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Meet Our Pastor

Leonard Burgest Sr.,


Reverend Burgest was born on March 10, 1976 in Statesboro, Georgia. After
graduating from Screven County High in 1994, he joined the U.S. Air Force, where
he served his country for four years. After being honorably discharged from the
military in 1998, Pastor Burgest began attending college at Georgia Southern
University until he decided to accept a job offer from Dassault Falcon Jet in Little
Rock, Arkansas in February of 2000.
Later that year pastor Burgest united with the Greater New Freedom Missionary
Baptist Church under the leadership of Rev. H.L. Fairchild Sr.. In 2001, he accepted
his call into the ministry and on April 29 th , he preached his first sermon and he was
ordained three years later. With the recommendation from his pastor to attend
college, pastor Burgest received a Bachelor of Arts in Theology from Arkansas
Baptist College in 2007. He received a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from
Liberty Theological Seminary in 2010. He then continued pursuing his education by
obtaining a Master of Divinity in 2015 and he now holds a Doctor of Ministry from
Liberty Theological Seminary that was conferred in May of 2022.
After faithfully serving in the capacity of Assistant to the Pastor at Greater New
Freedom MBC for 13 years, pastor Burgest humbly accepted God’s assignment for
him to pastor Paradise Baptist Church in December of 2013. He preached his initial
sermon as our pastor on January 1, 2014.
For the past 9 years, under the leadership of pastor Burgest, Paradise Baptist
Church has seen spiritual, numerical, and financial growth occur in the church in
various ways. And we are continuing to trust God while looking forward to more
growth in the future in our partnership together.
Pastor Burgest’s God-Given vision for Paradise is for us to “Be A Church Where
Ministry Matters.”  He believes that through prayer and being faithful in what you
believe while being in-line with God’s Will that this vision will become a reality. His
motto for us is…. “Start where you are, use what you have, and do what you
can”, because in doing this God will be glorified.
Pastor Burgest met his wife Angela LaFay Burgest over 22 years ago. They were
employed together, they worshipped as she invited him to her church, and they
ultimately united together in the holy bonds of marriage. And for the past 20 years,
God has been blessing their union and they have three beautiful children; Leonard
Burgest Jr., Celeste Nicole Burgest, and Jayden Lamont Burgest.
Pastor Burgest is a member of the Greater Little Rock Baptist Pastor’s and Ministers
Conference. He was awarded the Minister of the Year award in 2005 and was
awarded the Pastor of the Year Award in 2019. He is currently serving as the Vice



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