Dwayne Edwards: “We don’t see our neighbors anymore in the light of Christ — that they really need salvation and really need Christ.”
1400 Las Flores Drive, Carlsbad
Pastor: Dwayne Edwards
Born: Montgomery, Ala.
Formation: Southern Nazarene University, Oklahoma City, Okla.; Point Loma Nazarene University, San Diego
Years Ordained: 25
San Diego Reader: What is your favorite subject on which to preach?
Pastor Dwayne Edwards: If I could preach on one subject, I would preach on the importance of a total devotion to God. I believe that’s Jesus’s command, to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. That’s the great commandment. I think from that comes everything we hope for. In the Christian faith, what we believe is that you have to center your life on Christ and live for him and spend time with him in prayer, meditation, and fasting. By that, what comes out of your life are the characteristics of God, the Holy Spirit, the presence of God. That’s what changes the world.
SDR: What is your main concern as a member of the clergy?
PE: The sense of urgency in American churches is close to non-existent. We don’t see our neighbors anymore in the light of Christ — that they really need salvation and really need Christ.
SDR: Why did you become a minister?
PE: I was in Oklahoma City and decided to go to Nazarene University [then–Bethany College]…. The pastor of the college church came up to me and [wife] Debbie on a Sunday night service and basically began interviewing me on the floor of the church. I didn’t really know him. I said, “Pastor, what are you doing?” He said, “Dwayne, I want to offer you a job to come work with my junior high youth ministry.” I freaked out because I hadn’t been prepared for that. But I had been praying and fasting for God to do some things in my life, no doubt about it. So I decided to give it a shot. I decided to give it a year to see what happens. That was 37 years ago.
SDR: What is the mission of your church?
PE: Our mission statement is “to lead people to be devoted followers of Christ.” Everything we do is purposed to that direction, to lead people to be devoted followers. In that commitment are the answers of life — peace, joy, life, direction…. Basically, [we are] putting first things first and letting God work from there.
SDR: Where do you go when you die?
PE: We believe scripture teaches that you stand before God in judgment after you die. What kind of decision we made for God in this life we live in will be instrumental in what we do for eternity…. The gift of eternal life is going to be part of it, for sure, but when we die we’ll be before God with either rewards or punishments. Who will receive which, we leave to God. The rewards would be basically being with the Lord for eternity, which I can’t say much more about since I’m not there myself. It’s beyond comprehension. We believe the other side is definitely what the scriptures teach, as well — being away from God for eternity. However people define hell, I think it’s not so much a fire, although it may be that, as it is the absence of the presence of God; that is, our being eternally away from God.