April 17, 1855, Ireland.
Burke emigrated to America in 1873, and after reaching Chicago, Illinois, was led to Dwight Moody’s church, where he became a member.
Burke joined the
Yokefellows’ Band, and taught Sunday school. It was at this time he conceived the idea of singing the Gospel. He led the singing for the Young Men’s Christian Association, and had charge of their music for several years.
He engaged in evangelistic work for a number of years, with Dwight Moody, Daniel Whittle, B. Fay Mills, and others. In 1890, at the request of Moody and Ira Sankey, he went to Scotland and joined Scotch evangelist John McNeill (1854–1933). He stayed a year and a half, working through Britain.
Burke also served as Minister of Music at the New York Gospel Tabernacle for about a year around 1891.