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MVNU Celebrates the Life of Dr. Larry Houck

MOUNT VERNON, Ohio — Former religion professor Dr. Larry Houck, 70, passed away on Saturday, July 22, 2017, in Mount Vernon, Ohio. He served in many roles at Mount Vernon Nazarene University from 2000-2010.

Larry was born on Oct. 8, 1946, in Bellefonte, Penn., to the late James and Pauline Houck. He was a 1970 graduate of God’s Bible College in Cincinnati, Ohio; a 1977 graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Ky., where he earned a Master of Divinity degree; and a 1989 graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary where he earned a Doctorate of Ministry.

Larry pastored many churches in Erie, New Castle, and Oil City, Penn., as well as Wesley Chapel United Methodist in Danville, Ohio. He taught in the religion department at Greenville College in Greenville, Ill., for six years, and at MVNU for 10 years. He was also involved in missions in Indonesia for two years and in the Philippines for two years. Larry was the World Missions Director of the Free Methodist Church for six years.

While at MVNU, Larry taught many undergraduate and non-traditional religion courses and held other duties such as Coordinator of the Church Ministries program, Chair of the Religion and Philosophy Department, Director of the Nazarene Ministerial Scholarship Program, Director of Enrollment Services for EXCELL, and more.

“Rev. Dr. Larry Houck was a very well educated, experienced and compassionate faculty member. His colleagues loved and appreciated him and the students knew him to be a mentor who cared deeply about them as persons, but also as ministry students preparing for professional ministry. Larry was always willing to try new challenges and met those challenges with grace and strength,” said Rev. Dr. C. Jeanne Serrão, Dean of the School of Theology and Philosophy at MVNU.

In 2015, Larry wrote a book titled “Spiritual Formation: The Joy of the Journey” published by WestBowPress. He was also a member of the North Central Ohio District of the Church of the Nazarene for the last 12 years.

Larry was preceded in death by his parents.

He is survived by his wife Sharon (Hughes) Houck; his son, Michael James Houck; two brothers, James (Juanita) Houck, Randy Houck; his sister, Linda Ziman; and his aunt, Joan Houck.

Friends may call on Tuesday, July 25, 2017, from 6-8 p.m., at the Dowds-Snyder Funeral Home. A service will be held at the Lakeholm Church of the Nazarene on Wednesday beginning at 11 a.m. with Pastor Ray LaSalle officiating. Burial will follow in Mount Vernon Memorial Gardens Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Hospice of Knox County.

To send the family a condolence online visit

Mount Vernon Nazarene University is a private, four-year, intentionally Christian teaching university for traditional age students, graduate students, and working adults. With a 327-acre main campus in Mount Vernon, Ohio, and several convenient Graduate and Professional Studies locations throughout the state, MVNU emphasizes academic excellence, spiritual growth, and service to community and church. MVNU offers an affordable education to more than 2,200 students from 28 states and 17 countries/U.S. territories.