Rachel Held Evans, best-selling author of four books on faith and Christianity, died on Saturday morning at a Nashville hospital.
“Early Thursday morning, May 2, Rachel experienced sudden and extreme changes in her vitals,” her husband Dan posted to Rachel’s website on Saturday. “The team at the hospital discovered extensive swelling of her brain and took emergency action to stabilize her. The team worked until Friday afternoon to the best of their ability to save her. This swelling event caused severe damage and ultimately was not survivable.”
Evans is perhaps best known for her 2012 book A Year of Biblical Womanhood, which reached the 18th spot on the New York Times best-seller list and chronicled a year in Evans’ life as she attempted to follow the Bible’s instructions for women literally.
Her other books include Faith Unraveled:How a Girl Who Knew All the Answers Learned to Ask Questions (2010), Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church (2015), and Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again (2018).
Evans co-founded two conferences for progressive Christians, Evolving Faith and Why Christian, and served on President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
“One of the things that I have always loved about Rachel in all the years that we have been friends is that she always was someone who put what was right and what was true and what was good ahead of her own self-interest, even when it was, you know, jarring, I think, to people,” Evans’ friend and fellow writer Sarah Bessey told NPR.
“This entire experience is surreal. I keep hoping it’s a nightmare from which I’ll awake,” Dan wrote in an update on Evans’ blog. “Rachel’s presence in this world was a gift to us all and her work will long survive her.”