Greg Burrell retires from FBC Barnesville after 40 years


BARNESVILLE, Ga. — Greg Burrell retired Sunday, June 2, after serving for 40 years as music minister then worship minister at First Baptist Church of Barnesville. He will be honored at services Sunday for his years of dedication to the church and members of his choirs from over the years will perform in his honor.

Greg was born in Atlanta at the old Georgia Baptist Hospital to Richard and Nancy Burrell and grew up in Decatur. He graduated from Columbia High School where he was the drum major in the marching band as a senior. He sang for one year in the Atlanta Boys Choir. He graduated from Georgia State University with a degree in music education and spent time playing trombone in the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra.

He then attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and graduated in 1982 with a master’s degree in church music.

After a brief stint at Domino’s Pizza and a necessary surgery, he interviewed at FBC and was hired on June 1, 1984.

In August 1987, he married Mary Beth Ellis, daughter of Lib and Theldon Ellis and, in 1989, the young couple moved into the Ellis home on Memorial Drive where they still live.

Greg has been involved in numerous choirs, praise teams and community vocal efforts. During his time at FBC, he has worked with pastors I.W. Bowen, Garth Forster and Jason Teal.

He has worked with a string of accompanying pianists and organists including Carson Selph, Pat Thompson, Lynn Williamson, Grace Scholl, Monte Bell, Dr. Terri Wilson, Ashley Hawkins, Cathy Willis, Nick Easterling and Eunice Kuiper.

Greg is proud of his accomplishments at FBC and his family and he and Mary Beth plan to spend more time with their children Amanda, Libby and Ben and their four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Of his family at FBC, Greg said, “We really don’t have conflict in this church. We have sincere Christian people who just want to do what is right. Ours is an amazingly sweet church filled with an amazing family of Christians.”

He also loves his hometown of 40 years.

“Barnesville is a nice, laid-back place to raise a family. It is a good place to be able to get up in the morning, take a walk and enjoy an easy drive to work. Its easy to get to places and very peaceful. Having grown up in Atlanta, I appreciate the quality of life we have here in Barnesville,” he said.

In retirement, he plans to spend time with his aging parents, hone his guitar skills and start playing trombone again. He also has reading to catch up on and wants to delve into classical music, vegetable gardening and work harder at training his ‘overly-enthusiastic’ Golden Retriever. He also intends to stay plugged in with his church, assist where he can and help with mission trips.


This story first appeared in The Barnesville Herald-Gazette.