Dr. Edgar L. Ferlazzo, Distinguished Fellow and Professor of Christian Worship at B. H. Carroll Theological Institute, passed away on August 29, 2017, just one day short of his 81st birthday. Dr. Ferlazzo was an accomplished musician and educator whose hobbies and career reflected his passion for orchestral performance and theater arts. His life was defined by a desire to inspire and uplift others. As a friend recently reflected, “Ed was empowering, loving and a champion for the Kingdom. I will spend the rest of my life living up to what he believed I was capable of.”
Ed Ferlazzo studied Political Science at Virginia Tech but later felt called to full-time church music ministry, so he enrolled at Oklahoma Baptist University for a B.A. in voice. Ed went on to receive the M.C.M. and D.M.A. degrees in Music Ministry from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He studied conducting with Sir David Wilcox at the University of Cambridge, as well as other studies at Oxford University in England.
Ed served as a minister of music and worship leader in Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia, including FBC Enid, Oklahoma, Haltom Road Baptist Church in Haltom City, Texas, and First Baptist Church of Woodbridge, Virginia. At the time of his passing, he was Minister of Music and Worship at First Baptist Church, Crowley, Texas. Passionate about worship ministry and the arts, he led choir and orchestral performances, dramas and plays, and annual Dinner Theaters as an outreach ministry to the community. In addition to serving as a minister of music and professor of Christian worship, Ed was is a member of the Southern Baptist Church Music Conference, The Hymn Society in the U.S. and Canada and an active member of the Singing Men of North Central Texas.
A ministry friend of Ed Ferlazzo stated, “Ed maintained a love for academia and research all of his life. Anyone who met him would describe him as a scholar, an educator and fantastic story-teller with a larger-than-life personality and booming voice. His wisdom and wit were his most memorable qualities, and his desire to never stop learning or growing was infectious and inspirational. One of Ed’s students at B. H. Carroll Theological Institute, Rachel Jones, whom he also mentored while serving as minister of music at Haltom Road Baptist Church, had this to say, “This wonderful man showed me what it is to be a minister. So much more than a friend, so much greater than a mentor. Words can’t express how much I will miss him. Rest in Jesus, Ed Ferlazzo. It was an honor to serve alongside you for so many years.”
He leaves behind an incredible body of writing, compositions and performances, many church families and students, a large and loving family, an enormous library and a lovely herb garden.
Ed is survived by his wife Laurie, daughter Erin Whitmore, daughter Lesli Berggren and her husband Calvin, son Brian Whitmore and his wife Ashley, as well as 5 grandchildren: Addison and Brody Whitmore, and Isaiah, Judah and Solomon Berggren.
A memorial celebration of his life was held on Sunday, September 3rd at 3 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Crowley. Drs. Jim Spivey and Stan Moore, Senior Fellows at Carroll Institute, officiated and led worship at the memorial service. In lieu of flowers, friends and family are invited to make memorial contributions in his name to B. H. Carroll or to the music ministry of First Baptist Church of Crowley.
(Carroll Institute thanks the family of Ed Ferlazzo for providing some of the information in this article.)