- Associated Press - Sunday, April 19, 2015

AIKEN, S.C. (AP) - The Rev. Paul Bush described fellow pastor Clinton Edwards as someone people “always want to hear” because of his passion for God and his willingness to open his church to the community and provide food and clothing services for the less fortunate.

Those sentiments are shared by many, including the S.C. House of Representatives, which honored Edwards on March 15 - the 10th anniversary of his start at Friendship Baptist Church in Aiken.

A 1980 graduate of T.W. Josey High School, Edwards earned a bachelor’s degree at Paine College in Augusta in 1985 and a master’s in adult education from Georgia Southern University in 1995, according to the House resolution in his honor.

His work in the ministry sparked after earning a Master of Divinity at Erskine Theological Seminary in 2000. From there, Edwards pastored several churches before landing at Friendship Baptist in 2005.

Bush reflected on Edwards’ time as a pastor and as a member of the Concerned Ministers Fellowship.

“He’s getting affordable homes for the people in the area and helping to feed people,” said Bush, the president of the fellowship. “We’re happy to have him on our team and are glad with the work he’s doing in our community.”

The resolution states that Friendship has purchased six properties surrounding the main campus under Edwards’ leadership. In addition, he served as president of the City of Aiken Police Athletic League.

Edwards is a resident of Augusta but an Aiken pastor, stretching his efforts to both sides of the river, Bush said.

“He’s a great supporter on both sides of the bridge and tackles issues in both states,” Bush said.

The resolution was requested by Rep. Bill Clyburn, D-Aiken, who said Edwards has made his rounds in Aiken by meeting with officials in the city, county and on the Board of Education. Also, Edwards often talks to Clyburn about local employment and health care needs.

His efforts motivated Clyburn to request the resolution from the House Speaker.

“He talks about the issues we’re having right here in Aiken, and he opens up his activity building to feed people and get them clothing,” Clyburn said. “He’s been very well-received and keeps an open line of communication.”

Edwards said he is humbled by the recognition and that his ministry perspective is to do the will of God.

“I’ve been pastoring there for 10 years, and it’s been a good journey. The accomplishments have been awarded to me, but I’ve had good people who are about carrying out God’s work,” Edwards said.

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Information from: Aiken Standard, https://www.aikenstandard.com

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