In Church of God

Church of God Ministries is pleased to welcome Brian Burton as the newest member of advancement. Most recently the pastor of First Church of God in St. Louis, Missouri, Brian and his family are making the Indianapolis area their new home as his new role officially begins on March 18. A product of the Church of God, Brian is especially excited to advance the cause of the Movement in this season of growth and forward acceleration.

“From my earliest memories, I always felt the influence of the Church of God on my life,” Brian explains. “As a child, I remember time spent at the First Church of God in Richmond Heights, Missouri. It was directly across the street from my great-grandmother’s house and there were many days I spent sitting on her porch watching the saints come and go.”

Gabriel Dixon and Sherman Drane were among the spiritual giants of his childhood, but Brian’s uncle, Rev. Hughie W. Ellison, and the Kinloch Church of God, were the biggest players in his spiritual development. In these early years of service in the church, God began to prepare his heart for the ministry. Wearing various hats—from trustee to youth leader—Brian gained experience quickly. Under the leadership of Pastor Ellison, Brian accepted the call to ministry.

The day he preached his first sermon at Kinloch, Brian’s excitement was met with nerves when guests Rev. Timmie McNeese and his daughter, Rev. Arnetta McNeese Bailey, arrived and sat on the front row. “I remember going back into Pastor Ellison’s office and asking him, ‘Do you know who’s out there?! I’m not ready for this!’”

But Brian Burton was ready, as the Spirit had equipped and prepared him for that moment. Now at the inauguration of a new season in Brian’s life, it’s apparent that the Spirit has also equipped him for such a time as this.

“Actually, I have always desired to work for Church of God Ministries,” Brian explains. “That may sound strange! But I have always desired to be involved in ministry beyond the local level. To be able to express my love for the Movement and bring others on board with that excitement is a blessing.”

Working for Church of God Ministries in this bright new day is also a positive for Brian.

“Jim Lyon is a forward-thinking person,” Brian reflects. “I don’t think we can continue doing ministry the way we always have and it remain effective. People are changing, society is changing, and we have to be poised to embrace what God has for us today and into the future.”

Brian and his wife Vanessa have two young adult children. Quinton is a musician and attends Tennessee State University in his senior year of music education studies. He was recently selected by the Honda Corporation as one of the sixty musicians of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to open the 2019 Tournament of Roses Parade. Pfalin Burton is a junior at Anderson University, studying psychology and social work. Pfalin is one of the Young Women’s Conference leaders slated to speak at the CWC’s Church of God Women’s Convention in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, this October.

Brian and Vanessa hold bachelor’s degrees in theology from the Metropolitan Christian Bible Institute. He also received a master’s degree in theology from MCBI and a bachelor’s degree in psychology and ethics from Mid-America Christian University. This February, he earned a master’s degree in leadership with a business management focus, also from MACU.

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