Who has not heard of John Lennon? Paul McCartney? Ringo Starr? George Harrison? The Fab Four. The Beatles.

In spite of the success of the Beatles, until earlier this week most people had never heard of George Martin. Because of the media attention to his death on March 9 many now know about him. CNN reported that his “collaboration with the Beatles helped redraw the boundaries of popular music.”

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Martin was a polished, classically trained producer who signed the Beatles to Parlophone records when every other British record company had turned them down. He produced all but one of their albums and became and remained one of the most influential producers in popular music history.

The transformation of the Beatles from a “regional dance band into the most inventive, influential and studio-savvy rock group of the 1960s” was due primarily to the guidance of George Martin. He was often described as the “fifth Beatle” but the general population did not know him until his death at age 90.

The same day that the death of this man behind the phenomenal success of the Beatles was reported I learned of the death of another man who influenced countless lives including mine. The life and death of H. David Edwards will not receive the same media attention as George Martin but he had a life changing impact upon my life and the lives of many others.

The man I knew as Brother Edwards was born in Wales in 1923. He served as an officer in the British Army during World War II. After his discharge he was ordained in 1953 and served as church pastor in the United Kingdom until moving his family to the United States in 1964. It was just a couple of years later that I met him when I enrolled as a student at Elim Bible Institute in Lima, New York.

The Bell Tower said, “Due to his British manner, he sometimes appeared to be formal and even formidable” That was my impression of him when I first saw him.  Later as I got to know him I “saw his love for God, love for people, and sense of humor.”

The magazine of Elim Bible Institute and College characterizes Brother Edwards as “a lifelong learner (whose) articulate speech, probing questions, explanatory detail, and inspiring truth” made him a popular speaker. His willingness to listen to expressed doubts, acknowledged failures, hopeful aspirations, heartbreaks and disappointments endeared him to students.”

I owe an immeasurable debt to David Edwards for challenging my faith and encouraging me to search for the truth. His teaching method left me with more questions than answers but it encouraged to find the answers for myself which was exactly his intention. His influence was life changing and I will forever be grateful to God for the privilege of knowing him and learning from him.

Who was the George Martin or David Edwards in your life?

Jamie Jenkins

 

 

 

 

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