A native of Martinsville, Virginia, I graduated from Martinsville High School in 1967 and entered the Virginia Military Institute, where I received a B.A. in English in 1971. Soon afterwards, I entered Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond and earned a Doctor of Ministry degree in 1976.
Following graduation, I was ordained to the Ministry of the Word and Sacraments in the Presbyterian Church, and from 1976-1983 served as the pastor of several Presbyterian churches in North Carolina.
In 1983, I returned to Virginia in order to do graduate work in Religious Studies at the University of Virginia. During that same period, I served for about six years as the installed part-time pastor of the South Plains Presbyterian Church in Keswick. From there I went to St. Anne’s-Belfield School in Charlottesville, where for almost 15 years I served as the school chaplain and taught Religion, Latin, and English.
Afterwards, I went to Tandem Friends School in Charlottesville, where I taught comparative religion, Latin, and English. While at Tandem, I felt the “pull” of parish ministry reasserting itself and decided to accept a call to serve as the pastor of the Louisa Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), a position I held for almost 17 years until my retirement in 2018.
On a personal note, I have two sons, Tom and John, both of whom live nearby; and I have two grandchildren, Evelyn and Jack. I am married to Patricia Fleshman, a native of Louisa, and we live in the Spring Creek community in Zion Crossroads.
It is clear to me that the Orange Presbyterian Church has a long and distinguished history, and, with God’s continued guidance, an equally promising future. As a Presbyterian minister who is “retired but not tired,” I look forward to talking with you about the possibility of providing part-time pastoral leadership to your congregation.
- Denny Burnette