How can I say thanks to…”The Leader of the Band”

        “He learned his love through disicipline, a thundering velvet hand
         His gentle means of scuplting souls took me years to understand…
         But his blood runs through my instrument and his song is in my soul         
         My life has been a poor attempt to imitate the man…
         I’m just a living legacy to the Leader of the Band.” – Dan Foglberg

   I became a Christian the summer of 1970 under the ministry of Dr. Ian Walker at First Baptist Church in my hometown of Hendersonville, North Carolina while attending a church youth camp. It was an exciting time as the “Jesus Movement” began to sweep across the USA with many young people making decisions to follow Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. We were fortunate to have a great church staff there during that time. Aubrey Edwards, who was our Minister of Music and Youth had recruited me to play my bass guitar with the youth muscial group called “The Sound of Singing Youth.” We had over a 100 young people who did concerts locally in schools and colleges and other venues such as the United Nations in New York City, the U.S. Capital in Washington D.C., Myrtle Beach, S.C. and Florida. We also performed for a U.S. President and at a Governor’s Innuaguration. 
    It was so much more than just the music, it was a time when God used Aubrey, Dr. Walker and others to allow us to develop our skills an talents and share our faith. Aubrey found something for everyone to do, including some of us who couldn’t sing. He stretched us out of our comfort zone, challenged and equiped us to to do great things with our lives, with the focus on love for God and each other. He always signed his letters with the phrase “Love and Laughter.” That describes him and our group very well. It was a special time in our lives, when God blessed us with a spiritual foundation that still impacts our lives today.
   Although Aubrey died in 2010, I have been thinking a lot about him recently,  August 25th was his birthday. He is now in Heaven leading the choir there. One day when I go to Heaven, I will get to be back in his band again and I will get to sing this time…( I will have a new body and a singing voice). Happy Birthday in Heaven, Aubrey! Until then “I’m just a Living Legacy to the Leader of the Band…”

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2 thoughts on “How can I say thanks to…”The Leader of the Band”

  1. Phyllis Edwards

    Dearest Jerry,

    Just read the beautiful tribute to Aubrey!!!! Thank you so much for remembering him in such a special way!!! The many yrs. that we spent working with the young people in Nashville, Hendersonville and Birmingham will forever be etched in my mind & heart (precious memories)!!! We have been blessed in so many ways!!!!

    Aubrey used to say “to see youth follow the Lord, in service to Him, was what it is all about – the fruits of the labors!!!” – you, my friend, are a perfect example of a life being used for the Lord!!!! When we were together at the SSY reunion it was a thrill for me to hear how many of the young people in H’ville are in full time Christian service & others being strong Christian workers. I know I can speak for Aubrey & say I am so proud & so thankful!!!!!

    I have written a little book about some of the experiences of Aubrey’s & my life together. The book is titled “The Story of Us/ The Story Has Just Begun”. I look forward to the day we will all be together again!!!! In the meantime we will work till Jesus takes us Home or comes & escorts us to our Home in Heaven. We have so much to look forward to!!!!!!!

    I love you guys so much – please give that sweet wife a hug from me & tell her to give you one back from me!!! Thanks again for what you have always meant to us & to the Lord Jerry Bear Hyder!!!!

    Love & Laughter – to you, Phyllis

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