The Reverend Ernest Rodriguez Houppert, “Rod,” entered fully into the presence of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on March 19, 2022 at the age of 67.
Pastor Houppert, the son of James Francis and Marie Sullivan Houppert, was born December 29, 1954 in Mobile, Alabama. He was baptized in 1955, confirmed in 1969 at Grace Lutheran Church, Mobile, and graduated from Murphy High School in 1973. He worked as a deckhand on a tow boat in Mobile Bay until enrolling in the University of South Alabama. Later he enrolled in Concordia College, Ann Arbor, Michigan and graduated in 1979 with a double major in Psychology and Sociology. He was awarded the Bachelor of Arts degree.
Following college, Rod enrolled at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Mo. He served his vicarage at Immanuel Lutheran, Wahpeton, North Dakota and completed his Master of Divinity at seminary in 1985. He was ordained into the office of Holy Ministry in August of 1985 at his home congregation, Grace Lutheran Church in Mobile, Ala. Additionally, Pastor Houppert received training in Campus Ministry work, and in the International Interim Ministry Program.
In August of 1984, Rod married Linda Susan Kaiser, whom he met at the seminary. She was the love of his life. She predeceased him in 2003 and we rejoice that they are celebrating being in the presence of God together.
In his ministry career, Pastor Houppert served the following six LCMS congregations: Immanuel, Silver Creek, MN; Our Savior, Winchester, VA; Immanuel, Charlottesville, VA; Holy Trinity, Macon, GA (Interim Pastor); Trinity, New Orleans, LA (Interim Pastor); and St. Paul, Wallis, TX.
Pastor “Rod” Houppert was known, by many, as the “Motorcycle Pastor.” He was the proud owner of a Kawasaki Vulcan 900 and wore the full motorcycle riding gear of a “biker” (safer to be dressed properly) leather jacket, head bandana, helmet, and chaps. He loved going on road trips and for a time traveled extensively via his motorbike, camping most of the time. He loved University of Alabama football, music, movies, video games, and gathering with friends to have a cold brew and discuss “life, the universe and everything.” He always had a twinkle in his eye, a smile on his face and a heart full of love for everyone he met. His presence in our lives was a blessing and we are all, family, friends, and parishioners, grateful that he was in our lives and look forward to the day we all reunite in the presence of our heavenly Father.
The family would like to thank the staff and doctors at Memorial Hermann Hospital, at The Woodlands for their compassionate and heroic efforts. We don’t know how you do it. Also, a heartfelt thank you to the Rev. Micah Drengler, Living Word, The Woodlands, who was by Pastor Rod’s side when he was first admitted to the hospital, and on his last day this side of heaven, along with those of us who were also there.
Rod is predeceased by his wife, Linda Susan Houppert (Kaiser) and his parents James Francis and Marie Sullivan Houppert. He is survived by many friends in many states and by his siblings, Carole (Jim) Stevenson, Austin, TX; Charles (Laura) Hefton, Atlanta, GA; Edward (Roxanne) Houppert, Lilburn, GA; and Lloyd Houppert, Florida; two nieces, Sergeant Major Jessica Brooke Houppert, Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, AL and Beth (TC) Richards (and great nephew, Thomas). Lilburn, GA and one nephew, Daniel (Abby) Stevenson, Austin, TX.
"To God be the Glory"
A memorial service is scheduled for 4:00 pm CDT, Sunday, April 3, 2022, at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 515 Cedar St, Wallis, TX 77485. The Revs. Robert Lutjens, St. John’s, Wharton, and Randy Ledbetter, Mt. Olive, Houston, will officiate.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a commemorative gift, praising God for Pastor Houppert’s ministry, to the LCMS congregation of your choice.