Obituary: William Gurnett (1946-2022)

William Kenneth “Bill” Gurnett, longtime pastor and chaplain, died on May 23rd at the age of 76. He was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, where he met and married Rosie, his wife of 56 years in 1965. Together they raised three boys. He gave his life to Christ in December of 1972 and surrendered to God’s ministry call in 1973. After spending four years at the California Missionary Baptist Institute in Bellflower, California, he graduated with a degree in Theology and followed God’s call to start a church in Casa Grande, Arizona in 1977. After 6 1/2 years, and a brief time of ministry in Prescott Valley, AZ, in 1984 he assumed the pastorate of the church in Tucson where he had begun his journey of faith.

In 1990, he became the pastor of Landmark Missionary Baptist Church in San Pablo, which later relocated to Martinez. He pastored Landmark for 32 years. From 2007 to 2021 he served as a chaplain with the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Department and was twice named Chaplain of the Year (2007 & 2019) as well as being named Volunteer of the Year by the Lafayette Police Department in 2014. Additionally, God provided ministry opportunities which allowed him to preach and teach in Russia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Albania, Mexico and Pakistan. His life in Christ continues to impact thousands around the globe.

He is survived by his loving partner in ministry, Rosie; sons Brian (Kasi), Jeff (Jennifer) and David (Phyllis); 13 grandchildren (Kesley, Brandon, Blake, Quinn, Cole, Hayden, Jordan, Evan, Cameron, Owen, Hudson, Grayson and Chapman), and 4 great-grandchildren (Keaton, Brinnleigh, Emma and Caden); two brothers (Larry and Jim), one sister (Karen) and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his mother (Agnes), one brother (Mike) and a sister (Loyce).

A memorial service will be held at Landmark Missionary Baptist Church in Martinez at 11:00 am on May 28.

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