Beloved Christian author Rachel Held Evans has passed away on Saturday in a Tennessee hospital of extensive brain swelling following treatment for an infection. She was 37. Evans suffered brain seizures during treatment for an infection in April and was placed in a medically induced coma. Doctors tried to reduce the swelling in her brain but could not save her.
In 2010, Rachel's debut title, Evolving in Monkey Town (Zondervan), which was re-released in 2014 as Faith Unraveled: How a Girl Who Knew All the Answers Learned to Ask Questions, unpacked the beginning of Rachel's faith journey that would eventually lead to the radical and often humorous life experiments told in A Year of Biblical Womanhood : How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband 'Master'(Thomas Nelson, 2012).
Rachel was well-known by readers for her wit as well as her honest and outspoken opinion of today's Church and its influence in our culture. Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church (Thomas Nelson, 2015) was written to showcase her belief in the power of grace, and Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again, her most recent book with Thomas Nelson, was a quest to understand what the Bible is and how it is meant to be read. Rachel's last book, Wholehearted Faith is currently scheduled to release from HarperOne in October 2020.
"Rachel embodied humility and grace in her every conversation and interaction," said senior acquisitions editor for Thomas Nelson, Jenny Baumgartner. "We loved her dearly at Thomas Nelson, and our hearts and prayers are with her husband and their two young children as they face a very challenging road ahead. There is an outpouring of love and gratefulness for Rachel right now, and the immense impact she had in Christendom is seen throughout the media. I am so grateful that her books continue her legacy of risking it all for continued faith in Jesus."
Brian Hampton, senior v-p and group publisher for HarperCollins Christian Publishing commented, "The entire HarperCollins Christian Publishing team was so sad to hear of Rachel's passing. We knew Rachel as a strong, curious, and kind person and a writer who was deeply committed to her craft. We are proud to be the publisher of several of Rachel Held Evans' books, and our thoughts are with Dan and their children."
Rachel's teaching and influence will continue to impact the world's understanding and interpretation of the scripture, and to stimulate cultural conversations in the Church for years to come. In Faith Unraveled, Rachel wrote, "What my generation is learning the hard way is that faith is not about defending the conquered ground but about discovering new territory. Faith isn't about being right, or settling down, or refusing to change. Faith is a journey, and every generation contributes its own sketches to the map. I've got miles and miles to go on this journey, but I think I can see Jesus up ahead."
To read the official statement from Rachel's husband, Dan please visit her blog.
The 37-year-old, a mother of two children, died surrounded by her husband and friends.. Funeral arrangements are pending.