Barrie E. Henke

Barrie E. Henke


Reverend Barrie Emil Henke was born on February 16, 1945, in Stillwater, Oklahoma. He was the youngest of four boys born to Bernhardt Henke and Pauline (Montgomery) Henke. Rooted deeply in the red Oklahoma soil, he was raised in the small town of Orlando, Oklahoma, where his father owned and operated a Texaco service station. He was baptized and confirmed at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Orlando, attended Walther League at Zion Lutheran Church, Guthrie, and, after the Orlando church closed in 1961, joined Christ Lutheran Church in Perry.

Upon graduating from Orlando High School, Reverend Henke went on to receive an Associate of Arts degree from St. John’s College in Winfield, Kansas in 1967; a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Concordia College in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1969; and Master of Divinity Degree with certification for the pastoral ministry in the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod from Concordia Theological Seminary, Springfield, Illinois. His year of vicarage took place at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and School in Downey, California. He was ordained into the Lutheran ministry on June 24, 1973, at Christ Lutheran Church in Perry, Oklahoma by the Rev. Walter Wehmeier.

Before his ministry in Oklahoma, Rev. Henke previously served as pastor of the congregations of St. Peter Lutheran Church in rural Lakefield, Minnesota (July 1973 – August 1977); St. John Lutheran Church in Thief River Falls, Minnesota (August 1977 – January 1981); and Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, Onalaska, Wisconsin (February 1981 – September 1991). In September of 1991 he accepted the Call to serve as Pastor of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Edmond, Oklahoma, where he served until his passing.

Throughout his 50 years of ministry, Pastor Henke was involved in the ministries of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, the Lutheran Laymen’s League, as well as district outreach work on various levels of responsibility in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Oklahoma. During his time in South Wisconsin, Pastor Henke served on various LCMS District Boards, and served in the community with the Mobile Meals Board and the Emergency Food Pantry.

In Oklahoma, along with the serving as the pastor of a vibrant congregational ministry, Pastor Henke also served as Circuit Counselor for the Oklahoma City Circuit; as Oklahoma District LWML Counselor; as the Second Vice President of the Oklahoma District 2006-2008. Pastor Henke concluded 13 years of service as Oklahoma District President in 2022.

But more than a pastor, Barrie was a loving husband, father, Opa, brother, uncle, cousin, and friend. On April 20, 1975, he married friend and college classmate Patricia Gunderman from Fulda, Minnesota. The Lord blessed their marriage with one son, Jason. He liked to travel abroad with friends, his cousins Joan and Charles, as well as with Jason and his family. Barrie also like to take road trips across the United States to see friends and his grandkids.

On the early morning of March 1st,2023, the Lord Jesus Christ fulfilled the promise He made with Barrie at the time of his Baptism, calling him to Himself and granting him the crown of everlasting life. Even though his body was beaten badly by cancer, Barrie remained a strong example of faith and perseverance to those with whom his life intersected. He held firmly to the promise of Romans 8:28-39, confident that all things work together for good to those who love the Lord, and that nothing will be able to separate us from the love God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Those preceding him in death, yet greeting him in eternity are his wife Patricia Gunderman, his parents Bernhardt and Pauline Henke, Brothers Robert (Bob) and Bernhardt (Benny) Henke.

Rejoicing in his victory while grieving the separation are his son, Jason and wife Nishia (Hotujec) of Parkville, Missouri; his grandkids, Abigail Long, Natalie Long and Jaxon Henke; his brother, Bruce and wife Marty of Orlando, Oklahoma; and many other cousins, nieces and nephews and their children, dear friends, prayer supporters.

Celebrations of his Faith, Life and Victory through Christ will be held at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 308 NW 164th Street, Edmond, Oklahoma, on Sunday, March 5 at 4:00 PM. Edmond visitation will be at Matthews Funeral Home in Edmond from 1-8 PM on Saturday evening, March 4th, and one hour prior to the worship on Sunday afternoon. His body will be laid to rest at Prairie Hill Cemetery, rural Fulda, to await the return of the Lord Jesus Christ and the great day of the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.

