Rev. Ed Ayres Jr. has an interesting title as the new pastor at Richmond Hill Presbyterian Church, but it doesn’t explain all of his duties.
“My title is actually part-time stated supply pastor, but there really are no part-time jobs in ministry,” he said.
Ayers, who lives in Savannah with his wife, Frances, recently held the same position at First Presbyterian Church in Douglas and has been with the Savannah Presbytery since 2004.
“I’ve been familiar with Richmond Hill Presbyterian for a number of years and have lots of friends there,” he said. “I’ve been there since June 1 and it’s been great.”
Ayers has been an ordained minister for 38 years and said he considers his current role one of semi-retirement.
“I don’t know if I’ll ever fully retire, God willing,” he said. “I love what I do and I love people.”
Ayers said he is excited to work with Richmond Hill Presbyterian Church because it is “on the cusp” of doing some significant outreach.
“They asked me to come and be a part of it and I said yes right away,” he said. “My background is mainly in new church development, but even established churches can use those principles to reboot spiritually.”
He said the church currently has about 240 members.
“It’s not so much a matter of gaining members as it is a matter of discipleship,” he noted. “Our mission is to bring Jesus to people and minister to them no matter where they are, and if they end up becoming members of our church so be it.”
Ayers has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Florid State University in music and earned his master of divinity degree from Columbia Theological Seminary. He plays clarinet, flute, saxophone, guitar and keyboards and can sing everything from opera to blues.
“Music is more than just a hobby,” he said. “It is who I am.”
Ayers also is an accomplished golfer, having worked as the assistant pro at the FSU golf course and playing on professional mini-tours in Florida and South Carolina. He said he even thought about trying to join the PGA tour at one time and still plays avidly.
“I was a new pastor at a church in Florida and was called to the hospital for a member of the church who was 100 years old,” Ayers recalls. “She was a sports addict and had heard about my golf background, so she asked if I was any good.
“She asked if I was any good and I asked her if she’d ever heard of me,” he laughed. “She responded ‘no’ and I said, ‘well there you go.’”