REV. DR. JERRY V. BURNS
Rev. Dr. Jerry V. Burns, the seventh son of ten siblings, is a native of Georgia. He was the husband of Delores Burns, father of Voil Burns (son) and Tynese Burns- Taylor (daughter), and a proud grandfather of Tyanda, (triplets) Bryan, Bria, and Briana.
Dr. Jerry V. Burns received his former education at the City University of New York, Cornell University, and his religious training at O.M. Kelly. He was the Pastor and Founder of the Open Door Church of God in Christ located at 999 Greene Avenue in the heart of Bedford Stuyvesant, the borough of Brooklyn, NY for 36 years.
Dr. Jerry V. Burns has an extraordinary ministry. He was a singer, musician, and songwriter with an album that hit the top ten lists on WWRL radio station. He was energetic in his involvement with the Outreach Ministry named Open Door Family Life Center. His goal was to operate a Food Pantry and Soup Kitchen, to minister to the needs of the community. This vision began with a local fish fry one Saturday afternoon and escalated to the distribution of donated and surplus food.
The weekly Soup Kitchen started in January of 1987, with the Food Pantry opening shortly thereafter. Approximately 3,000 men, women, and children are being served on a weekly basis. Of these individuals, some are substance abusers, destitute, homeless, and just down and out. Through the leadership of Dr. Jerry V. Burns, this ministry has helped approximately 60% of these individuals conquer their habits. Most of them attend church regularly and are now productive citizens. The aim of this ministry quotes Dr. Jerry V. Burns, is “to aid our fellow man and to Love the hurt away.” This is why we have biblical studies, provide counseling sessions, clothing distribution, distribute food, and disburse donated items- our objective is to uplift the whole man.
Adding to his accomplishments, Dr. Jerry V. Burns was elevated to chairman of the Home and Foreign Mission Department of the Second Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of Eastern New York, and Superintendent over seven churches in the Church of God in Christ in which his ministry was reaching out to those that are in need. His endeavor is to see all the churches involved in the uplifting of the homeless and destitute, and this appointment allows him to contribute toward that aspiration.
Dr. Jerry V. Burns has received many awards for outstanding community service. To name a few, The White House Outstanding Award, Communitarian Award for administering surplus food, a Partnership for the Homeless for outstanding service rendered, nomination for the Mayor’s Volunteer Service Award for recognition of his outstanding community service, and he received the prestigious Religious Award for community ministry.
In the year 2000, he received an Honorary Doctorate degree. In 2001, he received four citations from the following individuals and organizations: Brooklyn Borough President Howard Golden, Brooklyn Councilman Peter Vallone, Mayor Giulliani and 81st Precinct, The Assembly State of NY Citation, City Council Citation, Brooklyn Coalition Against Hunger for outstanding service, Presiding Bishop’s Partner in Ministry Award, City Harvest Awards for feeding the Hungry in NYC and has received the prestigious Award of community ministry.
His future endeavors were to build a community center, daycare center, and a senior citizen’s home.
(His legacy will continue)