Remembering Rev. J. Loyd Edwards Jr.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Rev. J. Loyd Edwards Jr.
Rev. J. Loyd Edwards Jr.

Though it has been a few weeks since the Chattanooga community lost a community leader, civil rights icon, and simply a man of God, for me, I simply lost a friend. I’ve known of Reverend Edwards all my life; he eulogized three of my aunts and has been connected with my family through my older siblings.  

Many know of his tireless work through the Mary Walker Foundation and other organizations. But that’s not how I came to know this wise, magnificent man. Long before I answered the call in ministry, I remember speaking for a black history program. And for the most part I was prepared and had all my facts together. I remember closing with an arousing applause. As the congregation proceeded to congratulate me on my message, an old gray-haired man in his eighties, realizing this was my first time speaking, approached me and said young man you did an awesome job. Words any young man wants to hear from an elder. As I began to smile with my chest stuck out he suddenly said to me, “But you said one thing that wasn’t exactly correct.” He had listened to a 45 minute speech and heard the one thing that was not historically true.  

As I accepted the criticism, I recognized his way of correcting me without tearing me down. I suddenly realized that the wisdom I was about to learn from this wise man was far greater than the embarrassment of misquoting history. I can tell you after that day I made sure that every quote that came out of my mouth was historically correct. Yes study and show thyself approved. Do not be responsible for leading anyone astray.

After that day Rev and I saw each other many more times over the years. We always seemed to show up at the same venues. And I was the wiser man for it because I learned how to let him talk, and I simply listened. So many of our young people are missing that wisdom that can only be transferred from listening to one who has come through the struggle, from one who has stood on the battleground and fought for justice. I cherish my moments with Rev because with each visit I gained knowledge that can never be taken away from me.  

I can recall him saying, “If my people would just pick up a book, a magazine or any publication and read it. There is so much knowledge between the lines, both good and bad. But if you can’t read it you want know the difference.”  

RIP Rev! Message was received.

Retired Fire Captain
Ken Harden               


Roy Exum: Why I Am Thankful

You would think that after 40 years of publishing an annual list of things for which I am thankful, I’d be getting to the bottom of it, but it seems the older I get I have found I appreciate so much more around me. I take absolute delight in planting a flower, feeding the birds and throwing a ball for my dog. I find that the more people who I come to know the more who I come to ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Thanksgiving Eve

I don’t know who was the first to do the Famous Pregnant Turkey prank but I’ll bet you a handful of giblets there will be a lot of copycats who try it today. The trick is finding a Cornish hen that is small enough to stuff inside the larger turkey. Then you skillfully pack the bird with some of that sausage-sage dressing and put your Thanksgiving dinner in the oven. When all ... (click for more)

$100,000 Powereball Winner In Greeneville

A Tennessee Lottery Powerball player in Greeneville woke up Thanksgiving morning a $100,000 winner.  The as-yet-unknown player matched 4 of 5 white balls drawn plus the Powerball in the Wednesday night drawing, which has a base prize of $50,000. Since he or she added the Power Play option for a dollar, the prize was multiplied by the Power Play number drawn, which was ... (click for more)

Hixson Burglary Suspect Tries To Swim Away; Deputies Catch Him In Borrowed Boat

A Hixson burglary suspect on Wednesday tried to swim away from deputies, but to no avail.   The proprietor of Chattanooga Fish and Fun was notified when his camera system was triggered by an individual attempting to break into his business. The owner immediately contacted the Sheriff's Office and drove to the business location.   As deputies arrived on scene, ... (click for more)

Rodney Stoker Wins Turkey Trot 8K Again

It has been about 15 years since Rodney Stoker captured first place overall in the annual Sports Barn Turkey Trot, but he’s been doing some serious training in recent weeks and it paid off Thursday morning as the 41-year-old former UTC standout was victorious with a time of 27 minutes, 18 seconds. Dylan Hassett, a promising 24-year-old from Atlanta who is making her way as a ... (click for more)

Bulldogs Face In-State Rival Georgia Tech Saturday At Noon

For the past four seasons, going up against Georgia Tech in the final regular-season game of the year has meant a date with quarterback Justin Thomas for the Georgia defense. But this time around, the Bulldogs will be seeing a new face on the other side of the line of scrimmage: junior Taquon Marshall. In studying this season’s tape, Smart still found himself surprised by ... (click for more)