Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find Proverbs 20:6
When I received word about the home going of Bro. Don Edwards, my mind traveled back over 40 years to when I was in my early teens and he came to preach a revival at State Street Baptist Church (now Park Meadows Baptist Church) in Lincoln, Illinois, where my dad, Dr. V.M. Graham, was the pastor. I was saved at the age of 12 and began preaching when I was 13. The many men of God that I have been blessed to know have made such a great impact on my life.
Evangelist Harold Boyd had already been investing encouragement and influence in my life, and when Bro. Don came for revival meetings, he also began to be a friend to this young preacher. He and his wife, Mary, were such a blessing to me.
In the summer of 1975, when I was 17, Bro. Edwards invited our family and the Goad family to Florida where they were living then. He graciously called some pastor friends and scheduled several churches for my Dad and I to preach in and The Blessed Hope Singers to provide special music.
I entered the field of Evangelism in 1980, and I will never forget how Bro. Edwards and Bro. Boyd, both being full-time evangelists themselves, unselfishly did so much to help us with meetings. They called preachers that I had never met in Ohio, New York, New Brunswick, Canada, and New Jersey and encouraged the preachers to have us for revival meetings. I had never met any of those preachers but on their recommendations, they allowed us to be in their churches.
Bro. Edwards was always known for his tenacious stand for the Bible, his commitment to biblical preaching, and his position concerning the New Testament Baptist Church. He could come across to some as stern and strong in his position, but he had a heart of love for the Saviour and a heart for souls.
I remember about a year into evangelism, I was preaching a revival for Pastor Tom McMurtry (my brother-in -law), at a church he had recently started. Bro. Edwards was passing through to his next meeting and wanted to meet us for lunch. We had a great meal and good fellowship discussing several topics about the Christian life and Bible issues. As we were getting ready to part ways, he gave us $50.00 each. It was generous and needed by both of us. As I was tearfully thanking him, Bro. Edwards said, “Don’t tell anyone about this. I have a reputation and I wouldn’t want anyone to get in their minds that I’m a softie!” I laughed as I realized that beneath the rough exterior was a big ole teddy bear with a heart that longed to serve and strengthen others!
Bro. Edwards served The Lord with faithfulness, never wavering as he stood for the Word of God and the God of the Word. Eternity will reveal the impact of his life and ministry, and I will forever be indebted to the investment he made in my life through the years of our friendship.