When Priscilla Shirer steps into a pulpit, you don’t have to wonder if she’s related to Texas pastor Tony Evans. She carries his mantle with grace.
When 35-year-old Priscilla Shirer stepped onto the platform at LifeWay’s Deeper Still conference in Orlando, Fla., last September, she was dressed stylishly yet casually, as a woman her age might be if she were going out shopping or to visit a friend. But there was nothing low-key about her message—or her presentation of it.
For nearly two hours she held the attention of thousands of women as she expounded on a solitary passage of Scripture—Ephesians 3:20-21—with captivating power. It was clear that this dynamic teacher truly believes her God is “able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think,” and through demonstrations, object lessons and multiple real-life examples, she made certain her audience came to believe it, too.
“[Priscilla] is quite possibly the most gifted communicator I have ever witnessed,” says consummate Bible teacher Beth Moore, who has ministered alongside Shirer and Kay Arthur at Deeper Still events for the last three years and has been on a ministry circuit for more than 15.
Shirer’s gift of communication comes as no surprise to those who are acquainted with her father, Tony Evans, founder and pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, who is known for his powerful preaching. Clearly, Shirer has the same penchant he does for public speaking and a similar passion for studying and sharing God’s Word.
Evans has been both a model for and a mentor to Shirer from the time she was a child, and she continues to rely on him for counsel. “To have access to the mind he has and the revelation God has given him from the Word of God is a blessing,” she says.
He is also one of her greatest supporters and delights in seeing his daughter use her gifts. “Her ability to communicate is extraordinary,” he says. “She not only can teach, but she can host events because she has such an engaging personality and communication skills.”
Not surprisingly, Shirer receives more speaking requests than she can accept. Besides sponsoring her own events, she ministers regularly at the Deeper Still, Colour, and Pink Impact conferences held in the United States and abroad. She also ministers powerfully in print, having written numerous books and Bible studies, including several about communicating with God: He Speaks to Me, Discerning the Voice of God and Can We Talk? Soul-Stirring Conversations With God. Her upcoming book, One in a Million, releases next month.
Shirer considers it an honor to teach nationwide alongside Moore and veteran Bible teacher Kay Arthur—whom she sees as mentors—in the Deeper Still conferences, which draw tens of thousands of women per event. The three leaders are each about 20 years apart in age. “What an incredible blessing to be able to pattern my life after women who have done their marriage well, parenting well and ministry well,” she says of Moore and Arthur.
As a younger woman in ministry, Shirer connects particularly well with single women and busy mothers. Her messages are Word-based yet filled with humorous real-life illustrations that often include her husband of 10 years, Jerry; and sons Jackson, 7; Jerry Jr., 5; and Jude, 1.
Because of her African-American heritage, she has strong ties with the black community and sees herself as a bridge between black and white audiences.
“There is a need in the African-American community for there to be someone who is teaching the Word of God who looks like them,” she says. “While they love Beth Moore, Anne Graham Lotz and other women who run in those circles—and use their resources—they have told us that they find it refreshing to be able to present Bible study curriculum to their women’s ministry that [has] been created by someone who looks like them.”
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