Gary Alan Burrell

Gary Alan Burrell, 77, Goiania, Goias, Brazil, died Nov. 1, 2018, following a brief but serious illness.

He was born Jan. 21, 1941, in Johnson City, Tennessee, to Roy and Virginia Burrell. He grew up in Erwin, Tennessee.

After high school, he moved to Washington, D.C., to work for the FBI and attend George Washington University at night. A few years later, he felt led to rethink his career choice and returned to east Tennessee to study at Milligan College, earning a bachelor’s in religious studies. 

In 1963 he moved to Louisville and began a Master of Divinity program at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and his ministry at the Radcliff Christian Church at Fort Knox.

On May 29, 1965, he married the former Pamela Hampton. They moved to Salem where he was minister at Mt. Tabor Christian Church. During the next four years Gary earned a master’s in Latin American studies. He then formed a mission organization, Brazil Christian Evangelism, and in May 1970 moved to Sao Paulo, Brazil. In May 1972 he moved his family to Goiania, the capital of the state of Goias in central Brazil.

He was instrumental in helping Habitat for Humanity International kick off work in Brazil.

He was preceded in death by his daughter, Jennifer, and brother, Ivan, and his parents.

Survivors include a sister, Dawn, of Johnson City; four children, Timothy, Amy and Juliana Burell, all of Bloomington, Jonathan Burrell of Orlando, Florida, and 10 grandchildren.

A celebration of life was held Nov. 29 in Johnson City.

Memorials: Milligan College, P.O. Box 750, Milligan, TN 37682.


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