The Reverend Dr. C. R. Edwards

Celebrating the Life Of The Reverend Dr. Chancy R. Edwards
Pastor Emeritus First Baptist Church

The Rev. Dr. C.R. Edwards, 92, pastor emeritus of the First Baptist Church in Fayetteville, NC (Moore Street), went home to be with the Lord on Wednesday, August 23, 2017 in Raleigh, North Carolina.  

    Dr. Edwards preached his first sermon at First Baptist Church in 1953 and his ministry spanned 37 years.  A graduate of Shaw University and the Shaw Divinity School, Dr. Edwards was honored with the Doctor of Divinity Degree by Shaw University in 1963 for his outstanding work as a clergyman and community leader.

    Under his leadership, the church grew to more than 1200 members.  A new church facility was constructed under his leadership in 1963 and in 1973 the church built a 150-unit complex for low-income tenants—called Topeka Heights.  In 1974 another corporation was formed under his leadership and an 18-unit complex for senior citizens was constructed and named Edwards Place in his honor.

    Dr. Edwards was born in Nash County, NC, the youngest of 12 children.  He became the first black person elected to the Fayetteville City Board of Education and later became its first black chairman. He served on this body more than 15 years and his influence helped many African-Americans obtain jobs in the school system.

    In 1982 he was elected to the N.C. House of Representatives, serving eight years.  In the 1990s he went on to serve in the North Carolina State Senate.  Dr. Edwards later became a special assistant to former N.C. Governor Jim Hunt who said that Dr. Edwards was a man “of great character, very informed about the issues, and very involved in helping improve education in North Carolina.”

    Dr. Edwards’ first wife, Luella, died in 1995. She had served as president of the Woman’s Baptist Home and Foreign Missionary Convention of N.C., Inc.  After her death and after leaving the legislature in 1996, Dr. Edwards moved to Knightdale (near Raleigh, NC) with his second wife, Carolyn (a retired educator).  Later he was appointed to the University of North Carolina Board Of Governors (1999).

    During his illustrious career, Dr. Edwards served as president of the General Baptist State Convention of NC Incorporated and as interim executive secretary of the Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Missions Convention.  He, indeed, was a man whose steps were “ordered by the Lord,” said present First Baptist Church Pastor Cureton L. Johnson.  Dr. Edwards always said that there was “enough love at First Baptist Church for the pastor and for the pastor emeritus.  His words have really been so very true; and we’ve enjoyed a great relationship over the years.  I and the First Baptist Church family will truly miss him greatly.”

    Among Dr. Edwards’ survivors are his wife, Carolyn F. Edwards; his daughter, Jewyl Anita Edwards; two grandchildren, Jewelyn and Omar; and a great grandchild.

Monday, August 28, 2017 — 10:00 to 11:45 a.m.
First Baptist Church 302 Moore Street Fayetteville, NC 28301 Phone: (910) 483-6505
Website: E-mail:

Monday, August 28, 2017 — 12:00 noon
First Baptist Church 302 Moore Street Fayetteville, NC 28301
Phone: (910) 483-6505 Website:

Serving the Edwards Family
Edwards Funeral Home 805 East Nash Street Wilson, NC 27893
Phone: (252) 237-2624 FAX: (252) 206-1262 Website: