News + Events

FHU Unveils New Portrait Honoring Dr. Earl D. Edwards

Henderson, TN - Sep 07, 2023

The legacy of Dr. Earl D. Edwards is being publicly preserved on the campus of Freed-Hardeman University with the addition of a new portrait in his honor. Following a surprise unveiling ceremony on Tuesday, Sept. 5, it is now displayed in the offices of the Graduate School of Theology, in order to recognize the life and influence of one of the School of Theology’s strongest supporters.

“Throughout our school’s history, we have been blessed with countless scholarly and Godly individuals who have made the spiritual health of Freed-Hardeman University a top priority. Dr. Edwards is one such individual whose love and dedication for the FHU Graduate School of Theology is worthy of this recognition,” President David R. Shannon said.  

Dr. Justin Rogers, dean of the College of Biblical Studies, also spoke highly of Edwards’ years of service. “For more than 60 years, Dr. Earl D. Edwards has tirelessly devoted himself to ministry and missionary training,” Rogers said. “Whether serving as a missionary, a local minister, a faculty member or an administrator, the church always received the best Brother Earl had to give.”

Having begun his professional relationship with FHU, then Freed-Hardeman College, in 1982, Edwards served first as a Bible professor and then as head of the graduate program in biblical studies until his retirement in 2008. Recently, Edwards committed $500,000 to create an endowed chair for the Graduate School of Theology in order to support plans for the new Doctor of Ministry program. His generosity prompted FHU officials to name the Dr. Earl D. Edwards Chair for the Graduate School of Theology in his honor. According to Rogers, this gift “will ensure his legacy will live on for generations to come.”

Dr. Rick Brumback, current director of the FHU Graduate School of Theology, suggests that Edwards’ influence cannot be overstated. “Dr. Earl D. Edwards has shaped theological education by establishing the Graduate School of Theology at Freed-Hardeman University. His vision, resolutely pursued and brought to reality, has opened a door to advanced academic and ministerial training,” stated Brumback. “The many students who have pursued master and doctoral degrees in the GST are indebted to him, as are the churches and ministries in which they labor.”

The mission of Freed-Hardeman University is to help students develop their God-given talents for His glory by empowering them with an education that integrates Christian faith, scholarship and service. With locations in Henderson and Memphis, FHU offers associate, bachelor's, master's, specialist and doctoral degrees.