Rebecca Burtram




I called him Big John, somewhat because his son is Big Tom, but mostly because he was a big man.

John joined us before we were officially a church. He drove over an hour to our equip services, to our launch, and, eventually, our regular Sunday services. He showed up, and he showed up big.

If we needed help moving equipment or setting up signs, John jumped in. He greeted the team and our guests with warm smiles and a genuine interest in each person. He listened, he talked, and he cared. He held babies, he planted flowers, he gave money, and he prayed.

On more than one occasion he pulled Jon or me aside to tell us how much he appreciated us and prayed for us. I never doubted for a second that he was there to support us and the church.

No matter how much he had already given, he seemed to find a way to give more of himself. He was our giant.

Even in his passing, he taught us all to pray really big prayers and to hold on with really big faith. He believed for the miraculous until he left us to live a life of complete healing.

So, today, we celebrate his life, and we lay him to rest. Today we say, “Goodbye.”

In some tomorrow, we will say, “Good to see you again,” because I’m pretty sure Redemption Church’s biggest greeter will be on the Welcome Team.





By Rebecca Burtram

I am a woman in my mid thirties figuring out how to balance an intense need for perfection with the reality of my own imperfections. The answer I am finding is grace.....and plenty of it.
As a mother of three, a teacher, a church planter, and a runner, I have many opportunities to practice giving myself and others the grace I need to survive.

Grace and Imperfection:

The River Walk (Guest Author on Fridays):


  1. A heart touching eulogy for a friend and one of God’s humble servants. His memory will continue to be with you and inspire your church family as he is thought of. Prayers for his family, knowing how much they surely loved him! Thank you for sharing your walk of faith!

  2. It’s hard to say goodbye to a faithful and true church member. Thank God for the Blessed Hope! AnnaLee Conti

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