Ivan Burnett Jr. received a B.A. degree from Millsaps College (a United Methodist liberal arts college in Mississippi), a Master of Divinity degree from Yale University, and a Doctorate from the School of Theology at Claremont. Licensed to preach while in the 9th grade, he served as a 3-month interim pastor while in the 10th grade and was employed by churches every summer from the time he was 19 until he became 24. He then served pastorates full time in both Mississippi and Arizona. Commissioned as a Navy Chaplain in 1973 and serving on active duty for 26 years, he reached the rank of Navy Captain eight years prior to retiring.
His assignments included duty overseas and as the Senior Chaplain of many Marine Corps and Navy units, not the least of which were on USS MISSISSIPPI (CGN-40) and on an USS RANGER (CV-61), an aircraft carrier. Personal military decorations include the Navy Commendation Medal (two awards), the Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), and the Legion of Merit.
Since retiring in 1999, he has taken courses in therapeutic massage and holistic health, and courses in Spanish, taught marriage enrichment courses, and served on various Annual Conference Boards and Agencies, including the United Methodist camp for personnel with AIDS. From 2004-2008, he served on the Board of Directors of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and on the United Methodist Endorsing Committee (UMEC). From 2010-2014, he served as the UMEA Regional Visitor for West Texas, Arizona, Southern New Mexico, Southern Nevada, and Southern California.
Always a lover of hymns and music, over time he has written various hymns, hymn melodies, and hymn medleys. This year, 2017, he began writing an occasional anthem. His first, “Christ Be with Me,” was sung by the Catalina United Methodist Church (Tucson) and can now be heard on You Tube. His second, based on Psalm 46 and Romans 8 – “God Is Our Refuge and Our Strength” -- is currently published online for a free download by Discipleship Ministries. He and his wife, Joanne, have lived in Tucson, AZ since he retired from the Navy Chaplaincy and the DSW Annual Conference. They are presently moving to Prescott, AZ
They are the proud parents of Dr. Daniel Burnett of Lilburn, GA, and of the Reverend David Burnett of Prescott, AZ, and of four tremendously bright and able grandchildren.
Links to His Music: