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RESOURCE CENTER AND ARCHIVES

Alabama pastor Burney Enzor celebrates 50-year preaching ministrycomment (0)

January 5, 2006

By Erica Harms


For Pastor Burney Enzor, slowing down a bit at the end of December meant deciding to serve two churches instead of three.
   
Judging by his schedule, it’s hard to tell that Enzor, who recently celebrated 50 years of pastoral service, retired two and a half years ago. He currently serves as part-time pastor for both Pleasant Home Baptist Church, Brantley, in Alabama-Crenshaw Baptist Association and Sardis Baptist Church, Greenville, in Butler Baptist Association.
   
Enzor also served his home church — Northside Baptist Church, Troy, in Salem-Troy Baptist Association — until he stepped down at the end of December to devote more time to the other two. 
   
Up until that time, he preached three sermons every Sunday and two or three sermons each Wednesday.
   
“I haven’t missed one Sunday of preaching since I retired two and a half years ago,” Enzor said. 
   
Balancing a ministry of preaching revivals, speaking at associational meetings and serving as pastor of different churches over the years has not been an easy task for him, but he is confident of his call to the ministry.
   
At the age of 11, Enzor prayed quietly in his bedroom for Jesus to save his soul. Northside Baptist was a mission church at the time, so he was baptized in the swimming pool of what was then the local campus of the Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes & Family Ministries. 
   
Not long after — at age 13 — Enzor knew God was calling him to be a pastor. “It was as real to me as something in physical life. It was an amazing and sure call to preach,” he said.
   
Enzor and a few of his friends used their paper route money to buy radio time, which allowed him to get his feet wet with preaching. He was also preaching in a local prison before he had a license to drive.
   
Enzor was ordained by Northside in 1955, and his career in the ministry led him to the Army National Guard, where he served for 30 years as deputy chief of chaplains. He acheived the rank of brigadier general and received numerous awards honoring his service.
   
Enzor and his wife, Jeanell, went to Puerto Rico for two years at their own expense to recruit chaplains when they saw a need for it. 
   
At the end of that term, the Pentagon called and asked him to be the special assistant to the chief of chaplains for the National Guard.
   
“I just see myself practicing my gifts — teaching, preaching and soul-winning,” he said. “They threw me out of the Guard at age 60 for being too old but I haven’t retired.”
   
Jeanell Enzor, who herself has taught every age from 5-year-olds to senior adults in Vacation Bible Schools and Sunday School classes, felt even as a child that God was preparing her to be a pastor’s wife. She considers herself the behind-the-scenes person that keeps her husband’s ministry going.
   
“I wouldn’t want to do anything else,” she said. “When he had to be away, I was willing to stay home and was convinced God had called me to do just that.”
   
At a point in his ministry when Burney Enzor became discouraged, he strongly considered leaving the pulpit to teach. “I reminded him that I didn’t marry a teacher; I married a preacher,” Jeanell Enzor said. As a result, he remained in the pulpit and has plans to continue to do so for many years to come.
   
Burney Enzor graduated from Troy State University (now Troy University) and then obtained a master of divinity degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He received an honorary doctor of divinity degree in 1978.
   
The Enzors have three children and 12 grandchildren.
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