John Charles Stemper
February 11, 1931 – January 22, 2020
John Charles Stemper, age 88, passed away on January 22, 2020, in Houston, Texas. He was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on February 11, 1931 to his parents John Barrus and Carrie Brandt Stemper.
Although an only child, he grew up in a large extended family in New Orleans. He served in the United States Navy Seabees Construction Battalion. It was there that he gave his life to the Lord Jesus Christ. After his service in the Navy, he felt a call to attend Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky. In college, he met and married the love of his life, Jean Hall. After earning a degree from Asbury, John went on to earn a Master of Divinity from the Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Austin, Texas. Early in their married life, John answered a call to the mission field in Brazil. He shared God’s love and plan of salvation with the Brazilian people. He served in Brazil for six years with his growing family. After returning home, John pastored churches in New Iberia, LA., Freeport, TX., and Alief, TX. Throughout his life, John preached the gospel of Jesus Christ at all times, and when it was necessary, he used words. When John was asked to remember anyone in his prayers, he would stop and pray immediately with that person. His life was a true testimony to God’samazing grace.
After retiring in 1996, he enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren and, more recently, his great grandchildren. He was always involved in his local church and served in any way he could. John was able to travel to Australia and go on an Alaskan cruise and considered those to be trips of a lifetime. He also used his building skills to build a house in Nacogdoches.
He is preceded in death by his parents, his wife of 57 years, Jean Stemper, and infant son, David Paul. He is survived by his daughters, Dianne Lacy and husband Scott, Dana West and husband Allen; his son, Daniel Stemper and wife Brenda; grandchildren, Emily Lacy, Rachel and husband John Jorgensen, John and wife Hannah Lacy; Aaron, Jacob, and Carrie West; and Matthew Stemper. He has three great-grandchildren, Elijah and Ezekiel Lacy, and Harriet Pentecost.
A memorial service will be conducted by Pastor Ryan Weems at Christ Covenant Church in Houston on Saturday, February 1, 2020 at 1:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for memorial donations to be offered to Pregnancy Help Center of West Houston; 1450 E. Summitry Circle; Katy, Texas 77449. (Online donations: https://phckaty.org). Online condolences may be offered at www.dignitymemorial.com.
- Memorial Service Saturday, February 1, 2020
John Charles Stemper
February 1, 2020
Having known Mr. Stemper for nearly 40 years, I can honestly say he was the kindest man I’ve ever met..
My favorite memory of John would be my wedding of course. He married me and my husband, Skeeter, in 1991 in his little church in Alief. It meant the world to us as we both have been friends with Daniel since the early 80’s. So we grew up all together. At the ceremony the guys were joking around telling John to say “obey” in my vows but leave it out when it came to Skeeter’s, well he turned it around during the ceremony and made my husband say it and not me - lol. I remember giggling at the alter, as were the guests. What a perfect day that was. Also when my dad moved down here in 2015 Daniel and John would come and get him to go watch Matt play baseball at the high school a couple times a week for a while and it meant the world to me and my dad. John made my dad feel right at home. My heart goes out to his family. He will be missed. Love to all❤️
Deborah Renfroe Schick
January 30, 2020
Jake profoundly affected my life as a teen and young adult. As the pastor of our church in New Iberia, he not only shepherded his congregation, but also brought the love of Jesus Christ to the extended community in New Iberia. My prayers are with his family.
Carolyn Klentzman Cummings
January 29, 2020
This man of God had a profound impact not only on the church in New Iberia, but on my family and most importantly in my personal life. Jake, as we knew him, served God with the practical faith of Jesus disciples. And Jake's openness encouraged that faith in others. A real honest, heart changing belief that what God said in His Word is true and the courage to act on it. He would always say "You gotta be ready to preach, pray, or die, at a moment's notice. Ready?"
Walter Klentzman, Jr
January 28, 2020
John was not only the Pastor at the Presbyterian Church in New Iberia, but was a close friend and someone who guided me through the teenage years of my life.
On June 5th 1971, he married me and Wendy at that church, and more than 48 years later, we are still going strong.
I echo all the things my sister, Sherri said and would like to close with this verse from 1 Corinthians 2:9, which was one of John's favorites : "Eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man, the things that God hath prepared for those that love him."
Sheri Klentzman Mitchell
January 28, 2020
We knew John as Pastor Jake at our church in New Iberia,La. When I was 12 Jake led me to the Lord. Also he was such a source of strength and comfort to my family when my brother and dad pasted away suddenly. He was a pastor in every sense of the word. I have such pleasant memories as a young girl growing up in that church in New Iberia. I feel blessed to have known Jake and his family. They were our family also.
January 27, 2020
Considering Johns 88 years, I am a relatively new friend. The minute that I met him in church, I felt his Jesus spirit. The light of the Lord exuded his body and I loved listening about his navy and missionary days.
I will miss you John, especially in small group. I do rejoice that you are with the Lord and your past loved ones.
January 26, 2020
Jake had a way of awakening in my thinking that the Lord Jesus was more real than I had been aware of. Absolutely unashamed of Jesus, he loved to speak of Him, and he loved to pray. We had a great upbringing with godly parents and a fine local church and great teaching. One day our Brazosport Facts had a small article by Lawrence Malloy (former pastor) which arrested my sense of need referring to Jeremiah 2:13. So, I began to read the Bible to see how to become a Christian...really. After a week of that effort, and through an odd circumstance, Bobby and I ended up in a class for new believers instead of senior youth fellowship. It was there, in the church nursery, that Jake helped me trust in the Lord Jesus by showing me how He did ALL, and that all I could and must do was trust in Him. Ephesians 2:8-9 ["How beautiful are the feet of them who bring glad tidings of good things!!!!"]
Laura Bashaw Smith
January 25, 2020
This was my pastor as a child and teen, who changed the course of my life and many others by leading us to salvation in Jesus. I can't find the words to express how grateful I am that God brought him to Freeport, