Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Reverend Anderson Burney

In Memory of Reverend Anderson Burney

My great-grandfather was Reverend Anderson Burney who was born in the Brundidge/Monticello/Tennille areas of Pike County, Alabama in 1866. He was the son of former slaves Prince and Jennie Burney. His father, Prince was born in Florida and his mother in Georgia. Prince was of African and Native American ancestry. Anderson was their first free-born child. Oh what a blessing he must have been!

Rev. Anderson Burney met and married the beautiful young Caroline Knox, the daughter of former slaves William and Louisa Knox also of Pike County, Alabama.

The couple relocated in the early 1900's with their children in tow to Plain Dealing, Louisiana. Their children were Katie, David, Paul, Bessie, Tessie, William and Fred.

God spoke to Anderson and led him to become an ordained Baptist Minister and Pastor of Egypt Hill Baptist Church in Plain Dealing, Louisiana.

I can only guess why Anderson was so eager to answer God's call. After all, he like many other African Americans had a lot to be thankful for. He had narrowly escaped being a slave since slavery only ended a year before his birth. God had brought an entire nation of slaves out of bondage and Anderson chose to tell his community and the world about it. And further that through faith and belief in Christ that eternal life and freedom was also there for the asking.

My father, Jewel Burney had many fond memories of attending the soul-stirring church sermons of his grandpa Anderson. Others have recounted stories of attending church at Egypt Hill including my late cousin Elizabeth (Lizzie) Neal Bagley. She also related that they held school there back in the 1920's to 1940's.

I have also heard many stories about his first lady, Caroline Knox Burney. She is described by all as a gentle, caring and loving spirit with always a kind word to say.

I did not know my grandfather in life but his memory was kept alive by his children and grandchildren who knew and loved him and knew of his passsion and dedication to the Lord.

I never had the privilege of hearing one of his powerful Sunday sermons but I am sure that as a vessel of the Lord God Almighty he helped bring a lot of souls to eternal life through Jesus Christ and that he himself is currently is the presence of the Lord.

Reverend Anderson Burney was called to Glory in April 1952. He is buried in Caldwell Cemetery in Plain Dealing, Louisiana.

Although, we did not meet in life, grandpa, it is my prayer that we shall someday we will meet in Heaven!

1 Colossians 25-29

25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;

26Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:

27To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

28Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

29Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

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