Bill Barnett, Prominent Oklahoma Baptist Pastor and Native American Ministry Leader, Dies

Feb 6, 2021

Prominent Oklahoma Baptist pastor and Native American ministry leader Bill Barnett died on Feb. 5. Barnett was pastor of Seminole, Indians Nations and was a leader with Indian Falls Creek, among various other ministries.

Hance Dilbeck, executive director-treasurer for Oklahoma Baptists state convention said, “This is a great loss for Oklahoma Baptists, as Bro. Bill is one of the most beloved and respected leaders I know. Please be in prayer for his wife Mary Jo and the rest of his family.”

Emerson Falls, who serves as Oklahoma Baptists’ Native American ministry partner said, “Many people know Bill Barnett as a leader. As chairman of the board of Indian Falls Creek, he helped make IFC the outstanding event is has become. Some of us knew him as a friend and mentor. I personally knew that if I needed advice or encouragement, Bill would be there for me. I will miss him, as will all Oklahoma Baptists.”

Pastor Mike Keahbone of Lawton, First, said on Facebook, “I woke up to the news that one of my heroes has gone home. My heart aches. I’m going to miss his encouragement and his burning passion for our Native people to know Jesus. For the revival he knows is coming in our people, you’ll have the best seating in the house when it comes, Bill. We will keep preaching, keep reaching, and stay faithful. Much love.” 

The Barnett family issued this statement over social media: “Tonight, our wonderful father Billy Yairda Barnett went home to be with his Father in Heaven, he journeyed on surrounded by his loving family. We are thankful to have been a part of his amazing life; although we are saddened, we find comfort in the hope that God instilled within us that we will be together again. We extend gratitude for all your support and prayers. Let us be joyful as we remember the many blessings he brought to all of us as a man of God called to do his work. ‘I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith…’
Look for future coverage in the Baptist Messenger.