Christians gathered in north-east London on Friday night to provide thanks for the lifetime of late evangelical chief Joel Edwards.
There have been tears and laughter as household, associates and the many individuals whose lives and ministries have been in a roundabout way touched by Edwards got here collectively to rejoice his life and legacy at St John at Hackney Church.
His son, Joel, remembered him as “an incredible pastor of individuals”, whereas daughter Davina referred to as him a “kingdom-building bridge-builder” who was “humble”, “beneficiant” and “an actual advocate”.
“He would give of himself to so many individuals and infrequently in ways in which have been simply between him, the recipient and the Lord. It wasn’t about recognition. He gave a lot as a result of he beloved a lot,” she stated.
Jamaican-born Edwards handed away in June of most cancers on the age of 70. He was massively influential, previously serving as Common Director of the UK Evangelical Alliance and Worldwide Director of Micah Problem. Previous to that, he pastored for a few years within the New Testomony Church of God (NTCG) denomination at a church in Mile Finish, London.
The sermon was delivered by the Bishop of Dover, the Rt Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin, who praised Edwards as somebody of nice “non secular generosity” who was “not judgemental however giving”.
She stated one of the best ways to honour Edwards’ life was to reside as faithfully as he did.
“I consider very strongly that God’s church wants thousands and thousands of Joels,” she stated. “[Joel] didn’t simply speak the speak however truly walked the speak.
“You and I, if we’re actually going to honour Joel it can not simply be about this night and our gathering collectively.
“If we’re going to actually honour Joel’s reminiscence then we now have to reside what it means to be the individuals of God – day by day.”
Phyllis Thompson, former Affiliate Pastor at Mile Finish NTCG, referred to as Joel “a exceptional man” and “an excellent chief”.
“His was a life properly lived,” she stated.
Mervyn Thomas, founding father of Christian Solidarity Worldwide, the place Edwards was a Strategic Advisor for the final six years, stated he was “a person of God” who had “an unbelievable ardour and coronary heart for justice”.
“Joel was a person that spoke each to the Church but additionally to society,” he stated.
Poignantly, the Eulogy of Life additionally heard from Edwards himself within the type of a video message that was recorded shortly earlier than his demise.
In it, he stated it might be “superficial” to say that religion is barely believing in God for therapeutic and never permitting for the potential of dying.
Fairly, Edwards stated religion for him meant being “completely out there to God to heal” whereas additionally accepting that if this didn’t occur, religion would assist him to have “a top quality of life for so long as potential”.
He stated he didn’t need “mumbo jumbo religion however actual religion in a God who can heal and actual religion within the peace and style of God to see us by way of no matter.”
“After which religion kicks in – the grace of God, the peace of God which passes understanding, which does not lead me to curse God and name Him this and that and say ‘how come?’ and ‘why me?’,” he stated.
Citing the instance of the younger Hebrew males in Daniel 3:17, who stated they’d be trustworthy to God even when He did not save them from the fireplace, Edwards stated he wished to be remembered as somebody who trusted God it doesn’t matter what.
“I desire a religion which is vibrant in demise as a lot as vibrant in therapeutic. A religion which pulls individuals to Jesus in your deathbed…That is religion for me,” he stated.
“I need to be recognized to be an individual who rests within the grace and the peace, not achievements or actions, however within the sovereignty of God – [that people will say] he exemplifies the sovereignty of God in his life.”
The Eulogy of Life will be watched in full on YouTube: