WASHINGTON, Dec. 13, 2015 – There are heroes among us. For 61 years, I saw the living biblical embodiment of an American hero. He was my twin brother, Rev. Evin L. Fobbs. His times were a reflection of the urban cities in the nation that battled the stinging pain of racism that shackled far too many black Americans and cities like his native Detroit, which was set ablaze in the 1960s.
For Reverend Fobbs, it was God’s Word that was set ablaze in his heart and stirred him to heroic biblical action .
The story of his sudden and unexpected passing on Nov. 21 of a massive heart attack after spending a lifetime of public and spiritual service defending, protecting and serving the defenseless is reflection of America’s story.
His life is a lasting legacy of overcoming odds, embracing leadership and having the courage to say no to fear and life sacrifice as a police officer, mentor for the young, crusader for the defenseless and victims of impoverishment. The charitable request for his GoFundme Memorial to assist his family with funeral and memorial service arrangements is a legacy for a silent American hero that God gave to serve.
Officer Fobbs, a City of Detroit police officer, embodied many of the biblical characteristics the vast majority of police officers show daily. When a tornado swept through the west side of Detroit, overturning cars, including his police cruiser, he did not hesitate. With his very life at stake, Evin, injured, got out of his patrol car and helped other injured motorists.
He did not brag about it, but merely reported the details to his precinct desk sergeant, and when he had healed from his injuries he was back on duty.
“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8).
This is the nature of Evin L. Fobbs. When God called him home, he was welcoming a new warrior of the Christian faith back to the heavenly flock. The opportunity to assist a true warrior of truth, honor and commitment to championing the small and forgotten is but a small tribute to his years of hearing God’s call and, equally important, answering that call.
For over his 61 years of life, first as a teen volunteer and leader and then as an adult, he kept rising to the call of service. Evin heard and answered, “Here am I. Send me!”
As Americans, we too have seen police officers who hear the call that moves their hearts and spirits to action. You have known them as your brother, sister, dad, mom, relative or friend. If you searched their hearts, you would find their solemn devotion is biblical because it was placed there by God. God’s heroes are devoted in their heart, spirit and soul to God’s work.
Jesus teaches us “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).
God did prepare him to reach out and serve. For 61 years, starting as a teen, Evin followed the biblical lessons imparted by our parents. He chose service as his life pathway, as did presidential candidate Ben Carson, who taught ROTC to Evin and me at Southwestern High School. It was as a junior ROTC Lt. Col. and Cadet Commander that Evin followed Dr. Carson’s example of teaching leadership and service to cadets who served under him.
His determination did not stop there but flourished as God’s biblical direction grew within him.
He led by example in excelling in an organization formed to rally young people in the Detroit metro area to improve the City of Detroit. He joined Keep Detroit Beautiful Teens and became one of the best teen leaders in the organization’s history. Eventually he helped lead it as an adult supervisor.
What manner of man is he to place his life goal as one of service above material wealth or fame or personal gain? It is a man who knows that the poverty of the spirit is greater than the poverty of wealth. Seeing seniors who were suffering economically or children whose educational achievement was being stripped away daily was why he decided to become a VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America) volunteer.
He not only helped create workable self-help solutions for residents but also took on their burdens and helped them to see a better vision for themselves and their families. Evin led by example in serving humbly to provide an example of what biblical heroism is. You probably have seen it in your life and your family as well.
“We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up” (Romans 15:1-2).
He believed in solving challenges, and he met each one with personal excellence to better his best, as an officer of the law, dedicated Michigan Parole Board Member and as a Michigan gubernatorial and presidential appointee. He saw what many American biblical heroes have seen, a vision based upon God’s design.
“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keeps the law, happy is he” (Proverbs 29:18).
His vision led him to make history by tackling a seemingly unwinnable issue which led him and fellow police officers in a ground-breaking historic United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit case against the City of Detroit and its mayor. An American biblical hero is not born in a comic book or on a movie screen but in everyday homes all over this nation as Evin was. It was his faith and his works that guided him.
“But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works” (James 2:18).
This led Evin this year to work on creating a program he felt would help urban juveniles, parents and families stand up for themselves by leading in their lives with Christianity. He called it, “Urban Families Returning to God’s Word.”
Evin did not get the opportunity to work on his last project of service to God, but he left each of us a lot richer in spirit and love for having him a part of our lives, by his faith and his works.
His legacy and his work are still cherished, and with your immediate heartfelt financial help for his Rev. Evin L. Fobbs Memorial and hospital fund to assist the family deal with the funeral arrangements, unexpected hospital and other financial obligations, Evin will be given the dignity and final rest with a loving God he deserves.
“His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matthew 25:21).