Rev. Dr. Evelyn Rose John remembered

Rev. Helen John, eldest child and leader of New Life Center of Truth, praying for her mother.
Photo by Tangerine Clarke

Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke honored the late Rev. Dr. Evelyn Rose John, with a citation posthumously, which chronicled the life of this remarkable woman, and read by Patricia Jordan Langford, president of the Guyana Tri-State Alliance during a home going service on Friday, Jan. 19.

Dr. Una S. T. Clarke, who called the former doctor of divinity a sister, praised her for the contributions she made to the community during the hours long celebration at the New Life Center of Truth where Rev. Evelyn John started more than three decades ago, and welcomed politicians, the rich and famous and the downtrodden.

“If we could be as half the example she was, we will all be that example to the community,” said Dr. Clarke.

“Let us continue to support her work, to show our community the life she lived. It is on us to carry on her work of love, brotherhood, sisterhood, and unity in the community,” she said.

Senator Roxanne Persaud, in turn said, “We have lost a giant” and told mourners, “she will be watching over us.” “It is said that the true essence of time is not measured by the length of days but by legacy,” said Sen. Persaud, before reciting the poem “When Tomorrow Comes.”

Barbara Atherly, consul general of Guyana to New York, expressed condolences on behalf of the government and people of Guyana, by saying, “Reverend Dr. Evelyn John, a dear daughter of our beloved homeland, Guyana, was a visionary, a woman with great entrepreneurial skills and an extraordinary woman of God who will be remembered for her spiritual leadership both in Guyana and the United States of America.”

She said Rev. Evelyn John’s teachings brought enlightenment, empowerment and hope to many Guyanese, especially women.

“The demise of such a great leader is indeed an immense loss to the Guyanese and Christian communities. May your hearts be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together, and the tremendous legacy of the life of this distinguished Guyanese, said the diplomat.”

Rev. Dr. Evelyn Rose John, who delivered invocations at opening sessions of the New York Senate and the New York State House Assembly, was also honored posthumously with a citation from Eric Adams, Brooklyn Borough president, who was represented by a staffer.

Council Member Mathieu Eugene, and Assembly Member Nick Perry, also sent condolences to the John family.

Packed New Life Center of Truth where Rev. Dr. Evelyn Rose John pastored for more than three decades.
From left. Rev. Lloyd Andries, Dr. S.T. Clarke, Hon. Barbara Atherly, Guyana Consul General to New York and across the aisle, husband, Llewelyn John, children, and relatives.
Photo by Tangerine Clarke

“She is not alone, she is walking with her savior like she did in her earthly journey,” preached Rev. Helen John, eldest child of Rev. Dr. Evelyn Rose John, who heads the church.

“Let us release our dear mother, grandmother, aunt, friend, minister, knowing that only good awaits her. Rev. Dr. Evelyn Rose John is free and unlimited. Any stone of hindrance has been rolled away. She now knows the peace that passes all understanding, she has transcended and shred her earthly garment and she is now dressed in heavenly splendor.”

Hundreds of mourners joined Reverend Dr. Evelyn Rose John’s family in the standing room only two-level church where Dyese Drigo, read a scripture, while Avril Mayers performed an interpretive dance to honor the loving memory of their grandmother who, touched the lives of thousands with her soothing personality.

She was a fabulous, world-class soprano who sang to sold-out crowds, and flawlessly belted out notes that wowed audiences in her homeland of Guyana said Marie Drego, of her mother, who won the talent competition — ‘In search of a Star’ at age 10.

“My mother did not speak Italian, but she studied the language to make sure her pronunciation was on point. A calling to serve the Lord was not enough, she wanted to lead, and after migrating, she started a church with just 50 members, later acquiring an old warehouse to grow her church that we see before us today, her legacy. She was a visionary.”

Rev Evelyn R. John, sang Guyana’s National Anthem, when the country gained Independence in 1966. Her gospel album — “Roll the Stone of Hindrance Away” and her performances at the National Cultural Center made her famous.

Rev. William Lloyd Andries gave a moving tribute in word and song, while Rev. Eddie Alleyne of St. Gabriel’s Church, a Barbadian native, remembered his spiritual sister, devoted to her church and community, adding that Rev. Evelyn Rose John should be honored with Guyana’s highest award.

Attorney-at-law Llewellyn John, 92 flew from Guyana to pay tribute to his wife, whom he praised for the indelible legacy she has left behind.

Helen, Richard, Dina, Marie and Hanna, grandchildren, Monique, Daniella, Tariq and Dyese, sisters Patricia Fraser and Joanne Williams and brothers Eton and Ronald Arthur, huge church family, relatives and friends, survive her.

Tangerine Clarke

More from Around NYC