Keith and Alice Edwards got involved with the community when they moved to North Augusta in 2005.
They are members of Sheffield Fellowship at First Baptist Church of North Augusta and Sweetwater Baptist Church, where they each lead a Sunday school class.
The Edwardses also can be found working at PeachTree Pools in North Augusta, owned by their son-in-law Kent Phillips. Alice is the manager and Keith is the chemist. He holds a chemistry degree from the University of South Carolina.
Before coming to the South, the Edwardses had a career in ministry that led them to Nigeria.
The couple first met at Ardmore Baptist Church when Keith was in medical school at Wake Forest University. Alice was studying to become a nurse. He was 22 and she was 18.
“I felt the Lord calling me to go overseas to be a medical missionary for the Southern Baptist Convention,” Keith said. “I wasn’t dating anybody because I didn’t want to get involved with a girl that didn’t want to go overseas.”
Little did Keith know, but Alice also felt a calling to go to Nigeria. When he heard that from a friend, he immediately called Alice and asked for a date.
“That was it, we never really dated anybody else again,” Alice said.
The couple married about a year and a half later and then went to Nigeria in 1957. They would stay three years at a time and come back home for a year. About eight years were spent working at a more modern hospital in the interior of Nigeria, where Keith was a board-certified obstetrics and gynecologist surgeon and Alice was the director of the operating room.
“We had wonderful years there, and we both learned the language, Yoruba,” Alice said. She said Keith was talented when it came to learning other languages, and was able to preach in Yoruba.
After 10 years of medical ministry in Nigeria, the pair came back to the United States and worked for 35 years in Bluefield, W.Va., where Keith had an obstetrics and gynecology practice.
“I have delivered over 10,000 babies,” Keith said.
Alice worked as his office manager and became certified as a women’s health practitioner.
“She was my first assistant in surgery,” he said.
Alice said they had a “wonderful practice, wonderful friends and hated to leave, but we have not regretted the move to North Augusta.”
After a few slips in the snow, Keith said he was ready to find a warmer location to live.
The couple has four children, of which the third was born in Joinkrama, Nigeria. They also have an unofficial adopted Nigerian son, Abel, whom they brought to the States to get a college education and who is now married with three kids.
“He became one of us,” Alice said. “The whole family feels like that.”
Of their experience in Nigeria, Alice said they most enjoyed their relationship with the people.
“We felt like we were able to save some lives,” she said.
Aside from the ministry and pool business, Keith and Alice each have their own hobbies. Alice enjoys gardening, cooking and sewing. Keith plays piano and is a wood turner, creating bowls, vases, lamps and pens that he mostly gives away.
They have four biological children, five including Abel, 14 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.