Christian 05

Reverend Dr. Burley Francis Herrin

September 9, 1944 ~ October 5, 2020 (age 76)


Reverend Dr. Burley Francis Herrin passed away, surrounded by his family, on Monday, October 5, 2020 in Effingham, Illinois, due to complications from Alzheimer’s Disease.

Burley was born on September 9, 1944, in Webster County, Kentucky to William Gamon Herrin and Edna Christine (Phelps) Herrin. He married the love of his life, Martha Jane Williams, on August 15, 1965.

Burley has been serving God his whole life. He was called to ministry at an early age and began preaching at age 14 at various General Baptist Churches in Western Kentucky.  His father would drive him to churches to supply preach. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theology at Oakland City College in Oakland City, Indiana and his Master of Divinity Degree at Central Baptist Seminary in Kansas City Kansas; later receiving his Doctor of Ministry at Lexington Theological Seminary in Lexington, Kentucky.

Burley served American Baptist Churches in Kansas and Idaho in his early career before beginning his ministry in the Christian Church Disciples of Christ.  He served in DOC churches in Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, and Nebraska.  He was also an Associate Regional Minister for the Illinois-Wisconsin Region where his role included serving as camp manager at Camp Walter Scott outside Effingham, Illinois.

A man of many talents, Burley also spent time as a woodworker, parole officer, social worker, mental health counselor, EMT, and dry-dock worker.  He had a gift for conflict resolution, both in and out of churches. He served on the board of Dove, Inc. in Decatur and helped them write their code of ethics. He was a mentor and teacher to many in ministry, always ready with a listening ear, a thought-provoking question, and when asked - sage advice. His ministerial legacy lives on in the lives of many.

Burley was a scholar, and a storyteller.  His favorite stories were of his family and the mules on his childhood farm, but his greatest joy was his family. His sparkling eyes, engaging stories, expansive heart, and generous spirit will be deeply missed. 

He is preceded in death by his parents and one grandson, Larry Don Dillon III.   

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Martha Jane (Williams) Herrin; one son, Jeffrey David Herrin (Jennifer) of Lexington, Kentucky; two daughters:  Jennifer Layne Dillon (Larry) of Fall River, Massachusetts and Deborah Gail Hawkins (Adam) of Illiopolis, Illinois;  eight grandchildren: Hannah and Gavin Hawkins, Bolt, Storm, and Race Dillon, Rachel, Isaac, and Abigail Herrin; one anxiously-awaited great granddaughter, Cora Bell Dillon; one brother,  Emory Herrin (Vickie); three sisters:  Jeanne Driver (Bill - deceased), Dorothy Hatler (Carl - deceased), and Martha Wheeler (Jerry).   He was Uncle Burley to many beloved nieces and nephews.

A visitation will be held on Thursday, October 8, 2020 from 4:00-7:00 p.m. at Brummerstedt Funeral Home, 326 E. Main Street, Stewardson, Illinois.  Funeral services will be held on Friday, October 9, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. at Marshall Avenue Christian Church, 620 S. 26th St., Mattoon, Illinois with Reverend Rachel Doolin Moore officiating. A family graveside service will be held at Fraser-Blackwell Cemetery in Clay, Kentucky at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Alzheimer's Association of Illinois, 225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601;  Christian Church Disciples of Christ in Illinois and Wisconsin, 401 W. Jefferson St., Bloomington, IL 61701; or Marshall Avenue Christian Church, 620 S. 26th St., Mattoon, IL 61938.

Family and friends are invited to light a candle or share a story in honor of Burley at

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Reverend Dr. Burley Francis Herrin, please visit our floral store.


October 8, 2020

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Brummerstedt Funeral Home
326 East Main Street
Stewardson, IL 62463

Funeral Service
October 9, 2020

10:30 AM
Marshall Avenue Christian Church
620 S. 26th Street
Mattoon, IL 61938

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