Norris Burkes, Chaplain, Author, Columnist, Speaker

July 21, 2021

Host Keith Porter brings us the inside story of a Chaplain’s life. The third child of a Southern Baptist minister who was a World War II veteran, Norris moved six times as a child and graduated from high school in Atascadero. Influenced by his father’s life, he attended Baylor University and Golden Gate Seminary, became a pastor who was serving in Stockton, California, in 1989 when a horrific school shooting occurred. Already a reserve chaplain in the Air Force, he attended an internship at UC Davis to become a certified clinical pastoral chaplain in hospitals and hospice service. He was deployed by the Air Force in the U.S. and abroad in Turkey and Irag, where service in a combat hospital brought profound experiences in dealing with tragic loss. Back home in reserve military service, he was assigned to teams bringing the bad news of an airman’s death to a grieving family. Norris now writes about his experiences as an author and columnist, and regularly speaks to groups about his experiences and insights. His columns and books are available at his website,

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