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.