Jetton Lanier Barnes (age 47) born November 12, 1975, was a father of two, a devoted family man and a world-renowned maestro, musician extraordinaire. He was born in Elkhart, Indiana to Sharon Barnes and the late Lester Johnson. On April 4, 2023, Jetton went from labor to reward at Community Hospital East in Indianapolis, Indiana after suffering from a brief illness.
The foundation of a Christian Church of God In Christ lifestyle was engrained in Jetton under the influence of his maternal grandparents, Elder Lester Barnes Sr. and Mother, Bertha Mae Barnes. He gave his life to Christ as a young child at Macedonia Church of God In Christ in Elkhart, IN. It was in the church where Jetton stood out as a musical child prodigy. Following in his mother’s footsteps, Jetton gravitated to the piano and church organ. His natural musical talent was amazing. He had an ear for music that allowed him to hear any song, dissect it and flawlessly offer it back in his own style. This gift earned him the title of “Maestro” throughout the music industry.
Jetton was raised in Elkhart, Indiana where he graduated from Elkhart Concord High School in 1994. He studied music at the University of Indianapolis. Jetton built his life and professional career based out of the Indianapolis area playing for an array of churches and performing in various venues. Jetton’s gift for music allowed him to travel extensively and built a reputation of professionalism, hard work, and perfection. He performed, composed, produced, mentored, and influenced the music industry tremendously.
While he was well known in the gospel music industry, Jetton aligned himself with musicians from all genres. Some of the mainstream musicians privileged to work with Jetton include artist such as Gospel greats: Lashawn Pace, Yolanda Adams, Marvin Sapp, and Pastor Donnie McClurkin. R&B greats such as: Con Funk Shun, Al Greene, Lalah Hathaway, and The Rude Boys. Jazz artists: Rob White, Bony James, Reggie Foster Jr, and Norman Conners. Television Projects: Pop Artist Tv reality show Black Ink Crew (Season One), Jamie Foxx and Tyler Perry. It is impossible to name them all.
Jetton stayed humble and faith grounded throughout his success. He prioritized loyalty to God and to his family. He would move heaven and earth to honor family requests. As one of the oldest grandchildren, his claim to fame was that he changed everyone’s diapers. He deemed himself the Barnes Boss. It was not uncommon to hear him instruct guests in his home to “sit on their hands” so that they would not touch his stuff. He had a memory so impressive that one could make a case that it was photographic. That ability awarded him the self-appointed position as the family historian and the COGIC expert. Jetton has now cemented his place in history.
Jetton is survived by his mother Sharon Barnes of Elkhart, IN; Son DonTez (Teyera) Hampton-Barnes; Daughter, Shania Barnes; Granddaughter, Selera Hampton-Barnes, all of Indianapolis, IN; Brothers: Justin Martin of Elkhart, Ronald (Jean) Johnson of Indianapolis, and Charles (Donna) Johnson of Durham, NC.; Sister: Michele Cheney of Indianapolis; Cousin/Brothers: Michael Corey Hadley of Davenport, IA, Chad (Deavin) Hadley of Indianapolis, Celby (Janell) Hadley of Elk Grove, IL, Cameron Barnes of Atlanta, GA, Shane Gordon of Indianapolis; Cousin/Sisters: Tammy (Pevis) Dulin of Reynoldsburg, OH, Ayrica Lynn Gordon of Indianapolis; Aunts: Sonia (Ron) Hadley-Davis and Sherry Barnes both of Elkhart; Uncle: Juard (Dr. Larita) Barnes, Shiloh, IL; Great-uncle: Taylor Dunn Jr. of Elkhart; Great-aunts: Lorraine Hobbs of Indianapolis, Joan Murkey of Chicago, IL, and Linda (Clifton) Turner from Flint, MI.
Preceding him in death are his father, Lester Johnson; brother, James E. Sawyers; and uncle, Lester Barnes Jr. Also entrusted to carry Jetton’s legacy are many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
Musical and Wake for Brother Barnes will be held on Thursday April 13, 2023 from 6 P.M until 8:30 P.M at Mount Carmel Church, 9610 E. 42nd Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46235. Homegoing Services will be held on Saturday April 15, 2023; 11 A.M at River of Life Church Community Church, 2626 Prairie Street, Elkhart, Indiana 46517. Friends may visit with the family an hour prior. Burial will be held on Monday April 17, 2023 at Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens. Local arrangements have been entrusted with Alford’s Mortuary Inc.
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