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               

David Carroll: I Heard You Could Use A Laugh

After all these rainy days we’ve had, let’s share a laugh or two:  Overheard from a favorite waitress:  "My doctor told me I have ADD-HD.  I don't pay attention that often, but when I do, everything looks really sharp."  A senior citizens group just invited me to speak at their next meeting.  The lady who called asked me, "How long do you talk?"  I ... (click for more)

Not Impressed With The Tax Increase

Mr. Smith did not impress me enough when he came to Lookout Valley and lobbied for support for his tax increase.   According to the draft supplied by Mr. Smith, the average pay for personnel in Lookout Valley Middle School and High School, including benefits, is $68,000.  That's not shabby; and then give a five percent pay increase: $2,727,929.36 divided by 40 staff ... (click for more)

Pedestrian Struck And Dragged An Estimated 4 Blocks Early Friday Morning Was Levi S. Youster, 22

Early Friday morning the Chattanooga Police Department responded to reports of a pedestrian struck near 400 Cherry Street.   Once on scene, officers found Levi S. Youster, 22,  suffering from serious injuries caused by being dragged by the vehicle an estimated four blocks.   He was transported to a local hospital and is expected to live. Investigators ... (click for more)

Flash Flood Warning Issued For Hamilton County; Cancellations And Road Closings Announced

A flash flood warning has been issued for Hamilton County for Thursday afternoon. It was reported t ramp from I-24 West to Cummings Highway was closed, due to flooding. The Chattanooga Fire Department reported  roads were underwater at 3rd and Roanoke. UTC softball’s Thursday doubleheader with non-conference foe UAB at Frost Stadium has been cancelled due to the ... (click for more)

Brewer Selected New East Ridge Girls Basketball Coach

(Story has been updated) Blaine Brewer admitted his becoming a head coach at East Ridge, or any other place for that matter, is ahead of schedule. “It certainly has happened quicker than I thought it would,” the 24-year-old Brewer said Friday. “I’m really excited though.” Brewer, who is from Memphis and attended Arlington High School where he played basketball and ... (click for more)

McClendon, Ex-Rhea Assistant, Joins Lyness' Lady Trojans Staff

Cheryl McClendon, an assistant girls’ basketball coach at Rhea County the past eight years, has been hired for a similar job at Soddy-Daisy High School, head coach Drew Lyness said Friday afternoon. McClendon has taught at Soddy-Daisy for the last 13 years and served as one of Rhea County coach Shane Johnston’s assistants for almost a decade. Johnston has resigned at Rhea County ... (click for more)