August 11, 1916 – January 20, 2013
Brother Edward R. Shaw, beloved member of Ward African Methodist Episcopal Church since 1945, passed away on Sunday, January 20, 2013 while preparing to attend church service. Born in Alderson, Oklahoma, Brother Shaw was the epitome of one who truly loved the Lord and understood the importance of service. There were very few members of Ward A.M.E. Church, during his tenure, who did not know this generous, talented, quiet-spoken humble servant of God; always cheerful and ever willing to lend a helping hand to those in need.
If you wanted to learn about the history of Ward, to know about events that were never written, names that were forgotten; events large and small, you had only to talk to Brother Shaw. He was remarkable in that he remembered the history of Ward with such clarity. He could tell you about Ward’s growth and divisions, debts and freedom from debts, purchases and moves, pastors and members; the good times and the hard times. He would look through his collection of photographs dating back to the 1930s and tell you about most of the people in them. If you asked him how many pastors he worked under, he could name all sixteen without hesitation.
Mr. Shaw was the “keeper of the church” for many years. He was more than ‘custodian’ because he did more than maintain the building: Shaw maintained the soul of Ward. He would find things that weren’t working and fix them himself or have them fixed. He was always there willingly when someone needed to get into the church whether it was early on Monday morning or late at night.
An accomplished musician, Brother Edward Shaw played the Guitar and Autoharp. He had an extensive repertoire of gospel and spiritual songs. An ingenious craftsman, Shaw made his first guitar while Ward was yet located on the eastside of Los Angeles. He has performed as a guest musician on various programs, singing and playing. Additionally, he was a creative artist, a painter, a collector and a passionate bowler.
When asked “What brought you to Ward?” Brother Shaw responded he was a member of Ward in Oklahoma when he arrived to Los Angeles in 1944, traveling with Dr. Willard Leek. Dr. Leek was a connectional evangelist, and had poor vision, so Shaw would accompany to assist him as he traveled. Brother Shaw said when he left Ward in Oklahoma, he joined Ward in Los Angeles where his first pastor was Rev. A. W. Price. Ward’s current pastor is Rev. Taurus L. Myhand.
While Brother Edward Shaw formally retired a number of years ago, he continued to faithfully serve Ward AME church and his community. At 96, he was the oldest male member of Ward’s congregation; a lifetime Trustee Emeritus, with a membership that spanned 67 plus years.
Mr. Shaw is survived by his loving, devoted daughter Mary Ann Shaw-King; 4 granddaughters; 4 great grandchildren; 3 great, great grandchildren; 8 great, great, great grandchildren; and 6 great, great, great, great grandchildren. The loss of Bro. Shaw is also mourned by a city of friends; brothers and sisters in Christ.