Local News

Raleigh pastor featured on WRAL dies at 94

Posted August 10, 2011

— The Rev. Al Edwards, whose Raleigh church services were broadcast live on WRAL beginning in 1974, died at his home Sunday. He was 94.

Edwards' funeral will be held at his church, First Presbyterian, 120 W. Hargett St., at 2 p.m. Thursday.

The funeral will be streamed on WRAL.com.

Born in Canada on Dec. 3, 1916, Edwards was raised by his grandparents in Scotland and came to the U.S. to further his education. He began his studies at Georgia Tech, graduated from Presbyterian College and obtained his master of divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary, according to his obituary.

He began his ministry at Orange Presbyterian Church in Orange, Va., and spent several years as pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Harrisonburg, Va. In 1958, he came to serve as pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Raleigh. He also served as chaplain to the North Carolina House of Representatives.

During his ministry at First Presbyterian, he established The Friendship Fund, The Clothes Closet and The Bicycle Fund to serve people in need.

"He attracted many loyal followers through his popular Early Birds Ministry at FPC and Morning Prayer Service at the Alexander Family YMCA," according to his obituary.

Edwards was a member of the Peace College Board of Trustees, The Salvation Army Board of Directors and the Raleigh Housing Authority.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Margaret Early Edwards; his son, William Cameron Edwards; and his parents and two sisters.

He is survived by his daughters, Susan Edwards Waddell and Barbara Edwards Hayes of Raleigh. He is also survived by several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

The family will receive friends following the service at the church Thursday. A private interment service will be held Friday at Cedar Grove Cemetery in Bealeton, Va.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the William C. Edwards Memorial Scholarship fund at First Presbyterian Church or to the Alexander Family YMCA, 1603 Hillsborough St. in Raleigh.


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  • lauraleigh Aug 10, 2011

    Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and may Perpetual Light shine upon him. May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, by the mercies of God, rest in peace. Amen.

    My condolences to Dr. Edwards' family. He was a lovely gentleman.

  • Jcwolf75 Aug 10, 2011

    Dr Edwards was a respected and honorable man, I remember him playing the bagpipes at one of our services and many good sermons, he lived a full life. I hope we could all be so lucky, he will be resting in the heavens he spoke about and loved.

  • kfamily Aug 10, 2011

    Dr. Edwards was a wonderful man. When my family first came to Raleigh when I was very small, we were blessed to become a part of his church. There was never a time that if we or someone needed something that he wasn't there. My husband and I were also blessed that he married us over 30 years ago. A special place in heaven is waiting for Dr. Edwards...God Bless You and your family.

  • SubwayScoundrel Aug 10, 2011

    Went to 1st Presb as a kid while he was there. Great man and great speaker. I could listen to him for hours. He did not thump and scream or demean anyone. Spoke positive. GOt a chance to shake his hand this past Christmas at the Childrens Christmas party at 1st presb. A great loss

  • kkirstenc Aug 10, 2011

    Dr. Edwards was AWESOME - he married my parents. Rest gently, good sir.

  • RB aka Spirit Warrior Woman Aug 10, 2011

    Praying for those who loved him.

  • pja1357 Aug 10, 2011

    One of the greatest men you could ever know. Dr. Edwards performed all the weddings and baptisms in my entire family. Even after his retirement he still was there for our family - he was one of the first to respond when we lost my mother. There is a very special place in Heaven for Dr. Edwards. You touched the hearts of oh so many people and will truly be missed. God Bless.

  • keneds Aug 10, 2011

    Had the pleasure of hearing him at our church for a revival yrs ago. He was an amazing man and will be greatly missed

  • tdnaylor45 Aug 10, 2011

    Dr. Edwards married my wife and I April 3, 1999 at Peace College :) RIP sir.

  • Krzyzewskiectomy Aug 10, 2011

    I remember watching him growing up.