Gamble Funeral Service

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Rev. John Thomas (Tom) Edwards, Jr. of Port Wentworth, formerly of Elberton, age 80, passed away at his home March 6, 2021 with his family at his side. He was born on August 22, 1940, son of the late Virginia C. Edwards and the late John T. Edwards, Sr.

Tom was a 1958 graduate of Elberton High School and a graduate of Armstrong State University with an Associate and Bachelor’s degrees. He also graduated from the nine year summer program of the Candler School of Theology Course of Study from Emory University. Tom was ordained Full Elder in 2006 and was a member of the South Georgia United Methodist Conference. He served churches in the Waycross, Columbus and Dublin districts. He retired as the pastor from Port Wentworth United Methodist Church in the Savannah District.

Originally from Elberton, Tom served eight years in the Georgia Army National Guard. After many years working the Edwards Brothers Farm, he and his family moved to Savannah where Tom and his wife Betty managed the Savannah Skate Inn for 16 years. They attended Cokesbury United Methodist Church where he felt the call from God to go into the ministry. Tom began attending college and was appointed Associate Pastor at Cokesbury UMC. He loved his Lord, serving Him and loved the church congregations where he was appointed. Tom and his devoted wife were dedicated to visiting the sick and the elderly. He was a member of Kairos Prison Ministry and spent many hours visiting and counseling prisoners. Tom was also a member of the Lions Club and a member of the United Methodist Men at Port Wentworth UMC. He was elected Port Wentworth’s Citizen of the Year in 2012.

Tom is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Betty Jo Saxon Edwards. He is survived by two daughters, Allison Petro (Chip) of Crothersville, IN and Susan Doyle (Robert) of Savannah; three grandsons, Nickolas Petro (Brittney) of Evansville, IN, Hogan Petro of Columbus, IN and Ian Doyle of Savannah; two great grandchildren, Beckett and Ryanne Petro of Evansville, IN; one brother, Rev. Rick Edwards (Pat), one niece, Sarah Edwards, one great niece, Abby Edwards, all of Avon, NC; one nephew, John Edwards of Wesley Chapel, FL, and many other nieces, nephews and cousins.

A graveside service will be held at 2 o’clock Tuesday afternoon, May 18, 2021, at Forest Hills Memorial Park in Elberton, GA. Relatives and friends are welcome to attend.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at 2 o’clock Sunday afternoon, June 13, 2021, at Port Wentworth United Methodist Church. All friends and family are invited to attend.

Remembrances – The Amy Exley Bible Class at Port Wentworth United Methodist Church – 201 Turnberry Street, Port Wentworth, Georgia 31047-1924.

Online Condolences

  1. Mark Carpenter says:

    Words can’t express the Shock. Tommy really was a second father to me. From 1984 when I started working for him until I replaced him at the Rink were some of the happiest years of my life. The laughed and good times are too many to list here he was a great man and will be missed by many God Speed Tommy

    Love ya
    Mark Carpenter

  2. Rev. David T. Haygood says:

    Harriette and I want to express our sympathy on the death of Tom. I seerved as his District Superintendent and appreciated his dedication and loyalty to the United Methodist Church. I never doubted his sincere and earnest call to the ministry. He and his ministry will be greatly missed. Our love and concern are expressed to Betty and the family. David and Harriette Haygood

  3. Richard Varnell says:

    Jackie and I are sorry to hear of this. Tom was a special person. In Christ.

  4. John C Homer says:

    I pray that our loving God will minister to your every need, and surround and encompass you with a host of His mighty angels, and fill you with His peace, that you may embrace the future in His love and power.
    Norma (God bless her), has kept me up to date with all the two of you have been going through. Please know that you and your family and loved ones will remain in my prayers.
    Love in Christ to all of you,
    John Homer

  5. Madison Morgan says:

    Dear Betty and Family: It is sad to think of not having Tom still. I remember him and his devotions at Magnolia Manor. He was loved and appreciated by me and many. God bless you and many. Madison Morgan

  6. Anne Winn says:

    Betty Jo, just read in the Star the obit for Tommy and am so
    sad and shocked. Sending love and deepest sympathy to you and Tommy’s family at this difficult time.

  7. Gail & Bobby Smith, Tazewell says:

    Mrs. Betty, We were so saddened to hear about Bro. Tom, yet our hearts are glad to know he is singing and worshiping in the presence of the Lord now and forevermore. I pray that God encompasses you with loving friends, happy memories, and the strength you need every day as you journey forth. Praying you will remember you are not alone, God is here for you. You and Bro Tom are remembered fondly at the Marion Co Circuit and especially at Tazewell UMC. Love you. Gail & Bobby Smith

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