In memoriam: Emeritus missionary Laura Houts, 77

Laura Houts

Laura Houts, an emeritus International Mission Board missionary who shared the gospel among Sub-Saharan African Peoples, died April 12, 2019. She was 77.

Laura Carolyn Houts was born March 14, 1942 to LeRoy and Florence Seat Houts in Hamburg, Iowa.

She received the bachelor’s degree in education (music major) from Northwest Missouri State University in 1964 and a master of music education from Colorado University in 1967. She went on to receive the master of religious education degree from Midwestern Baptist Seminary in 1974 and the master of church music degree from Midwestern in 1994.

She was commissioned to serve as missionary to Ghana, West Africa, in 1976 by the Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board). She served in Ghana for 33 years. She became fluent in the Twi language and was able to compile and edit hymnals in two indigenous dialects. She conducted workshops for worship leaders of local churches, developed and implemented a master’s degree in music program for Ghana Baptist Seminary, and taught private music lessons to countless individuals. A group she helped teach performed on the world stage at the Baptist World Alliance held in Argentina.

Houts was preceded in death by her half-brother Lyle Houts of Hamburg, Iowa.

She is survived by her brother Lowell Houts; two nieces; six nephews; and 11 great-nieces/nephews.

After retirement, Houts actively participated in her local community. She enjoyed playing the organ in the Grant City (Missouri) Baptist Church. She was involved in the Baptist Women and Woman’s Missionary Union activities at the local, associational, and state levels. She directed and transposed music for the Worth County Community Band. She was proud to accompany the Ringgold County Singers of Mt. Ayr, Iowa. She volunteered for numerous community organizations. She acted as a mentor to numerous international students attending Northwest Missouri State University and sponsored a scholarship for international students showing academic and leadership potential who had financial need.

Memorials are suggested to the Carolyn Houts International Student Scholarship, Northwest Missouri State University, 800 University Dr., 215 Administration Bldg., Maryville, MO 64468.

Read an obituary here.