A native of Southwest Florida, The Right Reverend Brian K. Burgess grew up attending Episcopal day schools and public schools while singing in an Anglican choir of men and boys. He attended Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, as a Music Education major (B.S.) where he studied Applied Percussion and served as Drum Major of the Ball State Pride of Mid-America Marching Band.
Bishop Burgess began his career as band and choral director at Rockville High School in the Wabash Valley area of Indiana. From there, he taught within the Lee County, Florida, school district where his senior high band programs were consistently recognized with superior ratings by the State Bandmasters Association.
He served as a fully certified law enforcement officer for the Lee County Port Authority Police Department prior to being hired by the nationally recognized Lee County Division of Emergency Management as their Training Coordinator and then Operations Coordinator. Bishop Burgess is licensed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as a General Class amateur radio operator, call sign KD4UTL. In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Andrew in 1992, he was dispatched to Florida City on the southeast coast of Florida as part of the Lee County Department of Public Safety’s Response and Recovery Team.
Bishop Burgess attended seminary at The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, (MDiv., cum laude). After being invited into and completing the required canonical process, Bishop Burgess was ordained deacon and priest by The Right Reverend John Bailey Lipscomb of Southwest Florida. As priest, he has served parishes within the Episcopal dioceses of Southwest Florida, Louisiana and New Jersey. Throughout these tenures, he served on diocesan council, standing committee, ecumenical and inter-faith relations committee, the Episcopal Community Services board, clerical compensation committee, and fifteen (nonconsecutive) years as dean of a three-country deanery of parishes and missions. In addition, he was elected by the Associated Alumni of The University of the South to represent their interests as a Clerical Trustee on the University Board of Trustees.
On December 11, 2021, while in his seventeenth year as rector of Christ Church Woodbury, New Jersey, Bishop Burgess was elected the XII Diocesan of Springfield on the second ballot. He was ordained and consecrated a bishop and seated within the Cathedral Church of St. Paul the Apostle in Springfield, Illinois, on May 21, 2022, by the Most Reverend Michael B. Curry, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church USA, The Right Reverend Gregory O. Brewer of Central Florida and The Right Reverend Dr. John C. Bauerschmidt of Tennessee. Other co-consecrators included The Right Reverend Dr. J. Neil Alexander of Atlanta (retired), The Right Reverend William H. Stokes of New Jersey, and The Right Reverend Daniel H. Martins of Springfield (retired).
Bishop Burgess is married to his college sweetheart, Denise Lee (née Swing), and together, they have two grown children, Robert Kendall and Catherine Marian.