Rev. Ed Downs

September 10, 1955November 12, 2020
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Funeral Services for Rev. Ed Downs will be livestreamed via Facebook Live. Please join us for in celebrating Rev. Ed's life by clicking on the link below during the service time.


Rev. Ed Downs, a man of God, a loving husband, father and grandfather and proud Navy veteran, entered into his Glory in the late hours of Thursday, November 12, 2020. He was 65.

Funeral services celebrating Rev. Ed’s life will be held 4:00 pm Wednesday November 18 at First Baptist Church of New Iberia with Rev. David Carlton officiating. It was Rev. Ed’s wishes to be buried at sea in the Mediterranean and will be conducted by the United States Navy at a later date.

A gathering of family and friends will be held on Tuesday November 17 at First Baptist Church from 5:00 pm until 9:00 pm. Visiting hours will resume on Wednesday November 18 from 1:00 pm until time of services. Bro. Ed’s wishes were for a “No suits, no tie” attire.

Brother Ed proudly served his country during the Vietnam War as a Helmsman aboard the Aircraft Carriers USS John F. Kennedy Aircraft and USS Independence. After his service, he was ordained into the ministry by Rev. Wayne Scarborough at Auburn Heights Baptist Church in Phenix City, Alabama. He then entered Florida Baptist Theological College in Graceville, Florida where he was President of the Student Government Association and head of the Financial Aid Department. During his many years as a Reverend, Pastor Ed served at First Baptist Church Bascom, FL, Sunderlan Baptist Church Phenix City, AL and for the past 22 years at First Baptist Church of New Iberia. Mrs. Janice remembers when they got the call to serve in New Iberia that they had never visited Louisiana and didn’t have any idea where it was, but knew that they would find a family here. And she was so right because everyone that met Rev. Ed and his family, fell in love with them.

Brother Ed had a passion for being outdoors. So much that his favorite time was climbing into a tree stand at sun up, even on the coldest of days and regardless of if he made a shot or not. Fishing was also a favorite pastime. He enjoyed many boat rides in “his boat” even though it was Kevin’s, and had memorable trips deep sea fishing. As Jenny said, “he loved being outdoors in God’s beauty.”

He leaves a legacy of love, compassion and kindness and will forever be remembered by all who knew and loved him. Rest well Rev. Ed for you have earned your heavenly reward.

Those left to cherish his memory is his wife and best friend of 44 years, Janice Ryals Downs of New Iberia, LA; his children, Jonathan Edwin Downs (Tricia) of Sparta, NJ and Jenny Downs Shores (Kevin) of New Iberia, LA; nine grandchildren whom he adored, Gavin Downs, Chris Fischer, Abigail Downs, Ethan Shores, Riley Downs, Logan Shores, Adi Mae Shores, Sean Downs and JonPaul Downs; his step-mother, Lu Dein McDonald Downs of Bristol, IN; his brother and sisters, Alan Downs and his family of Elkhart, IN, Donna Fiquett (Dennis) and their family of Phenix City, AL, Lori Kaser (Todd) and their family of Union, Mich; his in-laws, Connie Woodham (Ken) and their family of Winter Haven, FL, Billy Ryals and his family of Phenix City, AL, Paula Ryals and her family of Phenix City, AL; and a host of nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, and the many adoptive children, grandchildren and nieces and nephews who loved Pastor Ed so dearly.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Buddy Downs, Sr. and Sylvia Newsome Perdue; his grandparents, Rich and Norma Hearn and Maggie Crowder; Janice’s parents, Nolan and Betty Mae Ryals; his brother-in-law, Rev. Danny Ryals; and his uncle Gib Newsome.

Serving as honorary pallbearers are Jonathan Downs, Kevin Shores, Gavin Downs, Chris Fisher, Ethan Shores, Riley Downs, Logan Downs, RJ Landry, Scott Theriot, Geran Maples, Craig Louviere, John Williams and Keith Koen.

Mrs. Janice and her family would like to extend their heartfelt gratitude to all who offered support, prayer and comfort during this time. You are all greatly appreciated and loved.

