Obituary: Georgia pastor Willie Edmondson remembered as legend, warrior, trailblazer


LaGRANGE, Ga. — Georgia pastor Willie Thomas Edmondson is being remembered as a “legend" and a “warrior” as well as a “trailblazer” who served people not only from his church but also from city hall. .

Edmonson died Friday.

In addition to being pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church in West Point, Edmondson also elected last year as the first Black mayor in the history of LaGrange. The city honored him by lowering flags to half staff and with a motorcade of official vehicles in the funeral procession. 

“The city of LaGrange has lost a legend,” said Patti Cameron of Franklin in a post on Edmondson’s guestbook at Lake Dunson Robertson Funeral Home. “We will all truly miss the many, many far-reaching acts of kindness he displayed over decades.”

People from across the country paid their respects leading up to Edmondson’s funeral on Wednesday afternoon at his church.

Vivian Marsh Kregg of Defiance, Ohio, called Edmondson “a trailblazer for Troup County and beyond, saying he practiced what he preached.

Charlotte A. Clark-Frieson of Roanoke, Ala., said Edmondson was a visionary servant.

“Dr. Edmondson's light will continue to shine brightly from Heaven, just as it did on earth in the many provinces where he operated: public service, elected office, pastoral service and professionally,” she said. “He was genuine, just an all-around good man with a big heart.”

Dorothy Gray of Newnan said Edmondson will be missed.

“He was such a wonderful person, and LaGrange has lost a warrior.”