Michael Evans Made History As The First Black Mayor of Mansfield
Michael Evans wasn’t trying to make history, he was simply offering his leadership to the city he loves so much.
Now he’s doing both as the first black mayor in the City of Mansfield’s 130-year history.
Evans was elected in a runoff on Dec. 9, defeating City Council Member Brent Newsom with 54% of the vote to Newsom’s 46%. He was sworn into office on Jan. 11.
“I count it both a honor and a privilege to have been chosen by a cross section of the Mansfield community,” Evans said. “I am well aware of the fact that I am standing both on the backs and the shoulders of a great pioneers and people who did not have the same opportunities that I have been blessed with.”
Evans said the time is simply right for history to have been made in Mansfield.
“I understand that the growth of the city invites more opportunities for people to judge the character of their fellow citizens, no matter what color or the ethnicity may be,” he said. “It has been my experience that when you build relationships with your neighbors you discover that you have more in common than otherwise. As a community grows we interact more with each other, which gives us a chance to celebrate our diversity as opposed to being afraid of the unknown.”
An Experienced Leader & Pastor
Long before being elected mayor, Evans had established himself as a leader in the North Texas area. He’s served as a member of several boards of directors, including the Tarrant County College Board of Trustees and the Mansfield School District Board of Directors. He believes such experience will help achieve his goals as mayor.
“It has been my honor to serve with people from diverse backgrounds who focused on the welfare and well-being of their constituents, which allowed for us to build bridges of understanding and to establish a camaraderie that, as a result, has led to each of those institutions becoming the best in their perspective areas of service/concentration,” Evans said. “These experiences help me to appreciate the importance of building bridges among my colleagues that will benefit the entire organization.”
Evans has also been a pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church for more than three decades, something else he believes will help him as leads his beloved city.
“My experience as a pastor helps me to listen to competing opinions with empathy and appreciation for differing perspectives that warrant sincere thoughtful consideration of their views,” he said.
Evans said he was prompted to run for office from “a desire to both protect and assure all Mansfield residents a high quality of living and to continue our forward trajectory towards becoming the most desired location for living, learning, and entertainment in the Metroplex.”
A Houston Native
Born in Houston, Evans is the oldest of six children. He moved to North Texas in 1984 to attend the University of Texas – Arlington and said he “literally fell in love with the DFW area.”
Both of his parents were leaders in the field of education, civic involvement, and church leadership.
He’s been married to his high school sweetheart for more than 34 years. They have two adult sons and a granddaughter who is, of course, the apple of their eyes.
Their youngest son is also involved in politics. He is the public policy director for the Baptist General Convention of Texas Christian Life Commission.
Evans said he believes his election, while groundbreaking, is a sign that people are looking at character more than skin color. Still, he admits the door has been opened for more minorities to follow him through.
“I believe that if I am afforded the opportunity to serve as the ambassador for our city that people will judge or grade my leadership by my character and my conduct as a opposed to the color of my skin,” he said. “Recognizing that when a person is judged by the content of their character, the melanin in their skin become less of an issue.
“I look forward to continuing to serve the Mansfield Community. The community that I learned to love 32 years ago.”