Local News

Raleigh pastor featured on WRAL dies at 94

Posted August 10, 2011 11:42 a.m. EDT
Updated August 10, 2011 11:48 a.m. EDT

— 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.