Rachel Held Evans

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Rachel Held Evans
Born Rachel Grace Held
(1981-06-08) June 8, 1981 (age 37)
  • Columnist
  • author
Nationality American
Genre Christian

Rachel Held Evans (née Rachel Grace Held, June 8, 1981) is an American Christian columnist, blogger and author. Her book A Year of Biblical Womanhood was on The New York Times' e-book non-fiction best-seller list.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Evans was born to Peter and Robin Held. She grew up in Birmingham, Alabama. At age 14, she and her family moved to Dayton, Tennessee, where her father took an administrative position at Bryan College. She attended Rhea County High School and then went to Bryan College where she majored in English literature. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in 2003 and married her college boyfriend, Dan Evans, that year. They moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee, where she worked as an intern for the Chattanooga Times Free Press.[2]

In 2004, Evans returned to Dayton where she worked full-time for the local paper, The Herald-News. In 2006, she transitioned from full-time to writing pro bono as the paper's humor columnist; in 2007, she won an award for "Best Personal Humor Column" from the Tennessee Press Association.[3] She continued to write freelance articles for national publications and started a blog.[4]

In September 2008, Evans signed with Zondervan for her first book, Evolving in Monkey Town.[5] The book explores her journey from religious certainty to a faith which accepts doubt and questioning; the title is based on the Scopes Monkey Trial that occurred in Dayton.[6] Her second book, A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband Master, was released in October 2012.[7][8] She recounts how she spent an entire year of living a Biblical lifestyle literally. The book also garnered national media attention for Evans as she appeared on The Today Show.[4] In 2014, Evans re-released Evolving in Monkey Town with the new title of Faith Unraveled.[9]

Evans is an Episcopalian[10] and attends St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Cleveland, Tennessee.[11]

In early August 2016, Evans published an editorial for Vox defending her "pro-life Christian" position and support for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.[12]



  1. ^ "Best Sellers - The New York Times". Retrieved February 9, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Alumna Rachel Held Evans - published, working and improving". The Bryan College Triangle. October 23, 2013. Retrieved January 7, 2014. 
  3. ^ "2007 University of Tennessee - Tennessee Press Association - State Press Contests Awards" (PDF (press clippings)). 2007. p. 14. Retrieved June 6, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Evans, Rachel Held (October 22, 2012). "Living through 'A Year of Biblical Womanhood'". Today Books. NBCUniversal Media. Retrieved November 6, 2012. 
  5. ^ Evans, Rachel Held (2010). Evolving in Monkey Town: How a Girl Who Knew All the Answers Learned to Ask the Questions. Zondervan. ISBN 9780310293996. 
  6. ^ "Evolving in Monkey Town". RachelHeldEvans.com. Retrieved November 6, 2012. 
  7. ^ Graham, Ruth (September 1, 2011). "A Year of Biblical Womanhood". Slate. ISSN 1091-2339. Retrieved August 21, 2015. 
  8. ^ Compton, Allie (October 23, 2012). "Rachel Held Evans, Author of "A Year of Biblical Womanhood", Spent a Year Living the Bible Literally". Huffington Post. 
  9. ^ Evans, Rachel Held (2014). Faith Unraveled: How a Girl Who Knew All the Answers Learned to Ask Questions. Zondervan. ISBN 9780310339168. 
  10. ^ Merritt, Jonathan (March 9, 2015). "Rachel Held Evans defends exit from evangelicalism, calls Christians to celebrate sacraments". Religion News Service: On Faith & Culture. Retrieved August 21, 2015. 
  11. ^ Bailey, Sarah Pulliam (April 16, 2015). "How Rachel Held Evans became the most polarizing woman in evangelicalism". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved August 21, 2015. 
  12. ^ Held Evans, Rachel (August 4, 2016). "I'm a pro-life Christian. Here's why I'm voting for Hillary Clinton". Vox. Retrieved January 20, 2017. 

External links[edit]