Pastor brutally stabbed to death by son battling mental illness, police say

Jacob Barber, Glenn Barber
The late Pastor Glenn Barber Jr., 48 (L) with an unidentified child and his son Jacob, 21 (R) who is accused of killing him. |

Family and friends mourned privately at a memorial service for Pastor Glenn Allen Barber Jr. on Friday, just days after police say he was brutally stabbed to death by his son, who is battling mental illness.

Congregants at First Moore Baptist Church in Moore, Oklahoma, where Barber was a children's pastor, grew worried on Sunday after the 48-year-old preacher failed to show up as planned, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. His body was found after a friend went to his family’s home. His white 2007 Nissan Pathfinder was also missing.

Jacob Barber, 21, was arrested Wednesday for his father’s murder near a PetSmart in Denton County, Texas, just three days after he went on the run.

“Officers arrived and found him sleeping near the building,” Roanoke Officer Ryan Otero told the Star-Telegram. “Once the officers ran his name, there was a murder warrant for him and he was arrested.”

Moore police Sgt. Jeremy Lewis told the publication that Barber died of multiple stab wounds.

Carlos Robinson, detective with the Moore Police Department, wrote in a probable cause affidavit cited by The Norman Transcript that Jacob Barber had struggled with mental illness and refused to take his medication.

"The suspect and defendant argued daily and had a volatile relationship," Robinson wrote. "The suspect has been to several mental institutions but refuses to take his prescribed medication."

The late pastor’s neighbors said he and his son only recently moved to the area.

“Seen them in and out a little bit but never got acquainted,” a neighbor told Oklahoma’s News 4.

Prior to his work at First Moore Baptist Church, friends say he worked for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, which released a statement on his death.

“We are heartbroken to learn of Glenn’s death. He was a kind, caring man who loved Jesus and other people. Glenn will be greatly missed by his many Oklahoma Baptist friends across the state,” the organization said.

Former students whom Barber taught at the church told News 9 that they were in shock at how he died.

“It's crazy. It still doesn't seem real, I don't believe it,” Marissa Meeley, who was once part of Glenn’s youth group, said. “Brother Glenn was like a second father to many people, especially to me, considering I grew up without a father.”

Ashley Worsham said the late pastor helped draw her back to Christ.

“I was able to rededicate myself to Christ with him. He baptized me while I was down there because I kind of strayed after a death in my family,” she said.

A GoFundMe campaign seeking to set up a memorial for the late pastor had raised nearly its entire $10,000 goal Friday afternoon.

Glenn Barber was remembered there as an “amazing man of God.”

“Glenn Barber was an amazing man of God. The kindness of Jesus poured out of him onto every person he met. He had a very special gift of loving children and bringing them closer to Christ. He was loving, selfless, and full of love for life. He touched so many lives and will be greatly missed. Please pray for the family during this difficult time; and please consider a financial donation towards this wonderful man’s memorial fund,” the organizer, Laura Gilsleider, wrote.

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