Who is Dr. Bill Burks?
Dr. Bill Burks of Fort Worth Texas provides both audio, and textual sermons. Pastor Bill Burks's ministry is varied. He has taught Sabbath school and delights in explaining Bible principles. He has studied Greek and Hebrew and enjoys sharing insights from both languages.
He prays for people and preaches in a way that even children can understand the gospel message. He can bring concepts of faith down to their level and still keep the interest of their parents.
He has gone out of his way to assist folks when necessary and works with church leaders to present a united front to the community. He has the skills from his secular job to reach people with the Word of God. He adheres to sound doctrine and can explain where cults may deviate from the simple New Testament faith of the time of Jesus Christ. One leader at our church conference summed him up in just two words one year: "Good thinker."
But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD
My father's family was religious. Neither my mother nor my father went to church. Except for a short period of time when I was around five my life was basically irreligious. When I was about five I was given a Bible that I kept until I was almost an adult. I would occasionally read the scripture.
One summer I when I was a young teen I went to visit my father at his home in Arkansas. He lived in the country. Many of my father's neighbors were poor but very religious people. Across the dirt road from my father's house was a family who had a church in their home. They met on the Sabbath. They were Seventh-day Adventist. My dad allowed me to go over there on Saturday and worship with them.
Several summers later I went to the Baptist summer camp with cousins church. At that summer camp I went forward during one of the meetings because I realized my need for a savior. During that summer camp I also met a Southern Baptist missionary. I was impressed by his sermon, after it was over I went up to him and ask: "Why do we go to church on Sunday but other people, and the Jews go to church on Saturday." He told me not to worry about it. But I did any way.
I went home from that summer camp and joined the Pecan Springs Baptist Church in Austin TX which I attended for a period of time. I was baptized by immersion in this church. After a while I drifted away and started living in ways that were not Christian.
It was not until I was in Technical school in the early 70's that I was to come back to God. It was one night during an Amateur Radio club meeting at my school. That club meeting turned into a Bible study. By this time in my life I had lapsed into the error of Theistic evolution.
One of the men there by the name of Bill Priester told me that evolution could be completely disproved. I was skeptical. I came to find out that he was right.
It was several years later that I came in contact with the Seventh-Day Baptist people. I used to pass a Seventh-Day Baptist Church that was in Los Angeles. Cindy and I decided to try going there. Chuck Graffius was the pastor there. While there, we met John and Ruth Piel. We continued to go there until we moved to Salt Lake in late 1979.
While in Salt Lake, Cindy and I found it difficult to find a church in that city we could attend. I contacted the Church of God 7th day in Denver Colorado. Cindy and I joined that church and were asked by the Western District coordinator there to try to start a church in Salt Lake. We started a fellowship while living there.
I did not discover that many of the ministers in the Church of God 7th day believed that Christ was created until we moved to Fresno CA. I was assured by some of my friends who were leading ministers in that church that the doctrine was being reviewed. I moved to Little Rock and started to attend the Little Rock Seventh-day Baptist Church. We joined the church but retained membership in the Church of God 7th Day. I moved to Little Rock in 1985.
From 1985 to the year 2000 I preached at the Seventh-Day Baptist church in Little Rock Arkansas, and during that time I shared the pulpit at the Little Rock SDB church. In 2000 I moved my membership to Faith Seventh-Day Baptist church. I have been a faithful member of the Doniphin church for several years. I am a Seventh Day Baptist, a Sabbatarian, and a Baptist but most of all I am a follower of Jesus. I know that God has given me gifts and talents. I believe he has called me to the ministry.
I love the Seventh Day Baptists that I have met, from all around the United States. I have attended the South West Association and the Conference for several years representing the Little Rock Church.
The Call to the Ministry:
The 1926 Church Manual gives Seven different ways to recognize the call of the Lord. These are: 1) Advice of Friends; 2) Voice of the Church; 3) Personal fitness; 4) Personal Inclination; 5) Need for workers; 6) Voice of the Holy Spirit; 7) Doors closed. (pp. 81-88)
- Advice of friends: Over the past few years I have gotten to know several Seventh Day Baptist pastors. I have become friends with them. Several of them have asked me when I was going to pursue the ministry. One of these was my friend Dale Smalley in Wisconsin. After meeting me and talking with me a few hours, during which time I don't believe the term ministry had come up, Dale asked me when I was going to go into the ministry.
- Voice of the Church: The Little Rock Church licensed me to the ministry several years ago. This was a recognition of the call by my local church. The church confirmed that "Voice of the Church" recognition when they voted recently to have me ordained. The first recognition of the call came when I was asked to do sermonettes for the Church of God International in Arcadia California The first church recognition of the call took place when Ken Lawson the Western District Overseer for the Church of God Seventh Day met with me and ask me to start a congregation in Salt Lake. Again when I was asked by the Church of God in Jonesboro to become their preacher I had church recognition of the call.
- Personal fitness: The ability to do work beyond my current education is important. Recently Rod Henry sent a letter to me acknowledging that a paper I had written for Summer Institute was written at a graduate level. That is beyond my current level of education. I also would note that many have commented over the years on my ability to preach and to teach.
- Personal Inclination: The scripture says that if a man desire the office of a bishop he desires a good work. (I Timothy 3:1). This is the scripture that is the basis of my call to the ministry. I started to feel the call to the ministry in California when I started a newsletter. I began the work to help others who were hurting from their experience in the Worldwide Church of God. God has blessed me with certain talents. These are not of my own He has given them to me. I with Paul must say "Woe unto me , if I preach not the gospel." It is my duty. It is my desire. It is what I believe God has put me here to do.
- The need for workers: When I first moved to Little Rock the pulpit was being filled with Sunday ministers. The Little Rock Church needed Seventh Day Baptists in the pulpit. I believe that God has met that need through the preaching of Ken Van Horn and myself.
- Voice of the Holy Spirit: I recently took a Spiritual gifts test. I showed that I was gifted in the area of preaching and teaching. I feel a need to preach. God has blessed me with certain talents. These are not of my own He has given them to me. I with Paul must say "Woe unto me , if I preach not the gospel." It is my duty. It is my desire. It is what I believe God has put me here to do.
- Doors Closed: The doors to ordination were closed when I was in the Church of God Seventh Day. Even though the church recognized my gifts, and I was asked to fill the roles of a pastor in Salt Lake and in Jonesboro, the church did not ordain me. I believe that God called me to be a minister, but has waited till I was ready and in the right place.
I believe that in each of the seven areas mentioned God has confirmed my call to the ministry.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.