ruce Mitchell Burris was born on January 4, 1949, in Franklinton, LA. He was raised by his grandmother, Isabel Thompson. He acknowledged Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior and was baptized at an early age at Sweet Rest Church of God and Christ. Immediately following his high school graduation, at the age of 17, Bruce moved to San Antonio, TX, to live with his mother, Bettye Gatlin and step-father Lee Edward Gatlin. He was a proud, loving father to his daughter, LaBrica Burris Stephens, born in 1973, during his marriage to Janet Robinson. On April 12, 1997, he married his wife, Cynthia L. Burris, and on June 12, 2004, to this marriage, they were blessed with a son, Jeffrey A. Burris.
Mr. Burris earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology from Southwest Texas State University, (currently, Texas State University) in San Marcos, TX. He spent approximately 10 years working at Gary Job Corp. It was during this time he realized his calling to make a difference in the lives of young people who were experiencing difficulties in life and challenges coping in society. He started his career at the Bexar County Juvenile Justice Department in November of 1979. Mr. Burris earned numerous awards during his career and became the first African American Juvenile Detention Manager in the state of Texas.
For over 30 years, Mr. Burris was a significant force in the San Antonio community and surrounding areas. He helped young men and women turn away from a life of crime, including involvement in gangs. Mr. Burris had a significant impact on the lives of these young men and women; many went to college or trade school and currently live successful lives as productive members of society.
After 30 years of service with Bexar County, Mr. Burris retired in September 2008. His heart for service compelled him to continue, not only working with young people, but anyone who needed help and guidance. He helped countless families, and their children navigate the justice system when arrested for various crimes. Whatever the crime, no matter how serious, he showed God's love towards these children and their families. When families lacked financial resources, and basic life necessities, he successfully solicited individuals, churches, and community organizations to assist. Minister Bruce Burris was truly a "Servant of Mankind"!!!
Mr. Burris received his calling to the ministry and was ordained by Minister Peter Lawson on June 11, 2010, while serving in the Walking In Pure Victory Ministry. He served as a faithful member of Grant Community AME Christian Center Church for the past 10+ years providing leadership to the Sons of Allen Ministry and the Youth Step Team. Minister Bruce Burris was a powerful presence, knew no strangers and filled the room with laughter everywhere he went; to meet him was to love him. When he met someone for the 1st time, he immediately showed God's love toward that person, sharing God’s word and his testimony of the goodness of God in his life. Minister Burris was a blessing to everyone he met, mentored, or coached. He intentionally lived his life in service to Christ. He left a powerful and enduring legacy because in life, he was keenly aware of his favorite scripture, Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths”.
Minister Burris was preceded in death by his grandmother Isabel Thompson, step-father Lee Edward Gatlin, father Walter Burris, mother Bettye Gatlin, step-mother Elma Louise Burris, brothers Lee Edward Gatlin II, Darryl Brock, Jeffrey Timothy Burris, and sister Lori Ann Burris.
Minister Burris leaves to cherish his memory his loving, devoted wife, Cynthia L. Burris, cherished daughter, LaBrica Burris Stephens (Darnell), and beloved son, Jeffrey A. Burris. Also left to cherish his memory are his siblings Jocelyn Burris (Charles), Stephanie Casuey (Larry), Jeanne Burris (Patrick), LeReta Gatlin-McDavid (Kennith), Lucius Burris (Terica), Christopher Burris (Cerrissa), Sis-in-law Charlene Burris, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
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