Minister Akilah Evans, also lovingly referred to as "Ma Akilah" by the children of the Charles Riley Tutorial Program, had a celebration of life fit for a queen on July 3 at Aenon Baptist Church. The celebration of life was the culmination of a three day remembrance. On Sunday July 1, the students of the Ministry School of Doology (adult students of Minister Lawrance Lee Evans) poured libation in an outdoor ceremony and discussed how this mighty woman contributed to their individual lives. On Monday July 2, people from all walks of life, from former students of the tutorial program to the political elite of Rochester, made their way to Aenon Baptist Church for the viewing. At the homegoing, her children praised her, old friends described her business acumen and contributions to the Institute. Minister Evans gave a glowing eulogy that earned him a standing ovation from the full house. She was entombed above the ground in a crypt at Riverside Cemetery. Ma Akilah's legacy definitely lives on at First Community Interfaith Institute Inc!
Gwendolyn Vivian Dawson Evans, known affectionately as "Ma Akilah," was born September 19, 1946 in Youngstown OH to the late Earnest and Celeste Dawson. She departed this life on June 26, 2012.
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