Emmett C. Burns Jr., the first African American elected to statewide office in Baltimore County and the founding pastor of Rising Sun First Baptist Church in Lochearn, died Thursday. He was 81 years old when he passed away.

From 1995 through 2015, Rev. Burns served in Annapolis, representing the communities of Lochearn, Milford Mill, and Randallstown.

In 2005, he was instrumental in the passage of legislation renaming Baltimore-Washington International Airport after Thurgood Marshall, the nation’s first black Supreme Court justice.

Rev. Burns was born in the Mississippi city of Jackson in 1940. He graduated from Jackson State University with a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree from Virginia Union University, and a doctorate from the Presbyterian School of Christian Education.

From 1975 until 1978, he worked in the United States Air Force.

He served for the NAACP under the deceased civil rights icon Medgar Evers.

According to the Rev. Burns’ son, Mr. Evers was a mentor to his father. For the first date with Earlean Poe, who would ultimately become his wife, the Rev. Burns borrowed Mr. Evers’ car.

The Rev. Burns has been a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage, and he recently wrote to Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti, requesting that he silence linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, an outspoken supporter.

In 2012, the legislature approved same-gender marriage.

How did the American Politician Emmett C. Burns Jr. die?

According to the Family of Rev. Burns, he died peacefully with his family by his side. He died on March 17, 2022 at the age of 81




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