Atlanta’s astute community leader, Barney Simms, to be laid to rest

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A celebration of life and funeral service for Barney L. Simms  will be held at his home church Antioch Baptist Church North located at 540 Cameron M. Alexander Boulevard in northwest Atlanta on Saturday, April 16, 2016 at noon. Simms has been a member there since 1969. He actively served on Antioch’s trustee board and as an adviser to the church’s newsletter staff.

Viewing will be held on the day of service, Saturday April 16, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. until noon at Antioch Baptist Church.


Simms, 70, was carjacked and murdered. He was dying when he was discovered near the bushes at his Southwest Atlanta home. He was struck by a single gunshot wound while in his front yard. His front door was unlocked and his black Lexus was missing (at the time of this writing, the car has been recovered but the killer has yet to be arrested).

Simms retired from the Atlanta Housing Authority in 2012 after ten years of service, where he served as chief of AHA’s governmental and external affairs. He first joined the housing authority in Aug. 2002 as a special assistant to longtime CEO Renee Glover, rising through the organization to become its second highest-ranking official.


Barney Simms leaves behind an impressive legacy of community and government service including the Fulton County DFCS Advisory Board, Andrew and Walter Young Family YMCA, Foundation Board of Atlanta Metropolitan State College, chairman of Atlanta Victims Assistance Inc., the Atlanta Planning Advisory Board, the Atlanta License and Review Board, and the Atlanta Beltline’s steering committee.

According to his fellow church member and Atlanta Journal Constitution columnist, Gracie Bonds Staples, Simms was a jazz lover,  “a regular, for instance, at Clark Atlanta University’s ‘Jazz Under the Stars,’ an annual scholarship fundraiser.

“He possessed many talents, but he was best known for his writing, speaking and flair for dressing,” Cooke adds. “He will be missed.”

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