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Legacy of Ed Dobson: Pastor, teacher, writer | News

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Legacy of Ed Dobson: Pastor, teacher, writer

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Ed Dobson, the former senior pastor at Calvary Church, died on Dec. 26. He had been living with A-L-S for several years, but his impact on the West Michigan community will live on.

Dobson was a teacher, a pastor, a writer and a mentor.

Marvin Williams is the lead pastor for Trinity Church and was mentored by Ed Dobson: "We would consider Ed Dobson a pioneer," Williams said. "He did things nobody else did. He took risks nobody else would take."

He was one of the first to introduce a contemporary Saturday night worship service to try to reach people that might not feel comfortable with a traditional Sunday morning service.

"He said, 'Let's see if we can reach them through drama, contemporary music, through a shorter, but relevant message,'" Williams said.

Williams eventually would be hired to lead the Saturday service — a descion that Marvin Williams says was a risk in and of itself.

"Being the first Africian American at a large, white church in West Michigan ...," Williams said. "He took a chance."

Dobson was diagnosed with ALS about 15 years ago and was given 2 to 5 years to live. He soon retired as Calvary pastor but didn't stop teaching. He outlived his doctors expectations and created a film series called "Ed's Story."

"Ed's Story is a 7 film series is about hope in the midst of suffering," said Mark Baas, the creative director. "I think Ed's legacy as I experienced it was no matter what life threw at him he continued to live a life full of hope."

"Healing is more than the cure it is wholeness with god with others and with yourself," explains Ed Dobson in the film.

Baas says, "He gave his life to something larger than himself and the result of that was and his impact was broader than anyone could imagine. While Ed Dobson may have passed away his legacy will live on.

For more information on Ed's Story, check out edsstory.com.


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