Rev. Omer Gene Painter, age 89, a resident of Dallas, TX, and a former resident of Rockwood, TN passed away peacefully on December 16, 2023, while surrounded by his family. He was born June 3, 1934, in Chuckey, TN, the first-born son of Rev. B.G. “Bill” and Grace Painter.
Omer accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior at 15 years old and preached his first sermon at 16 years old. Omer graduated from Carson Newman University in 1956 with a B.A. in History and later received his Master of Divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. After graduating from seminary, Omer went on to lovingly pastor Southern Baptist churches in Kentucky and East Tennessee communities, including Eureka Baptist Church, Rockwood, TN; Baptist Church, Harrodsburg, KY; Lyttleton Baptist Church, Manchester, KY; Rittertown Baptist Church, Rittertown, TN; East Alcoa Baptist Church, Alcoa, TN; Second Baptist Church (now Towering Oaks Baptist Church), Greeneville, TN; First Baptist Blountville, Blountville, TN; and North Cleveland Baptist Church, Cleveland, TN.
First and foremost, Omer was a servant of the Lord and considered it his life’s calling to minister to the members of his congregations, both in and out of the pulpit. A Biblical scholar, Omer was a lifelong student who was continually learning and studying as he prepared his sermons and lessons. Omer loved missions and evangelism, leading in local, national, and international mission endeavors. Omer’s impact in pastoring churches is reflected in the history page of North Cleveland Baptist Church, Cleveland, TN. While pastoring local churches, Omer served in volunteer roles in his local association of Southern Baptist Churches and taught Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Extension School classes. He also served on multiple committees of the Tennessee Baptist Convention.
In 1985, God transitioned Omer’s ministry from pastoring his local church to edifying, encouraging, and supporting Southern Baptist churches and their pastors in Rhea County and north Hamilton County, TN as the Director of Missions of the Tennessee Valley Baptist Association. While serving as Director of Missions, Omer was a member of and attended New Union Baptist Church, Dayton, TN.
After retiring from the Director of Missions role in 1999, Omer served as interim pastor of multiple local churches. During his retirement, Omer attended First Baptist Church in Rockwood, TN until he moved to Texas in 2015 where he joined Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas, which he attended faithfully.
Omer was also a man of many hobbies and interests. An avid ham radio operator, Omer held an Advanced license and was an active member of several ham radio clubs. Omer learned to fly and obtained his private pilot’s license after soloing on his 60th birthday. He went on to serve as the chaplain for the Civil Air Patrol in Dayton, TN, a role he enjoyed immensely. He also enjoyed the outdoors, including trout fishing with his sons in the small mountain streams of East Tennessee.
Omer was an adventurer and loved to travel, whether it was in his own backyard of East Tennessee and the Appalachian/Great Smoky Mountains or in any of the 50 states he visited over the years during vacations with his family, or when leading revival meetings and mission efforts, as well as while attending annual meetings of the Southern Baptist Convention. Omer found great pleasure in enjoying nature and visiting new and interesting sites. Omer also enjoyed travel overseas including an evangelical mission trip to Albania and a special family trip to Greece and Turkey tracing the journeys of the Apostle Paul.
He is preceded in death by his wife Betty Ruth Hurley Painter. Following Betty’s death in 1993, Omer found love and companionship with his second wife Betty Jean Reeves Painter, who passed away in 1998. Omer was blessed to find a loving partner yet again in Lyda Edwards Painter, who moved to Texas with him in 2015 and who passed away in 2021. Omer is also preceded in death by his parents, Rev. B.G “Bill” and Grace Painter, brother Donald Painter of Oakdale, TN, and daughter-in-law Kimberly Kay Painter of Carrollton, TX.
He is survived by his son Timothy Richard Painter and daughter-in-law Ann Marie Painter of Dallas, TX, and son Scott William Painter, of Carrollton, TX, as well as his grandson Brandon Painter of Lubbock, TX and granddaughter Kayla Painter Robertson and her husband Josh Robertson of Detroit, MI, along with his nieces Teresa Helton Miller and Tracy Malloy, both of Knoxville, TN, and nephews Cory Helton, Taylor Helton, Zachary Helton, and Will Malloy.
Family and friends will meet at First Baptist Church Rockwood in Rockwood, TN for a visitation from 1:00-2:00 pm ET on Saturday, January 13, 2024. Funeral service will promptly follow at 2:00 pm ET, followed by a graveside and interment service at Crab Orchard Baptist Church cemetery in Oakdale, TN at 3:00 p.m. ET. Evans Mortuary is serving the Painter family. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the SBC International Mission Board or the Parkinson Voice Project