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Brian Burke
Brian Burke
Received his Master of Divinity Degree


Brian grew up in Deshler, Ohio, a tiny farm town where summers revolved around the grain elevator and baseball. His wife, a schoolteacher, stayed in their Elyria, Ohio, home and kept teaching while Brian prepared for his third career. They had to juggle finances to make things work, and they found that if he sneaked back to see her once a month, they handled the distance. It helped that he was so happy.

“I enjoyed five years as a high-school band director, but knew it wasn’t where I needed to be. I went into fireplace sales and found I loved building relationships. I stayed involved with music, though, by directing four handbell choirs and the music program at my home church. For 10 years, the senior pastor kept suggesting that I had a call. I didn’t hear what he was telling me. Then, in 2000, I put my name in for a position in the United Church of Christ national office. I didn’t get the job, but I did realize I was called to a full-time career in the church. My senior pastor’s response was, ‘Need I say it again?’ His daughter had graduated from Eden and he just happened to have an Eden catalog.

Now I am active in parish ministry and can’t envision being anything else. The three years at seminary flew by, and the spiritual, theological and scriptural backgrounds gave me a completely different outlook on relationships and world events. My early experiences at First Congregational UCC in Wellington, Ohio, have been exhilarating, humbling and, at times, head-scratching as they have unfolded – but most of all, they have been very rewarding.”