, MS. The company constructs nonresidential buildings, structures, highways and dams. He is a longtime, active member of Parkway Church and a former board member here at Ebenezer Christian Ministries.
Dr. Beverly J. Knox
Meridianite Dr. Beverly Knox is the Visionary and Pastor of Holy Remnant Church, located in Meridian, MS. And she is the Executive Director of The Montgomery Institute.
She received an Associate of Arts Degree from Meridian Junior College and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in Radio, Television and Film.
She accepted the Lord’s call into the ministry in August of 2000. But her call to serve began earlier than that. In 2005, the ministry of the Holy Ghost was birthed in agreement with her husband, Elder Leon Knox — with the nondenominational ministry started in their own home.
As years passed, she enrolled in Ebenezer Christian Seminary in pursuit of a Bachelor’s Degree in Biblical Studies and everything changed from there. After obtaining her BA in 2011, she went on to earn a Master’s Degree (2013) and a Doctorate in 2016.
As of July 2020, Dr. Knox has served as a member of the Board of Directors at Ebenezer Christian Seminary, a position she “is honored to hold.” She also serves as Pastor of Holy Remnant Church.
Dan Petersen had more than 30 years of experience in retail management, sales and customer service before moving to Meridian in 1988 to work for Ideal Software Systems. In November of 2003, he and his wife of 50 years (Kathy) started attending NorthPark Church, where he has served on their Guiding Council, teaches Sunday School and leads small group studies. He served in a staff position and as part-time Executive Pastor until retiring February 28, 2022.
Dan and Kathy have two children, Renee and Derrick, and three granddaughters and a grandson. He and Kathy camping and have varied other hobbies and interests.
Ronnie Slay is the founder and President of Slay Steel Corporation. He is a long-time member of Oak Hill Baptist Church, where he is very active.
Other Board Members: