Former missionary Martha Burge passed away May 22. She was 69.
Martha met and married her husband, John, at Olivet Nazarene University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in nursing and he completed a Bachelor of Arts in religion. After graduating, the Burges pastored in Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas before leaving the U.S.
In 1982, the Church of the Nazarene's Department of World Mission commissioned John and Martha as career missionaries. John served as mission director in Haiti, overseeing five districts and 200 churches. Four years later they were asked to pioneer the Church of the Nazarene in Suriname, where they planted Dutch, French, Srnan Tongo, Creole, and English churches. In addition to establishing the Suriname District, John secured the official registration for the Church of the Nazarene in both French Guiana and Aruba and organized their first churches.
Their next assignment took them to French Guiana, where the Burges worked in district development and leadership training until returning to the U.S. in September 2000. They moved to Pelham, Tennessee, pastoring the Chapman's Chapel Church of the Nazarene from 2001 to 2012 before retiring from active ministry.
The Burges returned to Suriname as volunteer missionaries, training and assisting pastors in completing the Course of Study for ordination in the Church of the Nazarene.
A celebration of life will be held at 1 p.m. May 29 at Tourtonnelaan Kerk van de Nazarener in Suriname. A second celebration of life will be held June 12 at the Chapman's Chapel Church of the Nazarene in Pelham, Tennessee.