John-Anthony Burchall *Photo supplied
John-Anthony Burchall *Photo supplied

Bermudian John-Anthony Burchall will realize a ministerial milestone on Sunday when he is ordained in the US.

Pastor Burchall, a former Royal Gazette journalist and Public Affairs Officer for the Bermuda Government and nursing orderly at King Edward, will be ordained at New Hope Baptist United Church of Christ in Laurel, Maryland.

He told the Bermuda Sun: “This has been a journey like none other. I would not recommend it to anyone unless you are prepared to manage frustration, failure, rejection and disappointment.

“To follow this path with integrity meant that I refused to lie to committees and councils. 

“I paid a price for the truth. It took me eight long years to reach this place.  I am ready to begin again.”

Pastor Burchall, 43, is currently a full-time hospice chaplain for Montgomery Hospice, Rockville, Maryland.  

He resigned from the civil service in July 2006 and moved with his wife Leondra and three children to the United States where he earned a Master of Divinity Degree in 2009 from Howard University, Washington DC.  

During his ministerial training, Mr Burchall completed 2,000 hours of Clinical Pastoral Education to prepare himself for the vocation of hospice chaplaincy. Before joining Montgomery Hospice in 2011, Pastor Burchall, who also previously worked as a nursing orderly and emergency medical technician at King Edward VII Memorial hospital for 10 years, trained as a hospital chaplain. 

He worked for the Washington Hospital Center, National Rehabilitation Hospital and Georgetown University Hospitals. During the Fall 2009 semester, he served as a visiting lecturer for the Georgetown Medical School where he led tutorials and graded assignments for first year medical students on issues of social, cultural, and religious diversity in healthcare. In addition to his full time pastoral work, Pastor Burchall is a certified Spinning instructor and teaches at Gold’s Gym, Chantilly, Virginia.  

He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Xi Alpha Lambda Chapter, Alexandria, Virginia. 

Black belt

He is a first degree black belt and a brown belt respectively, in the Japanese martial arts of Ju-Jitsu and Judo.

With his ordination, Pastor Burchall will be the minister responsible for Christian Education and pastoral care at New Hope Baptist United Church of Christ.  Later this year he will take the series of chaplaincy board certification exams set by the Association of Professional Chaplains. Pastor Burchall said: “As I look back, I can see how my choices of career in hospital work, journalism, public relations, the Bermuda Regiment and my volunteer work through my fraternity all prepared me for this vocation.  

“At the time, none of it made sense. 

“But as I look back now, I appreciate what I learned and who I have become.

“I look forward to being a voice of compassion in the world wherever I go and with whomever I meet.”