Reverend Charles Richard Edwards entered heaven on Monday, May 6, 2019 at the age of 91 with his family by his side.
Born on February 7, 1928 in Bentonville, Arkansas to Dixon and Essie Young Edwards, he served in the Navy during World War II. Upon returning home he accepted Christ as his Savior and was ordained into the ministry on September 27, 1950 at First Baptist Church in Bentonville.
He attended Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas where he met his future wife, Christine Campbell. They married on January 30, 1953. To This union four children were born including three daughters; Charlotte Thibodeaux of Perchville, Cheryl Turner (Timmy) of Richard, Connie Bertrand (Preston) of Eunice and a son, Danny Edwards (Bernadine) of Eunice.
He is also survived by ten grandchildren and eighteen great grandchildren as well as many nieces and nephews. Edwards was preceded in death by his parents; Dixon and Essie Young Edwards of Bentonville, Arkansas, his wife of 64 years; Christine Campbell Edwards of Perchville, two brothers; Benny Edwards and Earl “Jack” Edwards of Bentonville, Arkansas, three sisters; Jewell Spurlock of Bentonville, Arkansas, Merle “Tookie” Page of Paragould, Arkansas, Thelma “Happy” Reich of Linden, California, son-in-law Robert Thibodeaux and great grandson Job Zaunbrecher. Edwards’ ministry spanned over 50 years.
After pastorates in Oklahoma and Arkansas, he moved to New Orleans to attend New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. In 1957, he became pastor of First Baptist Church, Melville. He then pastored First Baptist, Rayne, First Baptist, Raceland, Emmanuel Baptist, Eunice, Pilgrim Rest Baptist, Richard, Texas Avenue, DeRidder and Oberlin Baptist. In 1989 he came returned to Pilgrim Rest where he served until his retirement in 1999.
He served as interim at Trinity Baptist Eunice until 2001 and Church Point Mission until 2004. Edwards loved living in South Louisiana among the Cajun people. One of his greatest desires was to learn to speak Cajun French. He loved the church members that he served and counted them as his “Louisiana Family.”
He and Chris had a heart for young people and served many summers at Acadia Baptist Center in Richard by operating the craft room during the summer months of camp. He also served as a counselor and Bible teacher at Dry Creek Baptist Camp in Dry Creek during the week of camp for boys and teen boys.