Westmont Magazine A Family Affair
Add author to the list of professions Lyle Burchette ’71 has pursued during his life. He has recently self-published an historical novel, “Awake O North Wind,” through WinePress Publishing. Set during the Civil War, the book tells the story of a Northern soldier and his son. Lyle drew on his family history in developing the characters. He has done extensive genealogical and historical research and is well acquainted with the area of Kentucky where the novel is set.
“Many of my own ancestors appear in the book,” Lyle notes. “Much of the instruction and teachings that John Burke gives to his son, Ollie, are things that my father, Oliver Thomas Burchette, passed on to me as a boy growing up on the farm in Louisa, Ky. I was amazed at how many of these great times flooded back to me as I spent hour after hour in front of the computer watching the scenes develop on page after page.”
After serving in the Navy for eight years during the Korean War, Lyle spent two years planting churches in Hawaii and Guam. He then settled in Oxnard, Calif., where he worked for a janitorial business, repaired sewing machines for Broadway stores, directed personnel and training for a large real estate company and eventually became a real estate broker. He attended Westmont for a year, commuting from Oxnard, then transferred to California Graduate School of Theology, where he earned a bachelor of theology degree. During these years he also served as an assistant pastor at First Baptist Church and Christian education minister at an Assembly of God Church in Cerritos.
In 1985, Lyle moved to Hollister, Mo., where he pastored Community Church until 1993. At that time, he retired from pulpit ministry and started writing. He has finished a second book, “The Presidential Appointment,” which is not yet published.
The books are written with Christian families in mind. Lyle and his wife, Phyllis, are proud of their own family of four children, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.