In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Samuel J. Burnett, 76

Samuel Burnett, 1944-2020

Samuel J. Burnett, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel to the nations died June 6, 2020. He was 76.

Burnett was born May 3, 1944, in Dallas, Texas, to the late Arthur Elwood and Docia Alice Field Burnett. He lived in Chickasha and Duncan, Oklahoma, while growing up. During a tent revival in Chickasha, 7-year-old Burnett became a Christian. In Duncan, he wrote when seeking missionary appointment, his family was active in church and “I became a member of the Royal Ambassadors (missions organization for boys), and it was through this organization that I first sensed God’s call.”

Burnett attended Southwestern Oklahoma State University, Weatherford, where he met Donna Sue Cooper. They married in 1965. He received the Bachelor of Arts from Wayland Baptist University, Plainview, Texas, and the Master of Religious Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas.

According to his obituary, Burnett’s “greatest desire was to see that others come to have a meaningful relationship with Jesus Christ.”

Burnett was pastor of Southern Baptist churches in Brownfield and Telephone, Texas; Detroit, Michigan; and Holdenville, Oklahoma. He retired from the pastorate at Garnett Road Baptist Church, Tulsa, after 14 years of service.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Donna Sue Cooper Burnett; three children, Suzann Burnett, Docia Gayle Garrett, and Aaron Burnett (Brenda). He is also survived by seven grandchildren, two great-grandsons and his oldest sister, Alice Bearden of Duncan.

A funeral service was held June 11, 2020, at Garnett Road Baptist Church, Tulsa, and a graveside service was held on June 12 in Walters (Okla.)

Read an obituary here.