Patti Spencer Burdette is a double native of Des Moines, Iowa. Born and raised in Des Moines, she has been known to leave the state for short periods of time for military service and educational experiences. She keeps returning home like a bad penny! Both of her parents were home-grown Iowans as well, which partly accounts for the attachment she feels to the area. The legacy of her father's Cherokee American Indian heritage explains also explains her spiritual connection to the good Iowa land and the Des Moines/West Des Moines region.
As pastor of Highland Park Lutheran Church, Patti is thrilled to begin a new chapter of and already interesting and fruitful journey, one unashamedly characterized by a deep sense of love of God and Country. She considers herself raised by the former congregation of Gatchel United Methodist Church as much as her parents. A graduate of Des Moines North High, it's fitting and comfortably familiar to be back in and near the Highland Park and Oak Park area for the important and sacred mission of being in ministry and service to God and his people. Some of the work experience Patti brings to HPLC is rooted in her United States Air Force service during which she trained in the fields of jet aircraft maintenance, law enforcement and administration. In her spare time at Reece Air Force Base, Lubbock, Texas, she married Tommy Moore (her training NCO), co-founded the Mathis Little Theatre Group, and gave birth to their only son, Thomas. The bad penny's first return from military service took place in 1978. December 25th, 1980, God saw fit to call Tommy home to Heaven due to illness related to Agent Orange and his Vietnam service.
The B.A. in Creative and Performing Arts awarded to Patti at Grand View University made her the first four-year theatre graduate in the school's history and she's proud to hold this small distinction. She is blessed by the fact that everything she learned in the theatre supports everything she does in her capacity of church pastor. Being a typical college student, the bad penny returned home to Gatchel after four years of not attending church but being consistently active in theatre activities within the Lutheran college chapel program. It was at this time a pastor member of her hom congregation pointed her toward her calling to become an ordained minister of the Word and Sacrament.
Patti planned, God laughed and life got in the way! After some trials and tribulations of being a single mother and student, semesters at seminaries of the Methodist, Lutheran, Baptist, and Presbyterian flavors, years of life-threatening health issues, God taught his truth and lessons and applied his refining acts to a faithful servant on her well-trodden path. Patti was awarded her Masters in Divinity from Bethel Seminary after 23 years, off and on, of academic work.
Today, Patti is happily married to Roger Burdette, another lifelong Iowa resident. It is a mixed marriage since Roger is an ELCA Lutheran and Patti is an LCMC Lutheran pastor. Roger is a self-employed, self-styled, on-location photographer and NRA certified instructor. Their household is dedicated to spreading two important gospels: Patti preaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ as a champion for the First Amendment freedoms while Roger promotes the Second Amendment, knowing this is the best protection for all American rights and freedoms. They are forward to two important events to take place in 2015: their 20th wedding anniversary and Patti's official certification and ordination within the LCMC.
Patti's total happiness is not complete without acknowledging the presence of two young persons who God put into her life many years ago. Those two young persons, adopted in the Spirit and added to Patti's family as blessed spiritual children of her heart, are Melody Ristau and Darcy Field. Melody is a nurse and lives in Oregon with her significant other, Andy Weertz. Darcey works for a major insurance company in the metro area and lives in Urbandale wit his wife, Kim, and their three beautiful children who Patti feels privileged to call her grandchildren: Sarah, David and Hannah.