I was born into a Christian family and attended my first church service at five days old. I thank the Lord for being raised in a Baptist home by Baptist parents. My parents taught me the Word of God and were an example of how a Christian ought to live. I was saved on August 12, 1989, at the age of 14. My father had preached a message at a revival service, and I knew that I needed to be saved. The next night I marched into my dad's room and fell on the bed and told him I needed to be saved. The Lord gloriously saved my soul that night!
At the age of 16, the Lord called me to preach. After surrendering, I immediately started preaching in junior churches, nursing homes, and whatever avenues were opened to me. I am a third generation preacher. My grandfather, Pastor Travis Hudson, of Moraine Heights Baptist Church, was my pastor for 11 years and showed me how a pastor out to live. My father, Wayne Burke, taught me life's most important lessons and how a man of God should serve a living God.
Following high school graduation, I attended Fairhaven Baptist College and obtained a Pastoral Theology degree. It was during these years that I also met my beautiful wife, Stacey. The Lord "knit our hearts together in love" (Colossians 2:2), and allowed us the opportunity to "exalt his name together" (Psalm 34:3). The Lord has blessed us with three wonderful children, Alexander (August 1999), Grace (June 2003), and Hope (September 2008).
After college graduation, the Lord called me to Cozaddale Baptist Temple. I have been a member of Cozaddale Baptist Temple since 1994. I stand in awe of the Lord's blessings upon our church. I have served the Lord at Cozaddale as bus captain, Sunday School teacher, J.R. Church director, Cozaddale Baptist Academy Administrator, and youth pastor. It was in July of 2004 that the church extended to me the call to pastor.
I count it my greatest honor to serve the Lord with the people of Cozaddale Baptist Temple. Souls are being saved, lives are being changed, families are being restored, and His hand of blessing is evident. We strive to be "Ohio's friendliest church!" It is my prayer that every member, every message, and every ministry be to the glory of God, and "That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish" (Ephesians 5:27).
I was saved at the age of 14, here at Cozaddale. My mom, sister, brother, and I began attending Cozaddale when I was 12 years old. I was very active as a young person all around the church. I don't remember a special time when I was called into the ministry. I just remember that always being my hearts desire.
I went to Baptist Bible College in 1977 where I met my wife, Lydia, and we were married in May of 1980. The Lord blessed us with two children, Crystal and Rick.
I was always taught that it isn't wise to return to your home church. I tried working at a church in Texas, but my hearts desire was to serve at Cozaddale. In 1987 I called Pastor Woody, and told him I was miserable. I just wanted to return to Cozaddale where I knew I would have to work outside the church. He told me that would be great. We returned home that year and took over Junior Church, a bus route, and a Sunday School class, as well as helping in other areas.
Praise the Lord, that on April 1, 1990, Cozaddale asked us to become full time in the Pastoral staff and the Lord fulfilled my hearts greatest desire. I'm looking forward to serving the Lord at Cozaddale until He comes or he takes us home.