Throughout 32 years as a pastor, the Rev. Adam Burton lived a life of service.
Burton served his faithful parishioners as the leader of St. Mark Baptist Church in Omaha. His wife, Dorothy, said that after his funeral Saturday, she found out he often traveled around the community, meeting with people and letting them know he was available if they needed him.
“I guess I didn’t realize how the community felt about him until the funeral, but he will surely be missed,” Dorothy said. “He left such peace here.”
Burton died Jan. 26 of multiple myeloma, cancer of the plasma cells. He was 64.
Dorothy said Burton was called by the Lord to serve at age 13. He turned away from it at first, but a year later, he accepted the call.
He served those he met in the military. His love of service would lead him to be a pastor for the Air Force at Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier City, Louisiana. There, Burton met about 20 men who did not share his beliefs, Dorothy said. But Burton did what he was best at: He connected with them.
“They weren’t believers, but today, some of them are pastors, some school superintendents and some deacons because of his leadership and his life,” Dorothy said.
He also served his wife. Burton and Dorothy met in Hermandale, Missouri, and married in 1970. She was Burton’s co-captain on their many cruises, a yearly tradition they started in 1991. The two sailed to Trinidad and Tobago, St. Lucia, Jamaica, the Bahamas, Grenada, St. Kitts, Aruba and many other countries. Dorothy said Burton got up each morning, the sea still dark, and waited for the sunrise to warm his face.
After his many years of service, Burton’s community gave back. A handful of heart-shaped balloons and a picture of a rose were left outside his church at 36th Avenue and Spaulding Street to honor its decades-long leader. It was a gesture Dorothy knew spoke to his impact.
“I just feel like I can go forward because of the peace he left here,” she said. “He’s still here, watching over us. I can go forward because of the legacy he left behind.”
Burton is survived by sons Larry Smith and Brandyn Burton and daughters Brooke Burton and Brianna Turner. The funeral service was Saturday at Morning Star Baptist Church.