Lay-led Ministry Shares the Gospel through Astronomy

At the 2023 ASi convention, a unique ministry shows how to “think outside the box.”

Marcos Paseggi, Adventist Review
Lay-led Ministry Shares the Gospel through Astronomy
James Burr (right) shares with ASi secretary-treasurer Philip Baptiste how his ministry is reaching other people for Jesus in Kansas City, Missouri, United States, August 3. [Photo: Marcos Paseggi, Adventist Review]

As in every annual convention of the Adventist Laymen’s Services and Industries (ASi), the 2023 gathering in Kansas City, Missouri, United States, included reports from frontline ministries that are finding ways of sharing Jesus in tried-and-trusted or novel ways with their relatives, colleagues, neighbors, and friends.

During one of the evening programs, one ministry showed how it is using broadcasts and social media to reach people who might never know about Bible truth any other way. Here’s what was shared.

Good News for Everyone

For decades, James Burr has presented lectures on astronomy from a biblical perspective to thousands in churches, youth groups, elementary and high schools, colleges, universities, retirement centers, and home-school associations in the United States and the Russian Federation.

Burr is recognized throughout the world for his achievements in telescope design and manufacturing and his design patents for astronomy accessories, some of which he reportedly sold to the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

James Burr’s tie helps him to implement “tie evangelism” — triggering conversations with other people about God, creation, and the Bible. [Photo: Marcos Paseggi, Adventist Review]

He also manages Heavens Declare, a site created for the purpose of “providing lectures, presentations and instructional materials to the general public and the educational community, with a biblical Christian perspective on science and more specifically on astronomy.”

Burr is also the driving force behind Good News TV, a television service offered in several U.S. states, which has partnered with high-quality Christian networks to share “programs designed to deliver a wholistic and hope-filled message that consistently point to Jesus and the Bible,” including the Three Angels Broadcasting Network (3ABN) and Hope Channel. According to its website, Good News TV offerings include “a wide variety of practical programs that feature healthy cooking, relationship skills, beautiful music, local worship services, disease prevention, Bible teaching, children’s programs, exercise, mission adventures, archaeology, and history,” among others.

Speaking at the ASi convention, Burr said he is happy to report that people are calling the contact numbers provided in search of answers. “The results we are getting are amazing,” he said. “People are looking for answers, and they don’t know where to find them.” Burr often puts people in touch with a local Adventist church, he said.

Every time he travels, Burr also wears a special tie with a planets motif and the phrase “In the beginning, God created,” clearly visible. It is what he calls “tie evangelism.” Burr shared that just wearing the tie has helped him to start meaningful conversations with other people and to invite them to reflect and find out more about the Bible.

Burr said that the ministry’s next goal is the city of Colorado Springs in Colorado. “We want a television station in Colorado Springs,” he said.

Heavens Declare and Good News TV are independent supporting ministries and are not operated by the corporate Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Marcos Paseggi, Adventist Review