MEET THE PASTORS
About Pastor Pete
My real name is Roland Burt. My dad called me Pete, and it has stuck with me. To some I am known as Pastor Burt, but many call me Pastor Pete. I grew up on a farm in Southeastern Minnesota. When I was 17, a farm tractor tipped over pinning me underneath. I was taken to the Mayo Clinic Hospital (St.Mary’s) in Rochester. I was broken up pretty bad, and they questioned if I would live.
It is a blessing to have had a mother who believed in God and prayer. She called The Oral Robert’s Prayer Tower in Tulsa, Oklahoma and asked them to pray for me. It was answered prayer. When the surgeons opened me up, they could find nothing majorly wrong. I had broken ribs, a punctured lung, and other external injuries, but healing had entered my body, and every day I was better.
In 1997, my wife, LeeAnn, and I moved to Oklahoma and attended Brother Kenneth E. Hagin’s Rhema Bible Training Center. We loved going to school at Rhema. Brother Hagin taught The Word of Faith. I fondly think of him as Dad Hagin. We learned much about faith, the power of God, and, of course, the healing Power of Jesus.
Grace and Faith
During my time at Rhema I would go to school every morning and work in the afternoon. There was a radio playing at work, and I would listen to a man by the name of Andrew Wommack. He taught on the Grace of God. To me Grace and Faith just seemed to belong together.
When we graduated from Rhema, we moved back to Minnesota and started “Lighthouse Church” in Rochester. I was ordained through Brother Hagin and Rhema Bible Church. I also was ordained by Rev. Jim Kasemen and Associated Faith Churches and Ministries (AFCM). I was the pastor and my wife was the ministry administrator. We rented space at three different locations, and then God blessed us with our own building on Elton Hills Drive. We have many fond memories of our time at Lighthouse. I love to teach others about the healing power of God. God healed so many people of so many things during our time there.
Charis, the “Good News Church.”
People came and sat under our teaching. They learned the Word of God, the power of prayer and the healing power of Jesus. We ordained a number of ministers. They left and went into the world and shared what they had learned at Lighthouse. We miss those who were trained through our ministry, but we are supposed to make disciples and send them out and we did.
I continued listening to Andrew Wommack, reading his books and took more classes through his school – Charis Bible College in Colorado. I started attending Andrew’s Ministry Conferences in Colorado and was invited to join ARMI (Associate Related Ministries International). I knew God was bringing more changes to my life and ministry so I stepped down as pastor of Lighthouse and turned the church over to a younger man.
I thought my wife and I would be more involved in a traveling ministry, but God had other plans for us. A prayer group turned into a Bible Study, and the Bible Study became a new church named Charis Christian Fellowship. When we were at Andrew’s conference, I asked someone what does “Charis” mean? They told us Charis is Greek for Grace. Grace also means Good News. It just seemed so right to name our new church Charis, the “Good News Church.”
God also brought another man into our life, Vic Porter. Vic became a mentor, a friend I call my pastor, and we are ordained through his church – Oceans of Grace Church in Missouri.
I am so greatly blessed. I stand on the shoulders of those who have gone on to heaven and those who are still here fighting the “Good Fight of Faith.” My prayer: “Father help me to stand strong, teaching Your Word and loving others the way Jesus did.”
A word about my husband, Roland…
Roland stands out. He is a man of grace and love. This is what comes out of him even in the greatest times of stress and adversity. I have seen him in all types of challenges, and Roland pulls on his inner strength from the Holy Spirit. In the nearly 20 years of pastoring, his kindness and consideration shines. His love shows through from his personal family life down through the church family. He has always been there above and beyond the call for all who need him.
I could see this man’s grace and love when I married him in 1993, and we brought our families together. This man was a single parent who raised his son and daughter and was now committed to extend this love and grace to our combined family. The challenges were there and the blessings great.
We were off to RHEMA Bible Training Center in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma in 1997. I said I would follow him anywhere when I married him, so here I was back in school. It was a new beginning of a new chapter as we followed the Lord and pioneered our first church in 1999 in Rochester, Minnesota.
I saw this kind and gracious man give his heart to those who wanted a pastor and to those who were just passing through. Roland trained and mentored anyone who wanted more of God.
In 2015, a new chapter began. We stepped down from Sr. Pastor to do more traveling and outreach, but what developed was a local prayer and Bible study support group which became Charis Christian Fellowship.
In the fall of 2016 more challenges occurred when I was diagnosed with cancer. Once again, this kind, gentle, gracious man walked through the battle as my caregiver and encourager. We praised God together for the promised outcome from I Peter 2:24 – “By His strips you WERE healed” and Psalm 118:17 “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.”
Today, I am declaring the glory of God as I walk in complete remission – God is good. And my husband and I continue telling the world of God’s love and grace for His children.
Thoughts about my wife, LeeAnn…
When we were married, LeeAnn told me she would follow me any place. She has stayed true to what she said. We were married in 1993. When I think about how long it has been, I say, “I can’t believe it has been only a few short years.” When I think about all that has happened in those years, I say, “How could we have done so much.” I love my wife, and I am so thankful to God for giving me a helpmate who stands beside me, encourages me, loves me and is the best marriage partner a man could ever have.
Before we were married, we discovered values in each other that were so much the same. It is what brought us together and has been the bedrock for our marriage, but neither of us are the same person we were when we met. We have each grown, but we have grown together.
The Word of God has solidified who we are and what we believe. I teach that God is the same yesterday, today and forever, but we change as we grow in our understanding of Him. To us, life is never stagnant. We don’t know it all. There is so much more God has for us. As we pursue Him, He opens us up and reveals more and more about Himself to us. We hunger and thirst for more of Him, and we do this together. We discovered a God who loves us, and will never forsake us, a God who is fun, and a God we love more and more as we discover His love for us.
I thank God for a great partner that I can enjoy this journey with. Our life and mission on this earth is to help others know more and more about the God of Love we experience every day.