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Sad news, inspiring testimony…

Rick Burgess at work in the studioRick Burgess is one half of the popular morning radio team “Rick & Bubba”.  They are based in Birmingham, Alabama and syndicated to about 50 radio stations – mainly in the southeast, but also as far away as Wisconsin, Maine and Missouri.  Rick and his partner, Bill “Bubba” Bussey are dedicated followers of Christ, and often speak about their faith on the show.

On Saturday, January 19, 2008, the youngest of Rick’s children – 2 year old Bronner, was drowned in the family’s swimming pool in a tragic accident.  Rick was speaking at a Christian youth conference in Pigeon Forge when he got the news and flew home to be with his family.

Times of tragedy often reveal what we are truly made of.  Rick Burgess’ faith and devotion to God throughout this terrible time are sobering, challenging and inspirational.

I submit for your viewing a 3 part video of the message Rick gave at Bronner’s memorial service on Tuesday, January 22nd.  I believe that whether you knew of Rick Burgess or not, or what you thought of him if you did, you will be blessed.




Here also is a portion of a blog comment by sportswriter and talk radio host Jim Dunaway, on his thoughts after attending Bronner Burgess’ memorial service: 

I have spent 22 years in broadcasting and 44 years on earth, and I saw the most amazing thing I have ever seen Tuesday.

Standing graveside at a private ceremony, my wife and I saw a family bury their 2 year old son Bronner.  A few hours later, we sat with friends in a special section as a sanctuary filled with hundreds of people.  I saw a Church choir fill to capacity, every one of them having taken the day off from work. I sang, and I cried, I wrapped my arms around my wife as if someone was trying to steal her away.  Then one of the most powerful Christian Rock groups walked on stage and continued to worship.  All of this was powerful, but the amazing part was still to come.

I saw a man who I had watched bury his son at 11am, stand and deliver a message.  It wasn’t a message of sorrow.  It wasn’t filled with tears.  It was a message of salvation.  It wasn’t just about the salvation of his son, but a message for all of us.  People came to know our Lord Jesus Christ for the first time.  Others, like my wife and I, recommitted our lives to Serving and walking with our Lord Jesus Christ.

If you listen to the show, you know I am a very emotional person.  When I heard the news of Bronner’s drowning Saturday night, I cried.  I cried off and on Sunday and Monday and up to that amazing moment Tuesday shortly after two.  Then the tears went away.  I had never been that close to the Face of God before.  He was in that place like I have never witnessed.

I witnessed the power of God fill a man who was broken by the death of his baby.  I saw that power fill his legs and lift him on stage and then fill his lungs and allow him to share a message that lasted 20 minutes but it seemed to be timeless.  I promise you I could have listened forever.  Again, I am sure it was God speaking through Rick Burgess’ mouth.  I was awestruck.

When my wife and I entered the private dinner after the memorial service, I just wanted to say goodbye and do the usual, “We’ll be praying for you” message… but not on this day.  Maggie and I walked up to Rick and Sherri, we hugged, we exchanged a few words, and then Rick and Sherri wrapped their arms around Maggie and me and prayed specifically for our family and our salvation.  Notice the wording there, Rick and Sherri wrapped their arms around  us… that is not a misprint.  4 hours earlier, they had buried their son and they were wrapping their arms around us.  God is Great.

It was an AMAZING DAY.

I am only a fan who has had a handful of chances to call in to Rick and Bubba’s radio show, and I once got a response from Rick to an email I had sent the show that was two words, “Funny stuff.”  But Rick Burgess is also my brother in Christ and watching how he and his family have leaned on the Lord and lifted up Jesus has been so moving, and caused significant time of prayer and reflection in and for my own life. 

This simple blog entry is my way tosay to Rick and his family, “Thank you and we are praying for you.”


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