William Paul Burleson, July 19, 1940 – May 5, 2024

You’re invited to gather with the Burleson family on Friday afternoon, May 10, 2024, at 2:00 pm for a public celebration of the life and legacy of Paul Burleson.

The night before, on Thursday, May 9, 2024, from 5:00 to 7:00 pm, for those friends and family who desire, you may come for a casual, informal visitation with the Burleson family in the chapel of Matthews Funeral Home, 601 S. Kelly, Edmond, Oklahoma.

Friday morning, before the 2:00 afternoon public celebration of my dad’s life, there will be a private family burial at Gracelawn.

My mother, Mary (Cherry) Burleson, will speak on behalf of Paul and our family at the Friday 2:00 p.m. service, and you are invited to join us for this time of remembrance and celebration.

When I think of my dad, the word “overcomer” comes to mind. I’ve written briefly about his boyhood, and there will be more information in a semi-autobiographical book that my father was working on up until his death, which I’ll finish for my family.

My dad struggled most of his life with heart problems. His father and grandfather died at age 59 of heart attacks. Dad died on Sunday, May 5, 2024, of congestive heart failure. We sang “Victory in Jesus” around his bed when His Savior called him from this life into the Land of the Living.

My father’s Memorial Service will be at Crossings Community Church, 14600 North Portland, Oklahoma City, at 2:00 pm. The Burleson family thanks Pastor Marty Grubbs and this wonderful church for their support.

You may watch the service LIVE if you cannot attend by clicking here.

The Memorial Folder given out at the service can be accessed by clicking here.

Thank you for your love and support of the Burleson family. 

Wade Burleson (Paul’s son)


Paul and Mary Burleson

William Paul Burleson was born to William Reed and Julia Margaret Burleson in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on Friday, July 19, 1940. Paul departed this life on Sunday, May 5, 2024 at 83.

Paul grew up in Oklahoma City. He enjoyed playing baseball during his grade school years and learning to play the French Horn in Junior High. He attended Capitol Hill High School and was student council president his senior year. All the high school student council presidents and officers formed a group, and Paul was elected President  He was proving himself early to be a leader.

Two days after graduating from high school, he married Mary Frances Cherry. Paul attended Oklahoma Baptist University during his freshman year. They moved to Wilburton, Oklahoma, where he continued his college education, pastored his first church in Wilburton, and worked for the city road crew to supplement their income.

They moved to Edmond, Oklahoma, to attend Central State University, and they both took jobs in downtown Oklahoma City as they attended college. Paul became the youth pastor at Village Baptist Church. Their first child, Cherri, was born to them. Paul’s first full-time pastorate was at Letha Baptist Church outside Seminole, OK, and their second child, Wade, was born two days after Christmas. That New Year’s Eve, the church burned down, and Paul lost all his books and his brand-new typewriter in his office. The church was rebuilt and was renamed Trinity Baptist Church.

Paul completed his college education at OBU in Shawnee. He began his seminary education by driving to Fort Worth, TX, from Seminole and staying three days each week to attend Southwestern Theological Seminary.

Melody, their third child, was born on their fourth wedding anniversary while they were in Seminole. Paul completed one year at Southwestern Theological Seminary while they lived in Seminole, commuting weekly. They didn’t have much money, and Mary remembers putting Melody on her back, taking the two toddlers with her, picking up pecans, and selling them to buy food while Paul was gone to Fort Worth.

They moved to Saint Jo, Texas, where Paul became pastor at First Baptist Church and continued his seminary education. He drove to Fort Worth from Saint Jo four days a week and completed two more years of seminary work. Mary continued her college education at a junior college in Gainesville. The Burlesons moved to Wichita Falls, TX, in May 1972, and Paul finished his seminary education in Fort Worth. Paul graduated with a Master’s Degree from SWTS on his 28th birthday, July 19, 1968. His schooling was finally over.

Their fourth child, Brett, was born in Wichita Falls, while Paul pastored Fairway Baptist Church for four years. Their next move was to the panhandle of Texas, where Paul pastored First Baptist Church of Borger, TX. The last three churches he pastored were Southcliff BC in Fort Worth, FBC in Broken Arrow, OK, and Trinity Baptist Church in Norman, Oklahoma. He began a traveling ministry based out of Broken Arrow before moving to Norman, where he and Mary held Pastor and Wife Conferences. Paul also did Bible Conferences in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and other states.

Paul’s passion and love were teaching the Bible, making it relatable in life, and helping others grasp the beauty and joy of grace living. People were drawn to him, and seeing lives change as God’s Word was understood and embraced was exciting.

Paul loved motorcycles and rode for a while before he could convince Mary to ride with him. When Mary finally agreed, they enjoyed trips to Colorado, Wyoming, Arkansas, and other destinations. When Mary couldn’t go, Paul enjoyed riding with Mary’s brother Fred Cherry, and they took some week-long trips to the Northwest and CA. Riding was one of Paul’s favorite hobbies and enjoyments.

Paul will be greatly missed. He’s loved by so many! He is survived by his wife Mary of 64 years, his sister and brother-in-law Betty and Frank Coy, his four children and their mates, his 15 grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren, and many more precious family members and friends.

The family will greet friends from 5–7 p.m. Thursday, May 9, at Matthews Funeral Home. Services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Friday, May 10, 2024, at Crossings Community Church. To watch a live stream of the service, please click this link.