Memorial contributions may be made in Rev. Ed’s name to First Baptist Church, 210 E Saint Peter St., New Iberia, LA 70560.

Family and friends are encouraged to share their memories and condolences by visiting Rev. Ed’s memorial page at

Evangeline Funeral Home of New Iberia is in charge of arrangements.


  • Janice Ryals Downs, Loving wife of 44 years
  • Jonathan Edwin Downs (Tricia), Son
  • Jenny Downs Shores (Kevin), Daughter
  • Gavin Downs, Granchild
  • Chris Fischer, Grandchild
  • Abigail Downs, Grandchild
  • Ethan Shores, Grandchild
  • Riley Downs, Grandchild
  • Logan Shores, Grandchild
  • Adi Mae Shores, Grandchild
  • Sean Downs, Grandchild
  • JonPaul Downs, Grandchild
  • Lu Dein McDonald Downs, Step Mother
  • Alan Downs, Brother
  • Donna Fiquett (Dennis), Sister
  • Lori Kaser (Todd), Sister
  • Connie Woodham (Ken), Sister in law
  • Billy Ryals, Brother in law
  • Paula Ryals, Sister in law
  • Buddy Downs, Sr., Father (deceased)
  • Sylvia Newsome Perdue, Mother (deceased)
  • Rich and Norma Hearn, Grandparents
  • Maggie Crowder, Grandmother
  • Nolan and Betty Mae Ryals, In Laws (deceased)
  • Rev. Danny Ryals, Brother in law (deceased)
  • Gib Newsome, Uncle (deceased)

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  • Jonathan Downs, Honorary
  • Kevin Shores, Honorary
  • Gavin Downs, Honorary
  • Chris Fisher, Honorary
  • Ethan Shores, Honorary
  • Riley Downs, Honorary
  • Logan Downs, Honorary
  • RJ Landry, Honorary
  • Scott Theriot, Honorary
  • Geran Maples, Honorary
  • Craig Louviere, Honorary
  • John WIlliams, Honorary
  • Keith Koen, Honorary

  • First Baptist Church


  • Visitation

    Tuesday, November 17, 2020

  • Visitation

    Wednesday, November 18, 2020

  • Funeral Service

    Wednesday, November 18, 2020


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Rev. Ed Downs

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Kent Elenburg

November 19, 2020

To Janice and family,

Just wanted to send our love and prayers to you and your family and a brief memory of Brother Ed, and our time there at First Baptist Church in New Iberia. The funeral was awesome, thanks for sharing it online, Tonya and I got to watch it. Such a memorable time there in New Iberia and great people.
We moved our family to New Iberia in the summer of 1998 and it was a big cultural and climate shock for our young West Texas family. We were certainly ducks out of the water. We had moved for work and we did have my wife’s parents there with us or it would have really been a tough go. I wasn’t sure why God had put this move into our path in life. The first Sunday that we attended First Baptist Church in New Iberia was the first Sunday that Brother Ed had started his ministry there. Brother Ed and his family were new there, also. I’m not sure if we were his first family to visit but that week Brother Ed and Joe Crisp came to our little rent house to visit. We had boxes everywhere and Casey was having to sleep on the couch. During the visit, Tonya made a pot of coffee and gave Brother Ed coffee in an AWANA mug. He looked at it and asked what we knew about AWANA. We told him about our experience with it from our previous church and He said he as familiar with it growing up, let’s pray about it. Right then it was like God saying, this was what He wanted us to do there in New Iberia. Brother Ed was all in and so were we and soon we had AWANA going with a bunch of great leaders there at First Baptist in New Iberia. We were not there long, but he was such a strong anchor of support to us while we were there. So thankful to him, his family and church family there in New Iberia.

This was from Tyler, he was 10-12 years old while we were there and he wrote: My only clear memories of Brother Ed was him asking me to pull his finger multiple times and also him catching me and Raquel holding hands in the Refuge. Lol Good times.

