Memorial Biographies of General Baptist Ministers
Rev. James Porter Burch
Rev. J. P. Burch, son of the late Rev. George Gilbert and Mary Willis Burch, was born in Pike County, Indiana, July 2, 1914. In 1928 he was converted to a faith in Christ during a revival that was being conducted in the Mt. Tabor General Baptist Church, Gibson County, Indiana. He began immediately to use his talents and was often called on for public prayer and leadership for mid-week services in his local church. The following three years were unsettled, being mixed with revivals and backslidings. In 1932 he announced publicly that God had called him to preach and he preached his first sermon before graduating from the Mt. Olumpus High School that same year. In August of that year he was recommended by the church to the Presbytery of Flat Creek association for license to preach. This being granted he began a study course for three years and in 1935 was ordained to the full work of the ministry by the solemn laying on of the hands of the Presbytery. His early ministry was characterized by many revivals in Pike and Gibson Counties. Most of his ministry has been in Liberty Association of Indiana where he pastored the General Baptist church in Decker for four years, also Clarks Chapel near Oakland City, the Francisco Church, the Bethlehem Church and Mt. Pleasant Church in Posey County. In 1940 he was privileged to move back into the jurisdiction of his home association and pastor the Winslow Church ( his father's home church) for three years. It was while living here in the neighboring town of Frisco that he attended classes at Oakland City College. There have been many conversions during these 21 years of preaching.
Rev. Burch has for several years been a member of the General Baptist Board of Religious Education, and is now the President of the said board. In that capacity he has assisted in the development of the camps under the direction of that Board. He moved into the jurisdiction of the Union Association in August, 1952, and has been serving the Livermore and Pleasant Hope General Baptist churches, and in so short time has seen Pleasant Hope go to full time services. He feels that others have sown and he has been privileged to enter into their labors and reap. May the Lord be pleased to give him many more active years in the ministry.
* - Source - History of Union Association of General Baptist 1840 - 1953
M.C. Mc Donald