A dear friend and brother-in-Christ, Felton Burton, died on December 30th and will have funeral services conducted today at North Side. The above picture is of Felton and his wife, Doris, attending a Date Night at our church 2 years ago. They were standing as the couple married the longest in a group of hundreds of couples that night. I remember thinking that night that they were such an example of dedication and faithfulness.
Felton has been an icon in Greenwood. I could go on to list his accomplishments, but you can read about those in his obituary provided by his family.
I want to focus on one element in particular about Felton that I loved the most: his commitment to making his life count.
When his daughter, Debbie, was born with Down’s Syndrome in 1952, not much help existed for families with a member with special needs. Felton’s commitment to provide the best for his daughter also resulted in countless families who benefitted immensely.
At 81 years old, Felton was still a go-getter. I believe he was still actively leading the Burton Center in 2009. In a day and time when most people are counting down the days until they can retire, Felton was an example of a mind and body that stays effective because he stayed active. While health would eventually cause him to slow down, he never saw old age as an excuse to lie down and get lazy. He wanted his life to count for something. He wanted to continue to help more families. He wanted to give adults with special needs a purpose and a large extended family. He wanted to reach more communities with what they had learned in Greenwood. In fact, he was a leader in South Carolina concerning special needs due to the amount of success he experienced. He also helped countless of other ministries in this town.
Today, hundreds of people will gather to celebrate a life well lived. While tears will be shed and memories remembered, I pray that today will cause each and every one of us to see if the things we are living for are worth Christ dying for. Are we living for the things that count? Are we making a difference? Are we treating today as a gift from God that was not promised and therefore, making the most out of it?
My friend, Felton Burton, did, and today, in his honor, I shall do the same.