David Burge has been Editor of From Death to Life for around 6 years, but he has been President of the Conditional Immortality Association of NZ for much longer still, since at least 1997. This in itself tells us a lot about David. He was a genuine leader, a gifted, enterprising, focused and humble person who could be relied upon to make the most of his own gifts and to take others with him. David was not afraid of responsibility, but rose to every opportunity granted him to serve His Lord and Saviour. He was inspirational, a man of courage and vision, who earned the complete confidence of all who knew him. Patient and tenacious, David was a man of wholehearted faith, who carried heavy burdens lightly, and displayed unfailing, cheerful good will towards all.
David was a hard worker, passionately committed to the cause of Jesus Christ. I was often amazed at how much David took on and handled so effectively, pastoring at both Takanini and Christian LIFE, as well as preaching and leading Bible studies at Hamilton, Thames, and sometimes further afield, lecturing in the Philippines, leading CIANZ, and all the time caring admirably for a growing family. David also served with Christian Fellowship for the Disabled and in other connections of which I had no knowledge at all until his funeral. “Never flag in zeal,” wrote the Apostle Paul, who praised people for hard work more often than for any other reason. Paul would undoubtedly have warmly commended David Burge.
As President of CIANZ, David was no mere figurehead. In addition to both editing our magazine and writing many high quality articles for it, as well as chairing meetings with grace and warmth, David also oversaw a number of very significant developments for our movement. During his time, we were blessed with visits by several high quality overseas speakers. He managed complex matters to do with the transference of several church properties to the Baptist Union with unfailing skill, integrity, patience and generosity of spirit. He also led us into making far more effective use of the internet, casting an adventurous global vision for our work. And, of course, he maintained very positive links between us and the Advent Christian Church of America.
We mourn David’s passing: he will be sorely missed. Yet we celebrate his life. David will be remembered with great affection and esteem, for he has lived with exemplary and uncommon wisdom, truly making the most of the time allotted to him. It is perhaps an unfortunate a cliché, and yet in David’s case it is true: he has lived life to the full. As those who hold resurrection faith, we know, with the Apostle Paul, that David’s labour has not been in vain and that he will share fully in the glory of Jesus Christ. Well done, good and faithful servant. Thanks be to God.