Evelyn Lucille Strong
Former United Nations Interpreter and former Women's Division Director Evelyn L. Strong died January 18 in Detroit, Michigan from injuries from a fall. Her memorial service was February 9 at Central United Methodist Church in Detroit.
Starting in 1980 she served over 20 years as North Central Jurisdiction United Nations Interpreter for the Women's Division of the General Board of Global Ministries. She presented programs all over the country. She was a study leader for Schools of Christian Mission and Mission Saturation Events in several states.
She was a Women's Division Director from 1972 – 1980, serving as a member of the Section of Finance, chairing the Committee on Investments, and serving as a member of the Committee on Appropriations. She was also a member of the former Education and Cultivation Division. A biography was included in the original version of the book In the Middle of Tomorrow by Barbara E. Campbell, published in 1975.
She was part of the World Division assigned to the Section of Latin America/Caribbean.
She served as a liaison from Women's Division to the National Commission on the Status and Role of Women. She worked on the Women's Division Oral History Project.
Her many duties took her on trips to Haiti, the Bahamas, Nigeria, Bolivia, Chile, and Cuba touching many lives along the way. One of her trips was attendance at the Fifth Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Nairobi, Kenya in 1975.
She served on several Detroit Conference agencies – the Boards of Education and Finance and Administration and the Greater Detroit Methodist Union of the Detroit East and West Districts. In 2001 she received a "One in the Spirit" award in recognition of her service to the greater United Methodist Church. She did workshops on Women and Credit.
Mrs. Strong was very active in the Wesleyan Service Guild. From 1968-72 she was a member of the division's Guild Committee. "She was very committed to women's issues," commented former staff member Ellen Kirby, "and in representing the concerns of professionally employed women when they were a minority on the division. She brought to light new ways that United Methodist Women could structure their activities to meet the needs of employed women."
She was also very active with Church Women United serving as State President at one time. She was named a Valiant Woman in 1993. Her trip to Cuba in 2000 was a mission trip with Church Women United of Michigan.
She was articulate, forthright, very productive, kind, a joy to be around and ready to do anything.
She was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and moved to Detroit as a teen. She worked as a loan officer most of her adult life and retired from Standard Federal Bank in 1985 after 20 years as a mortgage counselor specializing in veteran loans. She was an avid sports enthusiast and enjoyed arts and crafts. She loved ceramics, knitting and crocheting. She made baby clothing for unwed mothers. By doing so she left pieces of herself with persons whose lives she touched.
She leaves five grandchildren, two daughters-in-law, cousins and many friends to celebrate her life.
Compiled with love and with much help from many persons by Diana Spitnale Miller, President, Detroit Conference United Methodist Women, 2005-2008.