Twenty-five years ago, on Sunday, May 1, 1991, the Rev. Burns Stanfield stepped into the sanctuary of South Boston’s Fourth Presbyterian Church on Dorchester Street, where he had just been appointed as pastor. Thus began a historic transition period for the church, as it grew and prospered, became an integral part of the South Boston scene, added a parish center next door, and developed a well-deserved reputation for music and the performing arts (Burns is himself a talented professional musician).
Last Sunday, May 1, the church dedicated its annual fundraiser to Burns, his dedicated community leadership, and his highly successful tenure as the pastor of the Fourth. It was exactly 25 years to the day after Burns took up his calling here in South Boston. Needless to say, it was a joyful affair. In his remarks, Burns recalled an elderly member of the church addressing him as “hey, kid” – not even “hey, reverend kid.” In a poignant moment, he accompanied the Fourth Church’s children’s chorus as they sang to the crowd.
Tom Tinlin ably emceed the event and served as its auctioneer. Laugh Boston, a part of the entertainment/dining complex in the Westin Waterfront Hotel at D and Summer streets, was packed. The Fourth Presbyterian Church’s May 1 fundraiser was a memorable afternoon all around.