Mack Houston obituary (2021) – Piney Flats, VA


Mack A. Houston Sr.

August 21, 2021

Reverend Mack A. Houston Sr., 96, Piney Flats, passed away on Saturday, August 21, 2021 at his home.

He was a native of Carter County and the son of the late John and Ethel Leonard Houston. Reverend Houston attended Cave Springs Elementary School, Happy Valley High School, East Tennessee State University, Milligan College, and completed ministry studies at Duke University and the Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

He loved movies and started attending movies in 1935 and watched hundreds of movies, especially B-Westerns. He had a large collection of DVDs, mostly westerns but also classics. He has organized film clubs in Elizabethton, Johnson City, Wytheville, Virginia and finally at Piney Flats, which started from 1992 to 2017. He has shared his love of westerns with hundreds of fans and friends. He participated in numerous western film festivals from 1972 to 2010, where he met more than 400 movie stars, directors, stuntmen and others in the film industry.

He was a WWII veteran, having served in the 35th Infantry Division, 25th Division, 1943-1945. He was wounded on the island of Luzon in the Philippines on February 5, 1945. He won 14 medals during his military career. He served as chaplain for the local chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart and was active in veterans affairs after his release.

His greatest love was the ministry. After his military service, he became employed by Mountain Home VA. After eight years in the VA, he received his call to ministry in 1957. He retired from active ministry in The Holston Conference United Methodist Church in 1988, but continued to serve the Lord by occasionally preaching and being twice acting pastor. His love and his passion preached. He was known for his intense visits, especially to hospitals and nursing homes. He led devotions at a Johnson City nursing home for 11 years. He has preached in United Methodist congregations, but also as a guest minister in Baptist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, and other denominations. His goal was to be a community pastor and to provide services to everyone. He served 13 churches during his ministry, primarily in the Johnson City district. He was ordained by Bishop Ellis Finger in 1968 in his home church, the Taylor Memorial United Methodist Church on S. Roan Street. He loved the United Methodist Church.

Besides his parents, Reverend Houston is predeceased by his son, Mack “Andy” Houston, in March, and his first wife, Joyce Clark Houston, in 1989.

Survivors include: his wife of 30 years, Helen Whitaker Houston; daughter, Sabra Houston; several cousins, nieces and nephews; and many church friends.

Visitations will be held from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, August 23, 2021 at Morris-Baker Funeral Home. In an effort to keep everyone safe, the family of Reverend Mack Houston will not be present during visitation and ask you to only attend the funeral service virtually, rather than coming. The funeral service will be webcast live on the Morris-Baker website,, Tuesday August 24, 2021 at 1:30 pm The prison service, which the public is invited to attend, will take place Tuesday at 3 pm. Families and friends are asked to meet at Roselawn Memory Gardens before 2:50 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Piney Flats United Methodist Church, 225 Methodist Church St., Piney Flats, TN 37686.

Memories and condolences can be shared with the Houston family via Morris-Baker Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 2001 E. Oakland Ave., Johnson City, serves the Houston family. (423) 282-1521

Published by Bristol Herald Courier on Aug 22, 2021.


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