Sis. Angie Burks
Sis. Angie Burks is a mighty woman of God. She lives in the great state of Mississippi. She and her husband, Lonoia, have three children Richard, Lisa, and Angela. Her husband was raised Pentecostal but wasn’t in church when they met at the skating rink. She said they were big dancers and loved going to dance halls. She lived for Friday and Saturday night until she found Jesus. They were married in 1961. They moved to Jackson, where they attended a Methodist church for a while. That was until her husband decided to try a Pentecostal church near them. When they moved back home, Sis. Burks tagged along with her Mother-in-Law to a big camp meeting. She ran to the altar that night, and she said they told her she prayed for four hours. It wasn’t until a revival at her church that she received the gift of the Holy Ghost. She evangelized for four years. While working at a factory, God spoke to her that she and her husband would be the pastors of Mars Hill Pentecostal Church. It scared her to death. They were voted in as pastors soon after in 1970. They pastored Mars Hills for 44 years. I am confident that her words will challenge you and encourage you.
What is a piece of advice that has affected your life?
I went to my state presbyter, Rev. J W Johnson, when I had been hurt by a minister. He stood and listened quietly to my complaint then put his arm around me and said these words, “Sis. Burks, sometimes the real Christian has to take the humble side.” I have always tried to live by that. He was very humble man.
What is a great piece of advice you were given as a mother?
A great piece of advice I was given as a mother was to always put God first in every decision. My dear friend, Sis. Roark told me that.
Is there a boundary in your life that is non-negotiable?
I never let Satan lie to me. When he begins to put things in my mind, I just go to the door and tell him to get out. I order him out of my mind. He will always try to pull us down. But I refuse to let him have any power in my mind. I evangelized for fours years and then we started pastoring our church. Of course, the devil really started working on me. I was new, and I was having to learn to fight the devil. One of my preacher friends was preaching about the lies that Satan puts in our mind. He said, “I just go to the door and order him out.” So, I started doing that too.
What scripture have you stood on in your life or has meant the most to you?
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
I was raised in the Methodist church and I was very faithful to the youth there. Then I got the Holy Ghost after my husband and I married. When that scripture came to me, I realized that God is the word and always will be the word. You cannot change that. You have to have the word to have God.
Where do you pray? What are your study habits?
I pray wherever the lord directs me. Sometimes that is washing dishes, sometimes it is when I am just walking. However, most of the time it is when I am studying in my bedroom at 4 in the morning before I start my day at 5. Of course, there are always things which cause me to pray more or at a different time, but the majority of it happens at 4 am. I used to have a pine tree down behind the house where I would go and do a lot of praying. But they cut it up. Everyday around 1 o’clock I try to read my bible. Our church is currently reading the through the Bible together. That is usually when I study but if God is directing me on a message, I study it mostly at night after everyone is gone to bed. If the Lord is really dealing with me, I get alone at any point in the day and study what He is laying on my heart. I do a lot of Bible reading on my iPad because I can read it better. If I use my Bible, I have a flashlight that helps me see. If I need to run references, I use my Bible and flashlight because I haven’t learned how to run them on my iPad yet. Sometimes I use devotionals, but I mainly stick to what God is laying on my heart.
What do you think makes a strong woman, and is there a woman who embodies that quality to you?
A strong woman is a woman who walks in the word daily. Sis. Lily Roark was a strong woman in my life. She started preaching when she was 13 years old. She held revivals all over the place. They pastored a church neighboring where we live now. Of course, they had been pastoring a long time when we started preaching. I preached three revivals for them when they were at McClain’s Chapel. Then they started the church where my son is pastoring now. Sis. Lily and I started the ladies retreat here in Mississippi. She was my mentor and taught me a lot about strength. The only way to be a strong woman is to be close to God. The closer you get to God, the stronger you become. The only way to be strong is to be strong in Him.
Do you make free time for yourself? If you have free time what do you do?
