Every day in the Church of God around the world there are people who suffer great loss, yet they find strength to press on in ministry because of the grace of Jesus. Church of God Ministries recognizes this reality as exemplified in the news of yet another unspeakable tragedy. Pastor Mitchell Burch, his family, the Towne Boulevard congregation of Middletown, Ohio, and the Church of God movement are at a loss for words. Today we mourn the passing of Rochelle “Shelly” Burch—faithful pastor’s wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, accomplished musician, minister, and friend—as well as Shelly’s devoted and loving mother, Linda Golden.
Tragically claimed in a car accident in Indiana on Wednesday, May 13, 2015, Shelly Burch and Linda Golden leave behind countless individuals whose lives bear the indelible mark of such vast influence. The Burch family’s impact on the Church of God is remarkable, and stretches back decades. As Shelly and Linda rejoice in the presence of the Almighty, the legacy of Shelly and Linda will continue to proclaim the love, grace, and power of our Lord Jesus Christ.
On Facebook, Mitchell Burch wrote the following statement: “My beautiful bride of thirty-six years met Jesus face-to-face. Please pray for my family. Rest in his loving arms, sweet Love, as you celebrate being home. I’ll see you over on the other side but, until then, we will be embraced by his mercy.”
In addition to her church and family responsibilities, Shelly Burch regularly sang in a quartet reorganized and renamed by her husband, known as the Townesmen & Shelly. She also served Towne Boulevard Church of God as pianist. The only thing that surpassed her God-given musical talent was her love for the Lord and her family. Shelly’s mother Linda proved an irreplaceable part of that precious family—a family now in need of our prayers.
Mourners met at Towne Boulevard Church of God on Wednesday night to grieve together and pour out their hearts to God. Between tears, church and community members reflected upon God’s prevailing goodness even in the midst of tragedy.
As evidenced by a rapid outpouring of support by the local community and the Church of God movement—on the scene and on social media—it was clear that the Burch family’s lifelong ministry has reached far and wide.
“Shelly Burch made every room light up when she walked in—as a wife, as a mom, as a minister, as a musician,” said Jim Lyon, general director of Church of God Ministries. “She had a smile and a grace that always spoke well of Jesus.”
As more information becomes available regarding funeral arrangements and appropriate expressions of support, it will be posted right here:
Towne Boulevard Church of God published the following information on Thursday afternoon, May 14:
We have just been given news on the arrangements for Sister Shelly Burch. Please see below for dates and times.
All services will be held at Towne Blvd. Church, 3722 Towne Blvd., Middletown, OH 45005.
Visitation—Saturday, May 16, from 6:00 to 9:00 PM
Visitation—Sunday, May 17, from 3:00 to 5:00 PM
Funeral Service—Sunday, May 17, at 5:00 PM
Memorial contributions: Send to Towne Blvd. Church of God and Southwest Ohio Ministries, 3722 Towne Blvd., Middletown OH 45005. Condolences: www.bakerstevensparramore.com.
Please remember the Burch family and the Towne Boulevard congregation in your prayers today. Thank you.