Reverend John D. Burton celebrates over 37 years in the ministry!
A native of Durham, North Carolina, Reverend John D. Burton is the fifth of ten children from the parentage of, Mr. and Mrs. Emerson and Irma Burton. He is married to Reverend Myra Payne Burton, has two sons, Brian Burton of Durham, North Carolina and Paul Perry, Jr. of Austin, Texas. He also has two daughters, Cornelia Stokes of Norfolk, Virginia, Mia Perry of Durham, North Carolina, along with seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Reverend Burton received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Business Administration from North Carolina Central University in 1988 and is currently attending Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology. He began his calling as a Youth Minister from 1977 to 1981 at St. Joseph’s African Methodist Church in Durham, North Carolina where he led the Youth Bible Study and also led the monthly Youth Worship Service. From there, Reverend Burton went on serve as Senior Pastor to Rock Creek Circuit – Rock Creek AME Church in Snow Camp, North Carolina and Friendship AME Church in Ramseur, NC from 1981 to 1984, where he was able to purchase land, build a Fellowship Hall, and organized the first ever YPD Department. Still following God’s calling, Reverend Burton went on to serve as Senior Pastor at Cheek’s Circuit – Hunters Chapel AME in Mebane, North Carolina and White Cross AME in Efland, North Carolina from 1984 to 1988, where he was blessed to build four classrooms, stationed the White Cross AME Church, and stationed Hunters Chapel AME Church. But God wasn’t finished with him yet. Reverend Burton went on to serve as Senior Pastor at Hunter’s Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Mebane, North Carolina from 1988 to 1992. While there, he was blessed to build a Pastor’s Study, completely remodeled the sanctuary, paved the church parking lot, established the Children’s Church Youth Usher Board, and established a CD investment of $15,000.
God had much more for him to do as he was then sent to St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church in Chapel Hill, North Carolina from 1992 to 1999. As the Senior Pastor of this great church, Reverend Burton was able to retire the mortgage in 1994! In addition, he established a Campus Methodist Ministry at UNC-Chapel Hill, established an investment account, and utilized a $160,000 capital outlay to accomplish the remodeling of the bathrooms, the anvil meeting room, as well as the sanctuary. In addition, he was able to restore the original alter, remodeled the kitchen, and painted the church inside and out. But God said, “There’s more to do!”
Reverend Burton was sent to serve as the Senior Pastor at the Historic St. Stephen African Methodist Episcopal Church in Wilmington, North Carolina from 1999 to 2004, which is the “Mother Church” of the North Carolina Conference where the AME Church General Conference was held in 1896 and where three Bishops were elected and consecrated. While there, Reverend Burton was able to retire the mortgage in 1999, to establish and organize numerous ministries, to establish a CD investment of $75,000, as well as to oversee over $800,000 in major remodeling and renovations! Maintaining his obedience to God, Reverend Burton currently serves as the Senior Pastor at the Historic St. John’s African Methodist Episcopal church in Norfolk, VA, where he has been since 2004. As the “Mother Church” of the Virginia Conference, St. John’s AME hosted the General Conference of the AME Church, of which four Bishops of the AME Church were elected and consecrated in 1908. While at St. John’s, he has retired a debt of $35,000, paid off the church van, as well as organized and established numerous ministries.
Reverend Burton’s objective has always been to empower the people of God, to do the will of Christ, and to bring everyone to the fullness of their purpose and calling in the Kingdom of God. He enjoys reading and collecting books on African American and church history, and also enjoys golfing, traveling, and ‘tinkering’. His favorite scripture is Revelations 21:1, which reads “And I saw a new Heaven and new Earth: for the first Heaven and the first earth had passed away.” His favorite biblical character of the Old Testament is ‘Joshua’ and ‘Paul’ is his favorite in the New Testament. Reverend Burton is blessed to be celebrating over 37 years in the ministry and thanks God daily for the ability to share His word!