Rev. Dr. Vanessee J. Burns was appointed pastor of Christian Chapel Temple of Faith (CCTOF) in Dallas, TX in August 2014 by Senior Bishop Lawrence Reddick III.
She received her primary education in the public schools of Thomasville, Georgia; her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia; her Master of Divinity from the Phillips School of Theology at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia; and Doctor of Ministry from Hood Theological Seminary in Salisbury, North Carolina; the title of her Doctoral Project was Building an Effective Pastoral Leadership Team in the CME Church: Restoring the Voice of the Silent.
She is a certified Clinical Counselor; her clinical training includes a year’s residency with the Georgia Department of Corrections; one year at the VA Hospital, Atlanta, Georgia; and one year with the South Carolina Department of Mental Health, Anderson, South Carolina.
Pastor Burns is an ordained elder in full connection with the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church and has served in the clinical and pastoral ministry for over twenty-seven years. She has pastored in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida and now presently in Dallas, TX. She has also worked several years as a full-time Chaplain in the Maximum Security Male Prisons within the South Carolina Department of Corrections. She currently serves as a World Methodist Council Delegate.
Within the CME Church she has served in many capacities. She has served as the Dean of the ITC Continuing Education Certificate Program; District and Regional Chair of the Committee on Ministerial Examination; Editor of an Episcopal District Newsletter, Member of the Board of Trustees for the Phillips School of Theology at the Interdenominational Theological Center, Atlanta Georgia and the Board of Personnel Services of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. She has also served as a Delegate to the last four General Conferences.
She has been and is active within the community. In Charlotte, North Carolina, she was appointed by the mayor as a member of the Citizen’s Review Board wherein she was also elected as the chairperson. The Citizens Review Board received and reviewed complaints made by the citizens of Charlotte against the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and forwarded their decisions to the Chief of Police. In Orlando she served as a member of The Mayors’ Clergy Liaison, The Orlando Health Community Council on Spirituality and Healing, and the African-American Council of Christian Clergy. In Dallas, she is a member of the Dallas Area Interfaith, a former chair of the Texas Poor Peoples’ Campaign, founding member of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women-Dallas Chapter and an active member of Kappa Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
She has a desire to see God’s love spread both home and abroad. In this, she has led several mission teams to Jamaica, Haiti, and Nigeria. In these projects they have distributed food, clothing, toiletries and school supplies as well as repaired buildings and in 2009 built a school named the Carter Tabernacle CME School of Nsit Atai, Nigeria.
Dr. Burns has authored two books, 30 Days of Meditation, a thought provoking yet spiritual guide through life lessons coupled with meditative prayers and scriptures, and Let’s Talk About Tongues, a book where she invites us to explore the controversial and often misunderstood topic of Speaking in Tongues.
She believes in empowering communities and people, making a difference one person at a time. Her love and passion is teaching the good news of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ through which 54 persons have answered the call to ministry and hundreds of souls have come to Christ. Her belief is that true teaching is done by both precept and example and her hope is that whenever a person encounters her that they might know that God loves them and desires that none of us should perish.