On Sunday, February 2, 2020, Joe “Bulldog” Edwards, age 69, closed his eyes this side of Eternity and opened them to see Jesus. Bulldog died the way he lived his life: surrounded by his family and close friends, joking and cutting up, making sure everyone knew how much he loved them, and encouraging people to follow the Lord. He has surely already heard his Savior say the words he longed to hear all his life -- Well done, My good and faithful servant.
Joseph Herald Edwards was born October 14, 1950, the youngest child of Hugh and Virginia Edwards. Left to mourn his absence are his wife, Deborah Edwards; his children, Joseph Edwards (Crystal), Chris Sartin (Stephanie), Karie Blackwell (Keith), and Jessica Edwards. He had 11 grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and one on the way. Anyone who knew Bulldog knew he loved his children and grandchildren more than life.
Also surviving are his siblings: Ronald Edwards (Bettie), Jenny Bunton, Ann Hudgins (James), Johnny Edwards, and Bobby Edwards (Betty); and more nieces, nephews, cousins and friends to count. He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Nancy Mansfield.
When he transferred from Williams High School (whose mascot was a bulldog) to Graham High School, the kids called him “Bulldog,” and the name stuck. After graduation, he went to Appalachian State University on a wrestling scholarship. Following the Lord’s call to ministry, he attended Lynchburg Baptist College, now Liberty University, where he was part of Dr. Jerry Falwell’s youth evangelism team.
Bulldog spent his life giving to others. He saw no race, age or status. He ran a prison ministry and volunteered many years with the Boys and Girls Club of Burlington, where he unconditionally loved and mentored those who became “Bulldog’s Kids.”
In recent years, Bulldog started a Celebrate Recovery group at Harvest Baptist Church where he had been a member for 37 years. His passion was sharing his faith and his own recovery journey to encourage others that there is freedom in Christ from the bondage of addiction.
He wrote five books about the valleys and mountaintops of his life. In his short book, “Bulletproof,” Bulldog wrote, “Dr. Falwell told his preacher boys that God’s man is indestructible until God is through with him.” Although that day has finally come, there is no doubt his legacy of love and faith will live on.
Visitation will be Thursday, February 6 from 6-8 pm at Harvest Baptist Church, 3741 S. Church Street, Burlington, NC 27215. The celebration of his life will be Friday, February 7 at 2:00 pm, also at the church.
The family would like to thank Dr. Daniel Bensimhon and the entire LVAD team at Moses Cone Hospital. Bulldog loved you all and was so thankful for your care.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Harvest Baptist Church for the Celebrate Recovery group and to publish Bulldog’s books. Through them, his message of salvation, hope and freedom in Christ will continue.
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