To live stream the service please use the following link

9 thoughts on “Barrie E. Henke”

  1. I met Barry the first day of first grade in 1951. We were classmates until high school graduation in 1963. Our class was a good group of around 18 students. Barry brought simple fun and friendship to everyone throughout the entire school. He was a true blessing.
    With sincere sympathy,
    Karlanne Knott Harshman

  2. Rena Vickery.

    I was at his ordination in the Perry Lutheran church. I was the church secretary there. I remember him as the little short Barrie Henke from orlando,
    Then later in life that little Orlando boy became my Pastor at Holy Trinity in Edmond ok. I know a lot about ORLANDO. OK. Rena Karcher Vickery

  3. Rev. Henke was the Oklahoma District LCMS President when I was the Oklahoma District LWML President. We worked together on many projects and I especially appreciate his heart for missions and his support of Lutheran Women in Mission. He and Pat were a blessing to so many people not only in Oklahoma but to people around the world. He will be greatly missed but just imagine what fun we will all have in heaven some day!
    -Susan Brunkow, Vice President of Christian Life, Lutheran Women’s Missionary League.

  4. Jenny Connor

    I met Pastor Henke in the late 1990’s when he and Pat visited their old friends from LaCrosse, WI, and my future in-laws, Dan & Linda Connor in Michigan. In 2001 when I married Christopher Connor, we were so honored that Pastor Henke agreed to officiate our wedding, held at the Alumni Chapel on the campus of Michigan State University. You see, Pastor Henke was Chris’s childhood Pastor, who confirmed Chris and his sisters, Kathy and Liz, at Shepherd of the Hills in WI. And Pastor also married all 3 of the Connor kids, as well! What a blessing he has been to the Connor family, and so many other families like ours. I’ve enjoyed reading all the posts online filled with so many families like ours who have been blessed with years and generations of people who had the privilege of having Pastor Henke be a part of their faith journey. Pastor Henke was a man of God in every sense of the word. I am honored and blessed to have crossed paths and been touched by this loving man! I know he and his beloved Pat have been reunited again and I’m so happy for him! God bless you, Pastor Henke, and thank you for touching my life! Much love to Jason and family. Jenny Connor

  5. Jeanne Pangier Borgstede

    Pastor Henke had many influences in the lives of my family. Although we didn’t know each other then, we were both students at Concordia, St. Paul at the same time and reminisced about those days. In 1981 he became the pastor at Shepherd of the Hills, where my husband Bob and I had recently moved to be near my parents. There he performed my father’s funeral in 1982 (the 2nd one at this newly-formed church; my mother; Lucille, was his secretary there for about 8 years of his time there, and Pastor Barrie came back to WI to speak at my mother’s funeral in 2007; he confirmed our 2 sons (Michael and Stephen) and greatly influenced their faith walk, with our older son becoming a pastor (currently serving in the Buffalo/Niagara Falls, NY area).

    He touched so many with his caring and love, always pointing to his God and Savior. We are all looking forward to our heavenly reunion.

    We are praying that all who grieve his earthly presence are also rejoicing in his heavenly peace and joy, and the assurance that, in Christ, we will all be together in God’s timing.

  6. Connie Lowry

    I will miss Barrie Henke more than I can say. I joined HTLC in December 1988. He became our Pastor after the retirement of Pastor Jackson. Not only did he teach me so much about the Lutheran faith and God’s word, he was involved in the baptisms , marriages, confirmations and counseling of my children and grandchildren. He was always was there when needed, such as visiting Kerstin when she was gravely ill with meningitis. My family owes him tremendously and highly respects him. Go in peace, ye faithful servant.

  7. Rita Rains

    My husband and I first met Pastor Henke in the late 1980’s after we moved to Oklahoma City. From that point on, he became a lifelong friend, mentor, counselor, etc. He was a loving and gentle man who took care of his wife Pat during her lengthy health problems. He was an outstanding pastor and district president. He was instrumental in my husband changing careers at midlife and becoming a pastor himself. We will be forever blessed having known him. “Well done, though good and faithful servant.”

  8. Corinne Hoyt-Santoso

    Pastor Gentle meant alot toy Family too. He officiated my former marriage, he baptized my first born son. After leaving Shepherd of the Hills Church in Onalaska when he came up for a visit he stopped by to visit my Mother in the hospital after her surgery to pray over her. He was always Kind, compassionate to my sons when they were small children, and shared Jesus with me on my faith journey! Sadly missed but the Lord has our Faithful Shepherd! “Well done our Faithful servant.”

  9. Corinne Hoyt-Santoso

    Pastor Henke meant alot to my Family . He officiated my former marriage, he baptized my first born son. After leaving Shepherd of the Hills Church in Onalaska when he came up he stopped by to visit my Mother in the hospital after her surgery; to pray over her. He was always Kind, compassionate to my sons when they were small children, and shared Jesus with me on my faith journey! Sadly missed but the Lord has our Faithful Shepherd! “Well done our Faithful servant.”

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