Arnold William Eaves, Jr., was born on December 20, 1946 in Chattanooga, Tennessee to Arnold William and Ruth Malsenna Crowe Eaves. He attended Carson-Newman College in Tennessee and graduated in 1969. Eaves also earned his MRE from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1971. He was ordained in February 1974 at Flintstone Baptist Church in Flintstone, GA. Even before being ordained, Eaves was hard at work at Rutledge Avenue Baptist Church in Charleston, SC as the Minister of Education, Music, and Youth. He continued as Minister of Education at every church that he served, including Brushy Creek Baptist Church in Taylors, SC from January 1974 to August 1977. Eaves also served at Charleston First Baptist Church from August 1977 to May 1989, and then North River Baptist Church in Roswell, GA from May 1989 to July 1997. At various times he served as an officer in the South Carolina Baptist Religious Education Association. He also served as Second Vice President of the South Carolina Baptist convention in 1983.