|S. Burl Dampier was born in Winnsboro, Louisiana on June 20, 1916: He graduated from Sicily Island High School and went on to Louisiana Normal College (Northwestern) in Natchitoches, Louisiana. He married Mary McVey on October 12, 1940. He was shortly thereafter drafted into the Army, serving three years before returning home to Mary and new daughter, Lenora. On the evening of Lenora’s baptism by Burl’ s uncle, Rev. James Strozier, Burl was listening to Rev. Stroz,er play the piano. The tune was “Nail Scarred Hands” by B. B. McKinney. Rev. Strozier looked around and saw Burl with tears in his eyes. “Burl, are you struggling with the call,” he said. “I’ve been fighting it for some time,” said Burl. To which Rev. Strozier said, “Don’t fight it anymore.” He didn’t and started serving the Selma-Lewis Chapel in 1947. Finishing Northwestern with his B.S. in 1951, he went on through the Course of Study School at Perkins of SMU and completed it in 1953. He was ordained Elder in 1954 at First Baptist Church in Monroe where the Annual Conference was held that year and used that church for Ordination. In 1986, he received the Boy Scout Silver Beaver Award in Monroe, Louisiana. Burl and Mary served many churches together for 34 years. After retirement from Kentwood in 1981, he served as visiting pastor at Ponchatoula until 1992.
This past Easter was the last time Burl was able to attend worship in church. It was at Fellowship Church in Bossier City where he had been helping since the move up from Ponchatoula. Rev. Greg Davis, the pastor, assisted him to the door so he could participate in greeting the people as they left worship. The last words at his funeral at the church were, “He was a minister to the day he died.” This was true of Burl as any would confess who knew him.
He is survived by his wife, Mary of Bossier City; two daughters, Lenora Whately and her husband, Larry of Houston, Texas; and Mary Adella Russell and her husband, Don of Atlanta, Georgia; one son, John of Bossier City; six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
The text that sums up his life is “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the Joy of your Master.”
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference 1996, p. 264, By William Peeples & Robert L. Potter|