DAYTON — Rachel Held Evans, 37, died Saturday, May 4, 2019, at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. She was born in Birmingham, Ala., on June 8, 1981, and moved to Dayton in 1994. She graduated from Rhea County High School in 1999 and earned her B.A. in English Literature at Bryan College in 2003. She lived in Chattanooga from the fall of 2003 to the summer of 2004, and has been a resident of Dayton ever since. Rachel loved words and stories, and she built a successful career as a writer and speaker. She wrote four books: “Faith Unraveled”; “A Year of Biblical Womanhood,” which made the New York Times best-seller list; “Searching for Sunday”; and “Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water and Loving the Bible Again.” But even more than writing or the Alabama Crimson Tide or dark chocolate, Rachel loved Jesus, Scripture, and her family. She is survived by her husband of 15 years, Dan Evans; her three-year-old son, Henry, and 11-month-old daughter, Harper; her parents, Peter and Robin Held of Dayton; and her sister, Amanda (Tim) Opelt of Boone, N.C. Funeral services for Rachel will be held Saturday, June 1, 2019 at 2 p.m. at the First-Centenary United Methodist Church in Chattanooga, TN. The body will lie in state at the church one hour before the funeral. Rachel will be laid to rest Sunday, June 2, 2019, in Rhea Memory Gardens in Dayton, TN. Memorial contributions may be made to https://www.gofundme.com/supporting-rachel-held-evans for her children's ongoing support or to the Reformation Project at https://www.reformationproject.org/. Please share your memories of Rachel on her online guest register at www.vanderwallfh.com. The family is being cared for by the Vanderwall Funeral Home in Dayton, TN.