Thomas Edward Burns was the second child of seven born on January 3, 1949 in San Diego, CA, to Milton and Ruby Burns. He accepted Christ as his personal Savior at an early age and was baptized at Pilgrim Progressive Baptist Church during the organizing years by Rev. Marvin C. Hines.
Thomas received his education in the San Diego Unified School District attending Stockton and Logan Elementary Schools, Memorial Junior High and graduating from Lincoln High School.
After graduation, Thomas joined the United States Marine Corps. He served in the Vietnam War, receiving the Good Conduct Medal and Expert rifle. At the end of his tour of duty, he came back to San Diego and worked at North Island as an accountant.
Thomas married Deborah Jones and to this union the love of his life GaNeane was born, his daughter, his love, his “boss”.
Rev. Burns accepted his calling to the ministry. He was studious in the word of God. He was licensed June 24, 2002 and ordained July 10, 2002 at the Southwest District. Thomas was the Sunday school teacher of Class 6 and Class 8. He taught with compassion and imagination, his true love was evangelism. Organizing and heading the Evangelism Team, taking the group out into the community to reach the lost, and aid the homeless with encouragement and material needs. Evangelism was his true passion.
Thomas’ favorite scripture was Ephesians 2:1-10. His God was rich in mercy and Thomas was proud to be God’s workmanship. He saw a new heaven and a new earth on March 6, 2020.
Thomas was preceded in death by his grandmother Fairy O’Neal; father Milton Burns, Sr.; brother Melvin; sister Christine and brother Milton, Jr.; and nephew Ronnie Wilson. He leaves his mother Sis. Ruby Gladney; daughter GaNeane Lewis; granddaughters Jasmine Perez (Frankie) and Kaelyn Brown; brothers Rev. Edmond Perkins (wife Susan), and Ronnie Wilson (wife Denise); sister Connie Whitley (Boo Boo); nieces, nephews, cousins, godchildren, special friends Betty Davis, Dora Gayden, Ruby McGowan, Jeanette “Red Carter”, Velma Thomas, William Slater, and special friend and caregiver Mary Smith.
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