Jerry Burgess, M.D., 10th & 12th President of the FCM January 1, 1984-December 31, 1987 January 1, 1990-December 31, 1991

Come, then, to our inspiring, educational, sharing week. Come with an expectant, open mind. Come with a sense of dedication to your Lord and Saviour, to learn more about Him, and to share your witness in what he has done with your life and with your talents in Gospel magic. You will not be disappointed.”

Jerry Burgess, M.D. in Presidential Patter column inviting members to attend annual conference. Christian Conjurer, May 1984, Vol. 28, No.5

“Jerry Burgess accepted Christ as Savior at age seven, started doing gospel magic at age 19, and became the tenth FCM President at age 30…Burgess got interested in magic about 1968 and had his first glimpse of Gospel magic when he attended John deVries’s lecture at Abbott’s Get-Together in 1969. He saw Andre’ Kole’s presentation at the University of Kentucky in 1971 and knew immediately how he wanted to use his magical talent…

“Never one to be inactive, Dr. Jerry Burgess did his first Gospel program three months after seeing Andre’ Kole and he continued doing them through medical school, residency, and during his medical practice.”

What a Fellowship, p. 135

“As the executive board of the Fellowship of Christian Magicians, it is my prayer that we not compromise our convictions, but be willing to, at any time, compromise our preferences.”

Jerry Burgess, M.D., opening statement of board meeting on July 8, 1990

“The central thrust of Jerry’s presidency was to take the Fellowship to the members. He was instrumental in appointing Area Representatives and encouraging the start of chapters and Regional Conferences. He made it a point to attend these gatherings and take active part in their outreach…the result was the establishing of about 14 Regional Conferences and many new chapters started, not only in the United States, but throughout the world. The National Convention…experienced a great increase in attendance…”

What a Fellowship, p. 135

Dr. Burgess attended his first FCM Convention at Winona Lake in 1979, did a lecture…and appeared on the late show. In 1981, he presented his regular routine on the Monday evening show and since that time, the Fellowship has been one of the top priorities of his life.

What a Fellowship, p. 135

Photo: Ed Jarvis & Jerry Burgess receiving their 50 Year Membership plaques in 2021. [they were 50 year members in 2020, but were unable to receive recognition since the conference had to be cancelled that year due to Covid-19 restrictions]

Typical of this young doctor…is how he expressed his thanks to his helpers for their part in making the FCM grow. (At my request he listed some of the things for which he felt responsible during his administration.)

“All this was possible because of two factors: 1) This was God’s appointed time for unprecedented growth in the outreach in our organization, and 2) God raised up an incredible group of people through whom to work. I fear that in listing them I shall most certainly omit some very worthy names, but again in no particular order: Len Camp, Eddie Davis, Jean Hendrickson, Paul Everett, Jim Todd, Pete Everett, Steve Varro, Del Wilson, Joe Ponds, Jim Hullinger, Dale & Liz VonSeggen, Bill Baker, Doug & Pam Sterner, Greg Brown, Mick & Shar Palmer, Ralph Hendricks, Joe Schultz, Don & Janet Ensmenger, Hubert Ryan, Bob Utecht, Marge Cook, John Rumple, Jack Alexander, Duane Laflin, and Trey Ireland.

There are two names I have intentionally left off because they deserve more than a special mention. It is my humble and accurate opinion that they, more than anyone else are responsible for the phenomenal success of the organization during these years, and most of what I was credited for accomplishing was actually done by these two marvelous servants of the Lord. I refer, of course, to Betty & Dock Haley…Most of the good ideas we implemented were their ideas, not mine. The only credit that I can take is that of having sense enough to listen to what they said…

Stan Adair quoting a letter from Jerry Burgess, What a Fellowship, pp. 137-138

In 1987, the State of Indiana awarded Dr. Burgess the “Sagamores of the Wabash” award for the work he had done encouraging folks to come to Indiana

2003: Stan Adair, Peter McCahon (FCME), Steve & Barbara Varro, Jerry Burgess, Paul Morley (FCME), Bill Baker, Len Camp
Ed Jarvis, Del Wilson, Jamie Doyle (standing), Jerry Burgess, Steve Varro, Len Camp_2021

Dr. Burgess has been President of the County Medical Society of the Kentucky Medical Association; is a Past President of the Central KY Chapter of IBM; has appeared at the Magic Castle; and appeared on CBS t.v. with Harry Blackstone, Jr. in 1981.

Christian Conjuror, 1983, Vol. 27-Nos 2,3