FORTVILLE — If Myrna Metzger walked into Fortville United Methodist Church while Jane Burgess was copying the church bulletin, she knew she’d probably hear Burgess singing.

If there was a dinner, Burgess was in the kitchen cooking. If there was a parched plant, she’d water it. If there was a job to be done, you could depend on her to see it through.

So says the church that will honor its retiring church secretary Sunday.

“She was more than a secretary,” said fellow church member and longtime friend Shirley Rockhill. “Jane did everything. I don’t know how she did it.”

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The job of church secretary is one of several hats Burgess has worn at the church. She was an assistant and later a teacher in the church’s Noah’s Ark Preschool from 1993-2000. She launched the church’s weekly Main Street Food Pantry around 2000. In 2001, she assumed her current post as secretary.

Burgess said taking calls in the church office made her especially aware of what was going on in the lives of fellow church members and turned her into a “prayer warrior” for them, one who, as she prayed while folding a bulletin or newsletter, could visualize where they sat in church.

“You just see the Lord working in the church,” she said.

Up next are visits with her four grown children, including a daughter in Arizona, and continuing to bake pies for a son’s Foxgardin restaurant downtown. Sugar cream appears to be a favorite.

Retiree reception

Fortville United Methodist Church will have a reception after the 10 a.m. service Sunday to honor retiring church secretary Jane Burgess.

The church is located at 125 E. Staat St.

Information:; 317-485-5418

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Anne Smith is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at