Andy Merritt, Senior Pastor
Phone Extension: 259
Andy is the pastor of Edgewood Baptist Church in Columbus, Georgia, where he has served since 1977. In addition to his pastoral duties, Andy is one of the early pioneers and leaders in the Crisis Pregnancy Center Movement.
In 1981 Andy led his church to establish the nation’s first church sponsored Crisis Pregnancy Center, which now has had the opportunity to minister to 65,000 different women. In addition to the Center, the church established the new Beginnings Adoption Agency in 1984.
Andy has traveled nationwide assisting in the establishment and/or training of over 500 Crisis Pregnancy centers, and his church hosts a National Crisis Pregnancy Center Conference every other year.
Andy is a graduate of Washington Bible College in Lanham, Maryland where he received a B.A. in Biblical Education. Andy and his wife, Kathy, are the joyful parents of ten children: Jonathan, Christy, James, Carrie, Joel, Catherine, Carol, Carla, Caytlin, and Charissa. They have twenty-one grandchildren.
Andy Johnston, Associate Pastor, Music
Phone Extension: 253
Andy Johnston was born and raised in Columbus, Georgia. He met his wife Katie and her boys Grady and Luke right here at Edgewood Baptist Church. Andy was born again in 1998 in the Edgewood Baptist sanctuary!
God has blessed him with a love for music! He has been singing since he could open his mouth, and enjoys sharing the Gospel through song! God has blessed him with a Bachelor’s Degree in Contemporary Worship Ministries from the Baptist College of Florida. Andy believes his role in life is to lead others to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ through song.
A few of his hobbies include, hunting whitetail deer, jet skiing, hockey, tennis, and watching Georgia Bulldogs football on the tube!
His favorite verses are Philippians 3:13-14 “Brothers I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Jonathan Merritt, Associate Pastor, Education
Phone Extension: 212
Jonathan joined the EBC staff in 2004. A graduate of Washington Bible College (B.A. ’98) and Capital Bible Seminary (MDiv. ’01), he previously served as Dean of Men and adjunct Bible instructor at the Washington Bible College.
Jonathan and his wife Chris have six children: Anthony, Sean, Seth, Erin, Leah, and Casey. He enjoys spending time with his family, leaving town on vacation, reading without interruption, and
James Wilson, Associate Pastor, Administration
Phone Extension: 233
James joined the EBC staff in 1984. He graduated from Columbus State University and Georgia State University and holds a six-year Education Specialist Degree in Administration and Supervision.
Before joining the EBC staff he served as a classroom teacher, gifted education resource teacher, assistant principal at Baker High School, and principal of Muscogee Elementary School in Columbus. At Edgewood, James has served as a Sunday School teacher, a deacon, Minister of Education, and Principal of Christian Heritage Academy. He has served as the Associate Pastor for Administration since 1990.
James and his wife Nan joined EBC in 1976. They have four children: Samuel, married to Kinsey and serving in the Air Force in South Carolina; Sarah, married to Josh Koester and living in Orlando; Jonathan, married to Melia and living in Pine Mountain, Georgia; and Joseph who recently completed a Music Degree at Briercrest Bible College in Canada. They have nine grandchildren: Brianna, Jonah, Mariah, Aspen, Harley, Jericho, Parker, Josiah, and Haven.
James sees his role at EBC as one of providing support services for the various ministry departments of the church and the church membership. His goal is to maintain the “nuts and bolts” coordination of the church’s overall ministry program. He strives to keep the lines of communication open among the elders, church staff, deacons, and the church family.
Jonathan Wilson, Youth Pastor
Jonathan and his wife Melia and have been in student ministry for ten years and were called to Edgewood Baptist Church in June of 2015. They have six children all under the age of 10: Aspen, Harley, Jericho, Parker, Haven and Breaker. The Wilsons have a heart for student ministry and truly believe this calling is God’s direction for their lives. They are a fairly active family inside and outside of the church: they enjoy the great outdoors and love to go camping and rock climbing, and also enjoy a variety of sports, more as participants than as viewers. Jonathan, Melia, and the gang are happy to have such an amazing group of students to minister to and are excited to see what God has in store for them as the future unfolds.
David B. Howle, Minister to Senior Adults
David Howle was born May 9, 1934 in Oxford, Alabama, the last of five children. His earlier life was spent in the small town of Oxford in northeast Alabama.
He was educated in the primary and high schools of Oxford and was baptized in First Baptist Church of Oxford in 1943. His college education was received at Samford University in Birmingham, which at that time was known as Howard University. He graduated in 1956 and that same year entered into the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky to receive his seminary education. He graduated from seminary in January of 1960.
His pastoral experience includes the leadership of churches in Indiana (Hopewell Baptist in Madison), Alabama (Pleasant Grove Baptist in Clayton and Calvary Baptist in Abbeville), and Georgia (First Baptist Church in Baxley and Edgewood Baptist in Columbus).
In 1963, he was appointed as a Southern Baptist missionary to the field of South Korea, where he served until the middle of 1969. After returning from Korea in 1969, he went to Baxley, Georgia to serve as pastor of the First Baptist Church where he stayed until the Fall of 1972. At that time, he was called to pastor the Edgewood Baptist Church in Columbus where he stayed until his retirement in January of 2002. Since his retirement from senior pastor, he has served as Interim pastor in several churches.
Reverend Howle is married to the former Carole Moore of Anniston, Alabama. The Howle's have five children, four girls and one boy. In chronological order, their names are Christy, Marian, Kirk, Tammy and Holley, and a total of fifteen grandchildren.