We have years of experience caring for families, from all walks of life. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession, dedicated to excellence in service, and have the highest integrity.
Staff & History
Our Valued Staff
Donald (Donny) Knight Ayers Sr., 615-406-7878 President - Licensed Funeral Director (49 years) - Licensed Embalmer
Donny is a lifelong resident of Rutherford County and a third generation funeral director. He is a graduate of Central High School, John A. Gupton College of Mortuary Science and Middle Tennessee State University. He has two children; Donny and Edwina Ayers. Donny also has one grandchild, Levi Ayers. He is a member of the First United Methodist Church.
Edwin (Eddy) F. Ayers Jr., Licensed Funeral Director (50 Years) - Licensed Embalmer (50 years)
Eddy is a third generation funeral director and lifelong resident of Rutherford County. He served in the U.S. Army during Vietnam. He is a graduate of Central High School and John A. Gupton College of Mortuary Science. He and his wife, Marsha, have one daughter, Amy Ayers.
George (Chip) William Haynes III, 615-406-5933 Licensed Funeral Director (23Years) - Licensed Embalmer (23Years) - Licensed Insurance
Chip is a fourth generation funeral director, lifelong resident of Rutherford County, graduate of Riverdale High School, Middle Tennessee State University, and John A. Gupton College of Mortuary Science. He joined Jennings and Ayers full time in 1990. Chip is a past president of the Murfreesboro Kiwanis Club. Chip and his wife, Cindy, have two daughters; Claire and Carlie. Chip and his family are members at the First United Methodist Church.
Chadwick (Chad) Ayers Haynes, 615-456-8852 Licensed Funeral Director (18 Years)- Licensed Embalmer (18 Years)
Chad is a graduate of Riverdale High School, John A. Gupton College of Mortuary Science and also has a Bachelors Degree in Industrial Management with a minor in Airline Management from Middle Tennessee State University. He joined Jennings and Ayers full time in 1996. Chad is a member of the Murfreesboro Noon Rotary Club. Chad is a licensed private pilot, licensed residential general contractor and also enjoys golf, going to the lake, and photography. Chad and his wife Rachel have twin girls, Ellie and Hannah. Chad is a member of Kingwood Church of Christ.
Donald (Donny Jr.) Knight Ayers Jr., Licensed Funeral Director - Licensed Embalmer (11 years)
Donny is a graduate of Riverdale High School, Middle Tennessee State University, and John A. Gupton College of Mortuary Science. Donny joined Jennings & Ayers in 2003 and is married to Betsey Burns Ayers. Donny and Betsey have one son, Levi Ayers. They are attending World Outreach Church.
Edwina Ayers, Licensed Funeral Director - Licensed Embalmer - (7 years)
Edwina is a graduate of Riverdale High School and John A. Gupton College of Mortuary Science. She joined Jennings & Ayers in 2007. Edwina enjoys trail riding horses with friends.
Dr. Lenny Farmer, Certified Pre-need Consultant - Licensed Insurance Agent - Monument Consultant
Lenny came on staff at Jennings & Ayers in January of 2003 as a certified pre-need consultant, representing Jennings & Ayers. A certified pre-planning consultant "CPC" is someone that is accredited by the National Funeral Directors Association. He has been working with families in pre-need arrangements for over thirteen years. Lenny and his wife, Elaine, have two children living at home and two living on their own. Lenny, and his wife Elaine, live in Smyrna and are members at the Lifepoint Church in Smyrna, TN, where Lenny serves as minister to Sr. Adults.
Evelyn Jared, Secretary
Evelyn Jared joined Jennings & Ayers in April 2013 after retiring from Middle Tennessee State University for Thirty-one years. She is a graduate of White County High School, Sparta and has lived in Murfreesboro for thirty-seven years. Evelyn has two children, Monica (Chris Tucker) and Meagan Jared. She is the proud grandparent of Kelsey Campbell and Tyler Tucker.
Tommy Carter, Funeral Assistant
Tommy Carter joined Jennings and Ayers in June 2005 after retiring from State Farm for thirty-six years. He is a graduate of Lascassas High School and Middle Tennessee State University. He and his wife, Pansey, have three children, Chad, Ashley (Nick) Coble and Derek. They are proud grandparents of Jackson and Carter Coble.
Mr. Edwin Ayers and his wife, Blanche Knight Ayers had three children, Eleanor Ayers Teasley, Edwin Jr. and Donald K. Ayers. Donald K. Ayers and Edwin F. Ayers Jr. have been working in the business for over 40 years. Edwin and Blanche have five grandchildren. All of their grandchildren, George William Haynes III (Chip), Chadwick Ayers Haynes, Donald K. Ayers Jr., Edwina Ayers, and Amy Ayers are currently working at Jennings & Ayers.
*The hearse pictured below is the only originally family owned hearse in Rutherford County. This carriage was last used to carry Edwin Ayers' mother to the cemetery in 1915.
Jennings and Ayers Funeral Home, established in 1880 in the Greenvale community of Wilson County, Tennessee, was the brain-child of J.F. Jennings, Sr. Later, J. Favor Jennings, Jr. and Edgar F. Ayers became partners and moved the business to the Lascassas and Cainsville communities. The time was during an era when funeral services were conducted in churches, homes or even under a shade tree.
Edwin Ayers was born in May 1912, the son of Edgar Freas Ayers and Ella Mai Pearcy Ayers and literally grew up in the business. Even as a youngster he helped his father and his uncle selling miscellaneous items and groceries from a peddling wagon. Edwin also worked in what was a general store and funeral facility located in Cainsville near the Rutherford and Wilson County border.
Edwin knew from these early years exactly what he would do professionally. After graduation from Lascassas High School he enrolled in Gupton-Jones Mortuary Science School, in Nashville, Tennessee. He later graduated in 1935. In 1936 Edwin purchased his father's share in the funeral home and moved the operation to Murfreesboro.
The business was housed in two other locations before being permanently situated at 820 South Church Street, its present site. The former homes, one across the street from St. Paul's Episcopal Church on East Main Street and another next door to the Murfreesboro Woman's Club on East College Street are no longer standing. In 1961, Mr. Favor Jennings died. After Mr. Favor Jennings died, Edwin bought the beautiful antebellum home of the Ledbetter family and remodeled to accommodate an attractive facility with an abundance of parking space for the future of the business. Edwin Ayers continued to work and manage the business until his retirement in 1999. Edwin Ayers died on September 6, 2001.