I try to rest about 30 minutes every day, if I can. When I get my husband in my recliner for his nap, I try to take one myself but sometimes it doesn’t work that way. I watch some of my great grandchildren, so I don’t have a lot of free time. I have seven grandchildren (who are all grown) and nine great grandchildren with one on the way.
Besides Christianity and marriage, what was the best decision you ever made?
The best decision I ever made was to answer the call of God and obey his leading in my life.
After I received the Holy Ghost and answered the call to preach, I started evangelizing. I realize now that I didn’t know very much. But the anointing breaks every yoke. I was very young and really didn’t know what I was doing. I just knew the Lord told me to do it. The Lord spoke a scripture to me, and I went straight to my Bible and found it. The scripture was Matthew 10:16, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” I realized that the scripture was directing someone to answer the call. Then I had a dream about the scripture. I dreamed the wolves were after me and I barely escaped under a fence. I knew what the Lord was directing me to. I always thought I would be missionary when I was in the Methodist church. When I married, I realized my husband and I would have the same calling. I answered the call before he did, but I believe he had the call before I did but didn’t answer it. I always knew that I had to do something for God, even in the Methodist church. I couldn’t go to church and hear a preacher preach without feeling a call on my life. Bro. Dillard asked me to come preach my first revival and from then on, I traveled all over to preach. Every time I got up to preach, I would think I had just preached all I knew, but I would just keep preaching.
Was there a season in your life that contributed to your strength?
For about four years of my life, I evangelized and went everywhere preaching revivals. It was very hard on the body but great for the soul. During that time, I really learned to completely rely on God. Relying on God makes a strong woman. I remember coming in from a three-week revival for James Lowry in Butler Church. It was a sixty-mile drive from my house. My mother-in-law made the trip with me since my husband was working. I came home from church every night and couldn’t go to sleep until I knew that I had touched God. I would study until I had something from God for the next night. That lasted for three weeks. I didn’t have sense enough to know I didn’t know a lot, I just got up and preached. I remember being so tired after coming in one night, but the Lord was moving on me mightily. I prayed, “Lord I just don’t know. You have to direct me. I’ve preached everything I know.” He said, “Tell my people to pray past that point”. He began to deal with me on the point. People would pray until a certain point and then go back to their seat. All He gave me was one scripture. I got up to preach with that one scripture and preached stuff I didn’t know. The Lord just anointed me. That’s how you learn to rely on God. I never did think that I knew enough to preach on my own.
Strong women are women of God. It takes God to make a woman strong. You must keep a daily walk with God to be strong. Stay in the word; if you stay in the word, you stay with God. You can’t walk with God without the word, because He is the word.
My interview with Sis. Burks was nothing short of interesting. I laughed a lot and said amen even more (maybe because I was bring preached to.) She is a very humble woman who has a huge heart for serving the Lord, and that was evident in our conversation. The part that had me so tickled was during the question concerning her prayer and study habits. Obviously, you just read about how she enjoyed praying at a fallen pine tree in her backyard. Of course, being the scaredy cat that I am I asked her, “What about snakes?” To which she replied, “Well, you just have to pray around them.” Um, no thanks. I understand that the Bible tells us that we have the power to tread on serpents, but I think I’d just have to find a new place to pray. After she told me that, I knew she was really a strong woman. One reoccurring topic throughout this interview was the necessity of the word of God. Sis. Burks tells us that a strong woman is a woman who walks in the word daily. She says you can’t walk with God without the word because He is the word. I appreciate books, devotionals, and podcasts, but never forget those are additional study tools. There is no substitute for the word of God.
The hunger Sis. Burks has for the Lord is evident throughout this interview. It’s not only evident, but it’s also inspiring. She spent four hours at an altar during a camp meeting service. When she preached a three-week revival, she would stay up every night after returning home until she heard from God for the next night. It is my prayer that each of us would develop a hunger for God that consumes us like it has Sis. Burks. May we learn to pray past the point.