Rick Edmonds was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, where he learned about hard work, dedication, and the value of a dollar. Growing up, Rick worked for his father’s fencing business (Louisiana Fence Company), where he watched and helped grow the family business from a good idea into a successful company. It was also In Shreveport where Rick met and fell in love with his high school sweetheart, Cindy Harville, whose father was, J.B. Harville, a well respected educator who began the first alternative school in the state of Louisiana, the School Away From School, later named J.B. Harville Alternative School. Growing up in the family business, Rick watched his parents Richard and Elsie work hard to provide for their family, and it inspired him to do the same.
In July 1975, Rick felt the call to ministry. The next year he enrolled at East Texas Baptist University where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in 1979 and was ordained to the ministry. After college, Rick and Cindy traveled to more than thirty states to spread the gospel. Desiring to further prepare and equip himself for ministry and leadership, Rick attended and graduated from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary where he received his Master’s of Divinity (M.Div).
While still in school, Rick began working full-time at Parkview Baptist Church in Baton Rouge. Rick served the people at Parkview as the associate pastor for youth and young professionals and then as co-pastor. During his tenure at Parkview, Rick started Parkview Community Celebration, an innovative ministry recognized nationally for its multi-generational outreach. In 1995, Rick became the Senior Pastor at First Baptist Church Temple Terrace in Tampa, Florida, where the church was recognized for its growth by the Florida Baptist Convention.
In 2002, Rick took a post at Calvary Baptist Church and Academy in Shreveport. The work ahead of him was tough, but he embraced the challenge. When he arrived, Calvary consisted of a church and a K-8 school. Due to financial issues, the high school closed in the 80’s, and no longer had any sports teams or complexes. Rick got to work. Drawing on his leadership and experience, Calvary reopened it’s high school in the fall of 2003. As Calvary grew, they added new state of the art football and baseball stadiums, and by the end of his tenure, construction on a new softball field had begun. At the time, Calvary was recognized as having one of the fastest growing recreational ministries in the country.
During his time with Calvary, he oversaw almost 200 employees and a $12 million budget. Under his leadership, CBA earned its first accreditation from AdvancEd, formerly known as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, or SACS. Through this experience, he understands schools are best run at the local level with active parental and teacher involvement.
In 2014, Rick returned to Baton Rouge to serve as the Vice President for Louisiana Family Forum, where he fought for family values, religious freedom, and advocated for adoption. He currently works at Bethany Church, where he oversees their local outreach, has worked to rebuild their academy, and serves as a Senior Advisor to Pastor Jonathan Stockstill.
In the summer of 2015, Edmonds announced his candidacy for the Louisiana House of Representatives District 66. His platform was simple -- fight tax increases, promote Louisiana’s conservative values, and work against our state’s out-of-control spending. He was elected in the fall to the Louisiana House of Representatives, defeating an incumbent pro-tax legislator.
As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, Rick has fought hard to ensure our tax dollars are spent efficiently. He has pushed for transparency in all levels of state government, authored legislation to reduce fraud and wasteful spending, and co-chaired a committee tasked with eliminating statutorily protected funds within state government.
As a member of the House Education Committee, Rick has pushed for school choice options to give students, including those from low-income families and those with special needs, the opportunity to receive tuition vouchers in order to attend specialized schools that meets their needs.
In 2017, Rick was recommended by Speaker Taylor Barras to serve as a fellow in the National Conference of State Legislators Early Learning Fellowship where he learned how to improve the quality of child care, implement preschool programs with innovative ways to support families, and address challenges facing teacher development.
During his time in the State House, Rick has fought for life and religious liberty. He authored legislation such as the Adoption Option Act, which requires information about adoption be made available as an alternative to abortion. He’s passed bills banning abortion simply because a child has a genetic abnormality, and granted teachers who adopt a month long maternity(adoptive) leave to ensure their child is acclimated to their new home. In a time when religious liberty is threatened, he’s fought to make sure teachers have the right to bow their heads during student led prayer.
No one accomplishes anything alone in life; they always have a team. Rick is no different. Standing side-by-side with him through everything is the love of his life and high school sweetheart, Cindy. Together they have tackled every challenge that's come their way. They have four accomplished, grown children (Richie, J. Ben, Ryan, Zach), four wonderful daughters-in-law (Holly, Candace, Karla, Stephanie), and eight beautiful grandchildren (Sullivan, Ramsey, Stella, Pierce, Reese, Beecher, Emma, Graham).