Evangelist Dorinda Burgest, wife, mother, daughter, sister, grandmomma, great grandmomma, friend and faithful soldier, transitioned from this life, after waging countless courageous battles, in the early dawn hours of January 13, 2021. While holding her daughter Karen's hand as they slept side by side, she transitioned peacefully, exactly 25 years to the day that she laid her husband to rest. She lived a life full of faith, family and service.
Ran (Daughter, Sister, Aunt): Dorinda Stroughn Burgest was born on November 28, 1942, in Summit, NJ, to her late parents, Herman Elliot Stroughn Jr. and Dorinda Macon Stroughn Webb. She was raised along with 7 siblings, living most of her formative years in New Jersey. The family moved to the Bronx borough of New York during Ran’s late teen years. As one of the oldest, Ran became the second mother to her siblings. She learned early on how to serve others, as she cooked and cared for her siblings with special attention given to her brother Herman, who has Cerebral Palsy. Even though she shouldered a great deal of responsibility early on in life, it proved valuable later in life. In the summers after she was married and no longer living in New York, Ran and her husband hosted their nieces and nephews. At the beginning of each visit, Aunt Ran, a strict disciplinarian, would state the expectations and all would follow. In adulthood, those nieces and nephews reminisce with fondness of their time in the country. Ran left a footprint that time cannot erase.
Honey (Wife), Mommy and Grandmomma: Honey met the love of her life, Al Maceo Burgest, on a rainy day at the bus stop on the corner of Fordham Road. In his blue Chevy convertible, he offered her a ride. Although she declined his offer for that ride, they soon began to take rides, but with a chaperone, Robert. They were joined in marriage on September 11, 1964. To this union were birthed their daughters, Marsha and Karen, and blessed with a son, Howard. They began their life in New York City, ensuring their children were exposed to all the culture the city had to offer, from museums, to Broadway, to season tickets to the Garden. Then her husband, wanting to protect his family from the perils of the city, decided he wanted to relocate to the country. The family moved to Hartly, DE in the summer of 1975, and began a country life, complete with a 125-acre working farm. Shortly after moving, they became members of St. John’s Holy Church at the recommendation of their neighbor, Ms. Margaret. Although her husband acclimated his family to country life, Honey struggled with the transition. Although she often traveled back and forth to New York on the weekends and holidays, she greatly appreciated the financial freedom Delaware afforded them. Mommy encouraged her children to enjoy whatever station they were in life, so her children had swimming lessons, music, camping, clubs and sports. For each activity her children were in, she found a role to assist, such as being PTA president. From childhood to adulthood, Mommy was their number one supporter
Evang. Burgest (Faithful Soldier): Her words, “do you think I’ll make a soldier?” always reaffirmed her commitment to be a good soldier regardless of sickness, trials and tribulations. Evang. Burgest’s committed life to Christ and leadership enabled her to undergird St. John’s ministry down through the years. Under her first pastor the late Elder Hazel A. Williams, she received the Holy Ghost, preached her trial sermon, received her Ministerial License, and served as the Church Secretary. Upon the passing of Elder Williams, Elder James O. Combs was appointed pastor. Under his leadership, Evang. Burgest continued many of her roles, often preaching spur of the moment on Sunday morning and leading bible study on Wednesday. She was never daunted by the task because she was anointed to preach and studied the word of God continuously.
Evang. Burgest was a true missionary. She rendered care and provided various forms of support to the mothers of St. John’s Holy Church. These mothers, the late Mother Margaret Stevens Adams, Mother Bell Gibbs, and her dear friend, Mother Jane Watson, taught her the meaning of being a missionary. Evang. Burgest was a member of the Helping Hand Missionary Society, a group of Methodist, Baptist and Holiness churches who worked to serve others. This group visited the sick, bought food, and supplied money to those less fortunate. For many years, Deacon Authur John Hackett often served as the chauffer on many visits.
She continued to serve faithfully under her current pastor Elder Ronald Morris despite her illness. She presided every 1st Sunday for the Sacred Communion Service. When COVID-19 suspended our gatherings, she participated in the weekly services on Wednesday’s and Saturday’s conducted via phone. Evang. Burgest was also a faithful giver and tither. She supported every church drive, many times being one of the first to respond to every financial request. It was her desire for the church to complete paving of the church yard, which she always mentioned during business meeting or whenever upcoming projects were mentioned. She would often say “If it wasn’t for God, I’d have nothing to give”.
As much as she loved her local St. John’s family, Evang. Burgest also loved her extended Mt. Sinai Holy Church of America (MSHCA) family. She looked forward to Holy Convocation, District Conventions, Baptism on the Farm, and State Workers Meeting. She was a prayer warrior; she had Saturday morning prayer calls with different Mt. Sinai family members with people calling her just for prayer. She was known for ending phone calls with prayer.
Her favorite scripture was Jeremiah 12:5 KJV “If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses?” This scripture sums up her journey. Well done thy good and faithful servant.
Evang. Burgest is preceded in death by her husband, Al Maceo Burgest; parents, Herman Elliot, Jr. and Dorinda Macon Stroughn Webb; 3 brothers, Robert Webb, John Alfred, and Leonard Ray, 3 sisters: Margaret Ann, Cherry Ann, and Cheryl-Niketa Stroughn; and 2 nieces: Jacqeulin Michelle (Jackie) and Latanya Tamar Stroughn.
The mantle has been passed to fulfill the posterity plan exemplified by the Burgest, Stroughn and Webb families as follows: children, Marsha , aka “Bird” (Vincent), Karen aka “better than 7 sons”, and Howard aka “Howie/Tony” (Leslie); two brothers, Herman and Reginal (Wanna); Rahiim (her after Thanksgiving midnight shopping partner), Tameeka aka “Meeka her Heart”; seven grandchildren; great-grandchildren; and a host of nieces and nephews to walkout the legacy, as well as, there are three close friends, Mother Ernestine White, Sis. Evelyn Ruffin and Elder Carol Smith-Wilmore; a dutiful neighbor, Ms. Irene, who always made sure she had something to eat; Mr. Ethan who manicured the lawn and kept an eye out for her; and a neighbor “Uncle Bill,” who came whenever called.