Reverend Eddie K. Edwards (1936-2004) was a Christian preacher and community activist in Detroit, Michigan. In 1976, he founded the Joy of Jesus faith-based nonprofit organization in Detroit. This organization sought to help Detroit residents—primarily neighborhoods and families experiencing poverty—through a summer camp and other programs, like the Ravendale Area Revitalization Project (R.A.R.E.). He was married to Dr. Mary D. Edwards, who was involved in Joy of Jesus and who currently serves as an author, life coach, and minister. The collection includes ten digital recordings of interviews and television programs featuring Rev. Eddie K. Edwards, Joy of Jesus publications, biographical information about Rev. Edwards, as well as papers related to the ministry of his wife, Dr. Mary D. Edwards.
This collection documents the activism and ministry of Reverend Eddie K. Edwards and his wife, Dr. Mary D. Edwards. Manuscript materials are separated into two series documenting the work of both ministers.
Rev. Eddie Edwards' series contains Edwards's biographical information, letters received on the occasion of Rev. Edward's retirement, and memorial publications and articles. Of special interest is the 1996 publication "Re-Neighborhooding Revitalization Manual for the Re-Neighborhooding Detroit Program." The manual was based on the results of a survey conducted among the residents of a 38-block area of Ravendale community on the eastside of Detroit, near the Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Also included are digital images of a Point of Light a ward, memorial for Rev. Edwards, and an "Others" Award from the Salvation Army.
Audio-visual materials include a documentary by broadcast journalist Mort Crim, an audio recording of an interview with Edwards by Evangelical radio host Al Kresta in "A Vision for our Detroit", a video recording of a sermon delivered by Edwards at the Second Chapel Hill Baptist Church in Detroit, a video recording of the first annual Friends of Joy of Jesus Banquet in 1991, an episode from the Christian Television Network (CTN Live!) featuring Edwards, a Detroit Public TV program entitled "A Neighborhood Redeemed", a Sue Marx film in which Edwards is presented the 1991 Winning Ways Award, and a few videos made by the church including an interview with Caroline Thomas and Bob Ivory, a "New Child Development Plan" as described by Edwards, and a program highlighting Joy of Jesus' plan for solving urban decay presented in "A Hand Up, Not a Hand Out".
Dr. Mary Edwards' series consists largely of her works published through Leaves of Gold consultancy, a publishing consultancy started by Dr. Edwards in 2007. Among those publications are her autobiography, meditations and ministry materials, and collections of prose and poetry tied to her Widows with Wisdom work. Her papers also include a collection of her writings that document the history of Joy of Jesus Ministries. Of special interest is the description of the 52-questions needs assessment survey that was prepared and conducted by Dr. Edwards. This project resulted in the 1996 "Re-Neighborhooding Revitalization Manual."