Reverend Neriah G. Edwards to Present Baccalaureate Address
April 20, 2004
Reverend Neriah G. Edwards will present the Baccalaureate Address to the graduating class of 2004 on Sunday, May 9.
Edwards has an ecumenical background in serving the church. Edwards serves as Canton District Superintendent on the Cabinet of Bishop Jonathan D. Keaton. She was ordained elder in the United Holy Church of America in 1977. She became a full member of the Memphis Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church in 1982. In 1987, her membership was transferred to the East Ohio Annual Conference.
Edwards is a former high school math teacher, having received her bachelor's degree from Fayetteville State University in North Carolina. She received her master of divinity and master of theology in Christian education from Duke Divinity School in North Carolina. Her area of focus was "Curriculum Development in the Black Church." She later did Methodist studies at Memphis Theological Seminary.
She has served as a summer intern for the Fisher Memorial United Holy Church in North Carolina, as a pastoral intern at Shady Hill and Calvary Baptist churches in North Carolina and as interim pastor of First United Presbyterian Church, also in North Carolina. For two years she served as administrator of the United Holy Church of America headquarters in North Carolina.
She has served as pastor for several United Methodist Churches from 1982 - 1999, including St. Matthew United Methodist Church in Cleveland. From 1989 - 1994, Edwards served as associate director of the East Ohio Conference Council on Ministries.
Her other work experience includes serving as director of Christian education and president of Young Peoples Holy Association for the Western North Carolina District of the United Holy Church of America.
Edwards has served on many district and conference boards and agencies. Among them are the executive committees of the Memphis Annual Conference Council on Ministries, the North Central Jurisdiction Council on Ministries and the East Ohio Conference Board of Ordained Ministry.
Community and civic involvement has included serving on the Board of Trustees of Flat Rock Homes in Ohio, as a member of the Community Advisory Board of South Pointe Hospital in Ohio and as a member of the Cleveland Board of One Church, One Child. Her professional memberships include: Black Methodists for Church Renewal and lifetime membership in the national chapter of Zeta Phi Beta sorority.
Edwards writes poetry, plays, meditations and inspirational stories. She has preached throughout the United States and in Bermuda and London, England. She has received numerous honors and awards for her work in the church. She has been elected three times as a delegate to the Jurisdictional Conference.
She is married to Reverend John Edwards, Sr. They have one daughter and five grandchildren.