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Black Church News in Virginia

Edwards Family Launches New Pastoral Venture

The School of Prophets, Preachers, and Proclaimers, LLC, aka SOP3, was founded by Rev. Dr. James and Rev. Dee Edwards, III and will open its doors to the community on Monday, January 23, 2017. Classes will be held at 500 Posey Lane in Norfolk at The Murray Center. Dr. Edwards often says, “It feels as if I’ve come “full circle” to complete God’s assignments. James and Dee returned to their beloved home church after his 20-year pastorate at New Rose of Sharon and 7-year pastorate at (Greater) First Baptist Church Orlando, Suffolk, VA. It is truly by Divine design that the school is being held at one of the campuses of Rev. Dr. Edwards’ beloved Historic First Baptist Church Bute Street, Norfolk, VA, where Dr. Edwards currently serves as its Church Administrator. Their Pastor, Dr. Robert G. Murray and his wife First Lady Amanda have been most supportive of this endeavor and have served as great mentors throughout the process. They are also thankful for the love and well-wishes from the congregation, as well.

This is not the first time the Lord inspired Dr. Edwards to start a Christian school. In 1983, he and his wife opened JaDe Daycare in Chesapeake, VA. After leaving an 11-year lucrative position at Virginian Pilot & Ledger Star, Dr. Edwards undertook a venture for which many friends, family and colleagues said was a foolish one. He added additional rooms on their home in Crestwood Manor to house a daycare that initially consisted of only two non-paying students, his youngest daughter, Jaimie and his nephew, DJ. The family home was eventually converted and it became, “The House the Lord Built for Kids.” To the best of their knowledge, it was the first time that the city of Chesapeake approved the conversion of a residential home into a licensed center. Today, thirty-four years later, though the Edwards’ are no longer the owners, it is still a thriving daycare center with a waiting list. The Lord gave him the vision to start the school but never told him he was to continue to own it.

Because the Lord knew He could trust James and Dee Edwards with a task, even if there were tremendous obstacles to overcome and many well-meaning naysayers, a new vision was given to open a theology school. Although the vision was given years ago, it was obviously not time to step into the vision. Patience, which is not Dr. Edwards strong suit would have to prevail until God said, “Move.”

God was now saying, “Move.” He gave them the mission statement that motivates and gives them focus: “SOP3 exists for the sole purpose of establishing a foundation for educating, enlightening, and empowering Christian men and women desiring to advance the Kingdom of God through the spoken Word. Everyone is welcome, lay-people and ministers, alike!
The Edwards Family of preachers is no stranger to collaborating in ministry, as they have shared the pulpit as tag-team preachers, co-facilitated workshops together, and even co-authored a book, “Then There Were Three: Wake Up to the Ministry Call.” It seems like a natural evolution to join forces in teaching. Their daughter, Rev. Donita Edwards MDiv., an Associate Minister at Mt Hermon Baptist Church, Norfolk, VA, will serve as an instructor, as well as, Rev. Dr. Edwards, III, DMin., and Rev. Dee Edwards, MA Urban Educ. Community Counseling.

Three 8-week courses will be offered every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 6pm – 9pm. The first 8-week session includes “Gifts of the Spirit” on Mondays with Dr. Edwards; “Recognizing God’s Voice” on Tuesdays with Rev. Dee and “Principles of Biblical Interpretation” on Thursdays with Rev. Donita.

For additional information, please contact Rev. Dee Edwards: Mailing Address: P.O. Box 13574, Chesapeake, VA 23325, Phone: 757.338.6887 or Email:

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