st Baptist Church is welcoming new Pastor Richard Burson and his wife Josie.
   Pastor Burson attended Criswell Bible College in Dallas, Texas, and the Northwest Center for Golden Gate Seminary in Portland. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, he served as an associate pastor with Rev. Doyle Collins, who was a Madras pastor at First Baptist for many years.
   He subsequently pastored in churches in Astoria, Lakeside, and most recently in Lacey, Wash.
   The Bursons have three grown children and six grandchildren. While Rev. Burson enjoys golfing, his wife enjoys crafts, sewing and being with their grandchildren. She also telecommutes from home doing work for Net One-Scan One computer business in Portland.
   Pastor Burson is interested in doing outreach work in the Madras community.
   "I want to minister to the community. If people are looking for God or answers to their needs, I want them to know they can come here, and that someone cares," he said, noting everyone is invited to weekly fellowship dinners held at 5:30 p.m., on Wednesday nights.
   He said he is also excited about the local ministerial association and the chances he will have to meet more people.
   He is currently developing study programs open to everyone in the areas of marriage enrichment and personal finances. "Programs with practical needs and applications," he said.
   First Baptist Church of Madras is located at 85 NE A Street, and Pastor Burson can be reached at 475-2633.
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