Two-time Mr. Football, turned minister plans new church in Hermitage


Written By Nicole Young

The Tennessean

Copyright 2011


In 20 years, Lorenza “Scooter” Edwards has gone from star football player at Donelson Christian Academy to minister, working to plant a new church there.

“Our theme at the school is to know Christ and to make him known,” said Dennis Goodwin, athletic director at DCA and Edwards’ old coach. “He has a similar mission, and he is one of our native sons, so we want him to be successful.

“There’s an added sense of participation for us because of his involvement in our school.”

Edwards’ “Merge Church,” so named for its multicultural roots, is designed to reach out to all people, no matter their class, race or background, said Edwards, who moved back to Hermitage from Dallas in August with his wife, Yomica, and their three children, ages 5, 3 and 2.

“Our goal is to merge everyone together to head in the same direction for the glory of God,” Edwards said. “The Church at Antioch (in the Bible) was diverse in every facet. When we get to heaven, there won’t be a black section, a white section or a Hispanic section. Everyone will be together in the Kingdom of God.

“That’s how we want this church to be.”

With Goodwin’s help, Edwards has been on a mission at DCA. He’s put together informational booths at sporting events to let people know what he’s trying to do.

The first of three preview services is planned for Jan. 16 in the school’s cafeteria, and the church’s official launch date is set for April 24.

So far, there is a core membership of about 20 people, Edwards said, but he hopes to launch big.

“Only 20 percent of this community is active in church, so that leaves 80 percent who don’t have a church home,” he said. “We are trying to reach them. The preview services are kind of like a sneak peek at a movie. This is what we’re going to be like.

“We want you to feel like you belong. We want to love on you and make you feel welcome.”

In 1991, Edwards graduated from DCA as the school’s star tailback. He became the state’s fifth-leading rusher with 6,553 career yards from 1986-90, and he was named winner of the Class A Mr. Football award in 1989 and 1990.

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