Brother Burkette, a native of Jefferson, had had a career in business before receiving the call to the Ministry. He was ordained a Deacon on June 9, 1957 after completing training at Moravian Theological Seminary and was elevated to Presbyter on April 12, 1964. His wife was the former Dorothy Grubbs and the couple had two sons, Wayne who followed him into the Ministry, and Gary. Prior to coming to Calvary he had held pastorates at Clemmons, Bethania, Fries Memorial and had been organizing pastor of the Rolling Hills congregation.
Brother Burkette was installed as pastor on June 3, 1973. During his pastorate the steps and sidewalk which formerly ran from the south entrance of the church to Second Street at a point opposite Poplar, were removed and the granite wall patched so as to present an unbroken wall along the south side of the church lot. A tradition of special music was introduced for Great Sabbath Evening by Doug Kimel, our Choir Director: the Great Sabbath Service of Salem congregation held at Home Church had grown to the point that all who wanted to attend could not be accommodated, so Calvary began its own services, with the Calvary choir performing the “Seven Last Words” cantata by Theodore Dubois accompanied by appropriate musicians and organ. (1)
The band was now under the leadership of N.D. Fordham, Jr., a member of a remarkably musical clan. The “Fordham Family Band” comprising three generations and thirteen members performed at Calvary in June 1976. An earlier article in the Winston-Salem Journal included a photograph of four Fordham family members who between them had played 148 years in the Easter band.
Reverend Harold Wayne Durham was installed as Associate Pastor on April 21, 1974 and remained with us a bit over a year before accepting a call to the pastorate of Christ Church on July 21, 1975.
And an era ended on February 28, 1975 when Bishop Kenneth G. Hamilton was called home at the age of 82. He and his brother Arthur had resided at the Moravian Home since 1973. His life had spanned two world wars, included service on the continent, the Mission Fields and at home, and was crowned by such scholarship as the translation of Volume 11 of the Records of the Moravians and a one volume history of the Moravian Church which expanded and brought forward the earlier work of his father, Bishop J. Taylor Hamilton. During his years as Missionary Pastor of our congregation he and his wife had several children but none survived beyond their infancy. Self effacing, scholarly, charming, tolerant and approachable, to many of us he was the personification of everything our church stands for.
On January 29, 1978 Reverend Burkette left Calvary’s pulpit to become Executive Director of the board of Homeland Missions of the Province. Slightly less than 6 months later he was succeeded by the Reverend Henry E. May, Jr., installed June 4, 1978.
- Incidentally, Brother Kimel during this period conducted Fairview’s choir as well as Calvary’s. Their Sunday service begins at 10:00 and so he was able to leave Fairview when the Minister began his sermon and arrive at Calvary in time for our 11:00 o’clock service.