“Bill was the type of pastor that cared for everyone, not just people in his church.”
These words, spoken by Oneonta mayor Richard Phillips at his funeral, truly exemplify the kind of person Bro. Bill Barnett was, earning him the honor of being awarded the Blount-Oneonta Chamber’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Bro. Barnett’s arms of service were fully extended and not only touched his local community; they reached out into all of the Blount County community. Simply put, Bro. Barnett loved people.
As pastor for the last 27 years of Union Hill Baptist Church, Bro. Barnett was not only a devoted servant to his church members, he was a giver within the community. Bro. Barnett served as a member of the Blount-Oneonta Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors from 1996 until 1999, served as the AYSO soccer commissioner for several years, coached soccer, led the Oneonta Coaches Devotion every Wednesday, and served as the moderator of the Friendship Baptist Association in the late 1990s.
Bro. Barnett was also a core member of the local Sleep in Heavenly Peace organization. He was instrumental within the organization to help make sure that no child sleeps on the floor.
Family was extremely important to Bro. Barnett. He loved his family immensely and cherished being a part of his children’s lives, whether it was on a personal level as a father, being there for them as they played sports, or helping to set up the field for the band’s halftime show. He was there as not only a supporter, but an encourager as well.
If you ever ran into Bro. Barnett while out and about, he most always had an infectious smile on his face. He truly exemplified God’s love whether he was in the pulpit, volunteering in the community, or simply being a husband, father, or friend. Blount County is blessed to have had Bro. Barnett as an integral part of the county. May his legacy continue.