Message Tab

Son's death spreads the gospel message


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP) — The impact of 2-year-old Bronner Burgess’ death is already being felt throughout the nation.

“ ... [T]he biggest injustice you can do our family, ... our Savior, ... [and] our baby, is ... be apathetic, weak, ineffective believers of Christ,” Bronner’s father, Rick Burgess, of the talk radio duo “Rick and Bubba,” said at Shades Mountain Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala. Jan 22.

Bronner died Jan. 19 when he fell into a swimming pool at his family’s home. Burgess was speaking at a Christian conference in Tennessee when he got “the most horrible news a father could ever receive.”

Rick Burgess

“The minute this happened, I knew what God wanted me to do,” Burgess recounted to about 4,000 people at the service. “I don’t say that because of any pride in my flesh. I’m saying that because I walk with Him, I pray with Him, I talk to Him, and when I tell Him I would be ready and then He says, ‘Are you ready?’ I didn’t want to say, ‘Well, no. I’m caught off guard by this.’ He wasn’t wringing His hands about it, and I wasn’t either.”

Burgess is a member of Shades Mountain, and his co-host, Bill Bussey, is a member of The Church at Brook Hills, both Southern Baptist congregations in Birmingham, where the “Rick and Bubba Show” is based at WZZK. Some of Burgess’ remarks were broadcast Jan. 23 on the show, which airs on more than 40 stations.

Burgess presented the gospel often during the service, answering questions such as, “Why would this happen?” and “I thought God loved us.”

“Well, let me clear that up real quick for all of you,” Burgess said.

“ ... [W]e have the gulf of sin between us [and God] – and He said, ‘They can’t come to Me. I’ve got to go to them.’

“The reason why I’ve already had a time of weeping and there’s more to come is because the human side of Him also wept when loved ones died,” Burgess said. “He also wept when He saw people He loved choosing Satan over Him. And He took on that flesh and He ... died on that cross for you and me – and this is the part some of you need to get – when He didn’t have to.

“... So can y’all give me a break on ‘I thought God loved us’? I think He’s on record for how much He loves you and how much He loves me,” Burgess said. “So don’t you ever take this situation and say, ‘I thought God loved Rick and Sherri and this family.’ He did love me.”

Burgess cited a study in which 90 percent of believers said they had never shared the gospel with anyone, and he pleaded for that to change.

“I want the death of our child to energize all believers to get about the business of preaching the gospel,” he said.

Rick and Sherri Burgess have four other children, Brandi, Blake, Brooks, and Brody.