Brian Burd had an oceanfront view from his dorm room when he attended Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. But he wanted to “get out of California and see a different part of the country.”
That desire led him to Kansas City for graduate school after attaining his bachelor’s degree from Point Loma, and then Sedalia, where he now serves as senior pastor for Sedalia Community Crossroads Church of the Nazarene, 518 W. 16th St.
Burd, 24, was installed Aug. 15, but had been coming to Sedalia from Kansas City on Sundays since June. He is still pursuing his master’s degree at Nazarene Theological Seminary in Kansas City and serves as a United States Naval Reserve officer, where he is a chaplain candidate.
“Navy chaplaincy requires a master’s degree,” Burd said.
Sedalia Community Crossroads Church of the Nazarene had a building at 24th Street and Moniteau Avenue, but it was sold, and the church went years without a pastor, Burd said. The congregation dwindled to seven members, but led by Burd, they aim to bring it back.
Burd’s goals are to “get to know the people of Sedalia, be a faithful pastor to my church ... (and) rebuild the church to what it once was.”
Tansy Burnette, who with her husband, Kenneth, has been a church member since 1977, said of Burd: “Number one, he gives us a lot of hope. It has been a long time since we’ve had a full-time pastor. And he does his work out in the public ... He is always out among the people. We are just very happy
To help raise awareness of the church and provide outreach services, Burd and his congregation plan on doing some single-parent relief ministry in November.
“They can come to us and drop off their kids, then go Christmas shopping or just take a nap,” he said. “We want to get integrated into the community. We need to build relationships, and then when someone needs something, they will come to us.”
Burd is originally from Dinuba, Calif., which is about 45 minutes southeast of Fresno. After moving to Kansas City last year for graduate school, he emailed the Church of the Nazarene district supervisor to see if there was any need for “pulpit supply,” fill-in pastors to cover for vacations or vacancies. The answer was yes, but he also learned there was a need for a pastor in Sedalia.
“I gave it a shot and it happened,” Burd said. “This is a great opportunity, and I would have been a fool to say no.”
Burnette has faith in Burd and in her church.
“God is in it,” she said. “And with Brian leading us, we are going to go a long way.”