Ed Culpepper was born at Atmore, Alabama, in 1952. Shortly thereafter, his family moved to Mobile, where he spent most of his years through high school. When he was 12 years old, his mother died of post-operative complications. When he was 13 years old, his father remarried, adding three sisters to the one brother from his biological family.
At the age of 6, he made his profession of faith in Jesus Christ, and was baptized in State Line Baptist Church, State Line, Mississippi. His family was active in church life, providing him opportunities to grow as a Christian through missions education, camps, youth choirs and ensembles, and youth leadership positions. In college, he was active in Baptist Student Union and church ministries.
Dr. Culpepper was an active student, playing football, serving as student body president, and becoming a National Merit Scholar at Shaw High School, Mobile, Alabama. He graduated with honors from the University of Alabama with a B.S. in Public Administration and a minor in Personnel Management. He was a member of the Alabama Intercollegiate Debate team and a student government executive officer.
Following his Junior year in college, Dr. Culpepper became sure of God’s call to ministry as his vocation. He attended The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky, earning the Master of Divinity, Master of Theology in Christian Preaching, and the Doctor of Philosophy in Christian Philosophy degrees. While pursuing graduate studies, he served in church ministry positions and on the staff of the Seminary as Assistant Director of Placement.
Dr. Culpepper has served churches in Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, and Indiana in a variety of roles, including Pastor. He came to Huntsville in 1986 as Pastor of Mountain View Baptist Church, where he served until 1994.
In 1991, following a series of unsuccessful surgical procedures to combat diabetic retinopathy, Dr. Culpepper lost his eyesight. With the assistance of his family, his church, and Christian friends around the world, he continued to serve as Pastor for several years. At an appropriate time in the life of the church and in his life, he left his church position to serve as interim and supply minister in churches in the Huntsville area. In 1996, Dr. Culpepper was asked to serve First Baptist Church, Huntsville, as Interim Ministries Coordinator, following the relocation of a First Baptist staff member. In August, 1997, he was called to the staff of First Baptist as Administrative Pastor. He served as Associate Pastor for Faith Development until October, 2005.
Dr. Culpepper has served on the boards of numerous community agencies. He has served two terms as Moderator of Alabama Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.
Ed is married to a Huntsville native, the former Sherron Prestage. They have 2 sons. Tom (born 1979), is an intensive care nurse. Dan (born 1983) is mechanical engineer. He and his wife have 3 daughters and have applied to adopt another child.
Dr. Culpepper’s hobbies include water skiing, cooking, computing, reading, and writing.