Fran Landry

November 17, 2020

My condolences to his family and family and his entire family at FBC of New Iberia. I don't know where to begin as he was the heart and soul of the church he ran. From walking the halls to his open door policy. He taught me holy things and I taught him that it was okay to take a sick day now and then. He was an inspiration to me. The most patient supervisor I have ever had. Warm, kind, loving and purely devoted to being a Pastor. I admired him deeply for what he was and he stood by his morals and principles. He treats everyone in his path like family. We were his flock as he would say. He was a leader in every sense of the word. He taught and showed his wisdom. There was nothing you couldn't talk to him about. He would shed his take and light on the manner at hand as well as listen to your point of view. He went above and beyond his duties. He was a pleasure to work for an honor and it was pure joy. I'll always love and I'll never forget the legacy he leaves behind. It was a pleasure to have known and worked for him all these years. The reason is he cared about his church and the people he served and witnessed to. He would want us to go on just like he was with us. He would want his church to flourish, with the guidance and dignity that he taught us all. He was a true friend. God bless us all 🙏😇.

Diane Giles

November 16, 2020

I remember so much about Ed. I remember when he first came to church, then when he gave his life to Christ and then we went to Auburn Heights. So thankful Ed brought my son back to Jesus. I remember the day him and Janice gave me this wonderful little book, I keep it on a stand in my pottery studio. Now Ed you reap the blessing that you have preached for so many years. Love and miss you Ed. Your sister in Christ Jesus.

Grady Taylor

November 15, 2020

Dear Family:
I attended Florida Baptist Theological College with Ed. Loved him and his precious family.

Too many of us are going home to Jesus in our prime, with so much wisdom and knowledge of the Bible and Christ left to share.

May our Shepherd be with you as you lay to rest his precious body. Rejoice that we shall all be together again soon. Thank you Jesus for a kind friend and man of God you allowed to encourage a fellow servant of God during our college experience.

Hold his family close in this valley of grief.

Dr. Ewell Grady Taylor Jr. Morningstar Community Church, Bloomingdale Ga.

PT Elder

November 15, 2020

Family is a bond everlasting. Distance make no mind. We are sending our hearts to you and adding love to the, surely long prayer chain, being directed to Heaven.

Your loss is the blink and have the world shake to its knees, our Faith is called upon to guide us to Strengthen and Gather - so we too can find Rest in all of the pain.

Family, we love you and pray that each day you feel His hand on your shoulder and Know that you are a vision of love to US and we wish you light and abundant hugs. xoxo

We include a picture of the last time we saw each other. Our gatherings are few, but we cherish the memory.

Rayelyn Parker

November 14, 2020

I am so saddened to hear of Ed’s passing. He was such a wonderful man of God. His love for the Word was so evident and I so enjoyed the conversations we shared were such a blessing to me. The year he and I spent with Escape from Poverty serving together, gave me the opportunity to know him and serve the Kingdom together. I know Glory received a warrior and welcomed him with all honors! What a reunion awaits. Glory upon Glory!

Diane Gates-Bodker

November 14, 2020

Even though we never met, Pastor Ed and his wife were always such a blessing for being there for my niece and her children. She knew she could call, anytime, day or night, and they would be there for her. Only someone full of the love of God can so sacrificially give of themselves to help others the way they have.
Pastor Ed has entered into his reward, and I pray for all those who loved him...I know he will be missed.
Thank God for the hope of heaven...

Rev Wayne,Rhonda Scarborough

November 14, 2020

We were privileged to have Ed, you and your family with us at Auburn Heights for the years we were together. We were so proud when you two were called by Father God into His ministry. Ed and you have been truly dedicated to His work. Our brother is worshipping and praising Father, Son, and Holy Spirit now. What a joy to know He has finished the race and claimed the prize. We will continue to pray for you and family. We love you much. 🙏. Bro Wayne & Rhonda Scarborough.

Jack and Sonia Clifton

November 14, 2020

We are so sorry to hear of Pastor Ed passing. You and your family have our sympathy at such a trying time.


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