Reverend John Henry Burns II – Homegoing Services
Reverend John Henry Burns II is the Founder and past Pastor of First A.M.E. (FAME) Church of Farmington Hills, MI until his death on May 17, 2019. The church planting and worship service was September 6, 2015. Bishop John R. Bryant, Senior Bishop and Presiding Prelate of the 4th Episcopal District preached on “Liberty & Justice For All”.
Appointed in the Presiding Elder area of Dr. H. Michael Lemmons of the Michigan Conference under the prelateship of Bishop John R. Bryant, the 106th elected and ordained episcopal leader of the 4th District and Senior Bishop of The AM.E. Church, in August 2011, Rev. Burns celebrated his 3rd appointment; St. Matthew AME Church, Detroit, MI, 2014-2015; Gregg Memorial AME Church, Lansing MI, 2011-2014; and FAME of Farmington Hills.
The planting of First AME (FAME) Church of Farmington Hills, MI was the fulfillment of a longtime vision of Pastor Burns. God’s gifting of Pastor John prepared him for the current church militant.
Rev. John is a native Detroiter, was baptized at the age of 14 and accepted his call to ministry in 2001 under Rev. Dr. Robert Brumfield. He was ordained a Local Elder at the Michigan Annual Conference in 2005 to serve at Oak Grove African Methodist Episcopal Church in Detroit. He was educated in the Detroit Public Schools, attended University of Detroit and Wayne State University. Pastor received his certification and training in mortuary science from Wayne State University and is a second generation licensed funeral director. He is a certified member of “Spiritual Directors International”.
During his tenure at Oak Grove in Detroit he served as the Hospital and Bereavement Minister, the Chairperson for the Health Commission (which he founded); Men’s Mountain Top Ministry, Evangelism and a host of other ministerial duties. He is most proud of his commitment to family and community. He served in the leadership of several health initiatives in the Metro Detroit area, including the “Clean indoor air act” by Wayne County, Senator Ray Murphy African American Health Institute, and the annual Minority health conference by Beaumont Hospital.
While at St. Matthew in Lansing (2011) and having moved his family to East Lansing in December 2012, Pastor Burns’ ministry was rooted in the spiritual and evangelistic growth in the day to day lives of the members of his church, the community of the neighborhood of the St. Matthew church located at 522 West Maple, Lansing MI, as well as the larger community of Lansing and its surrounding principalities. To that end Pastor John’s stewardship is outlined by the following pillars of his service:
- The Aquila and Priscilla ministry which provided housing and spiritual development and support to stabilize and assist the whole family
- The conducting of two Bible studies weekly
- Support of sister churches activities
- Active in the AME 4th District Sons of Boaz Prayer Convocation
- Vice President of the 4th Episcopal District Sons of Allen
- Director of the Michigan Conference Sons of Allen
- Coordinator of the Michigan Men’s Prayer line
- Christian Education Congress, Michigan Men’s Prayer Line (which he founded)
- Actively represents St. Matthew in civic and political initiatives including bringing the opening prayer at Mayor Virg Bernero’s State of the City Address (2012), supporting voters’ registration, Repeal of Emergency Manager Law, Trayvon Martin marches and rallies of support, community support to end gun violence in our schools and communities, etc.
- Active member in the Greater Lansing Clergy Forum where he serves on the Constitution, Political Action, Social Justice committees. Program participant and speaker for 2013 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Good Friday, and Unity Service celebrations.
- Coordinator of the Annual Men’s Summit of the Greater Lansing Clergy Forum from its inception.
- Forging relationships in St, Matthew neighborhood by hosting of the Walnut Community Annual Picnic
- Serving as a beacon in the community to reaching to souls and to serve the people
- Organizer of the Michigan Annual Conference demonstration in support of Michael Brown.
Pastor Burns left Lansing to pursue the vision of the planting of the new ministry in Farmington Hills. Relocating his family to Farmington Hills, Pastor stopped by Gregg Memorial in Detroit, MI to provide transitional leadership to the church in its transition. From October 2014 to August 2015 Pastor’s leadership is outlined by the following pillars of his service:
- Community gardening
- Easter pageant
- Watchnight Service
- 63rd Church Anniversary Celebration
- Sankofa Season
- Watch Night Service
- Easter Pageant
- Vacation Bible School
- Church Sunday School
He and Rev. Dr. Patricia Coleman-Burns were married for 41 years. They have two sons: John Seve Burns, who has three daughters, Taiya Lanea Burns and Madison, Michelle Marie Burns and Angela Nicole Burns; and Dr. Robert Samuel Burns I married to Dr. Jade who have a son, Robert II. Dr. Burns after graduating from Hampton University with honors in Business Administration and receiving the doctor of physical therapy degree from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles returned home to open his own physical therapy clinic business. He currently have clinics in Novi and Plymouth.
Pastor John’s ministerial assignments, family background and life’s journey has provided him with an understanding of a spiritual insight that compels him to constantly pause when God brings someone across his walk that has a need. God has directed him to listen to the need, be discerning of the direction of His spirit, and provide the resources available at that moment or point each person (him, her or them) in the right direction. Prayer is always available, yet there are times when other resources are needed. Time is always a scarce resource. So as a spiritual director his prayer is to be more affective with time by becoming more in touch with the Holy Spirit, in order to discern His direction for himself and those he leads and are engaged, and to have ready access to the resources needed for that moment and circumstance. Pastor John’s strength was his wiliness to be obedient to his God and those He has given authority for in his life.