Pioneer Christian educator dies
October 31 2002 by Bob Allen , Associated Baptist Press

Pioneer Christian educator dies | Friday, Nov 1, 2002

Friday, Nov 1, 2002

Pioneer Christian educator dies

By Bob Allen Associated Baptist Press

ORLANDO, Fla. - Findley Edge, 86, a pioneer in Southern Baptist religious education, died Oct. 28 in Orlando, Fla.

Edge began a 35-year career at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1947, teaching courses in religious education in an era when the demand for professionally trained educators in Baptist churches and institutions was beginning to rise.

A popular author in Christian education circles, Edge advocated church renewal and involving laity in ministry in numerous books.

His 1971 book, The Greening of the Church, contained the oft-quoted phrase: "The call to salvation and the call to ministry is one and the same call. That is, when one is called by God to be a part of his people, he/she is also called into the ministry."

Another bestseller, A Quest for Vitality in Religion, in 1963, offered suggestions for reviving churches from the clutches of "institutionalism" and making church membership more meaningful.

His 1956 Teaching for Results is described as a classic resource for ministers of education and Sunday school teachers. Edge said any Bible teacher's success lies in his or her ability to establish and achieve goals.

In The Doctrine of the Laity in 1985, Edge contended that Baptists' notion of the priesthood of the believer places primary responsibility for ministry on the laity and not clergy. "A lay person cannot pay someone else to fulfill his or her ministry to God. God has called his people to ministry, and the ministry belongs to the laity whether they know it or not, and the ministry belongs to the laity whether they fulfill it or not."

Edge had lived in Orlando where he and his wife, Louvenia, were members of College Park Baptist Church. The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Florida honored the couple by naming an award after them to honor outstanding service in a local church. Another Baptist institution, Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, also honored Edge by naming an endowed professorship after him.

Edge was a graduate of Stetson University, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Yale University. He was instrumental in establishing the Vineyard Conference Center at Southern Seminary.

He is survived by his widow, two sons and two grandchildren. Funeral services were held Nov. 1 at College Park Baptist Church.

Eddie Hammett, author and leadership consultant for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, was chosen to help conduct Edge's funeral. "I lost a dear friend, honored colleague, and spiritual and professional mentor," he said.

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10/31/2002 11:00:00 PM by Bob Allen , Associated Baptist Press | with 0 comments
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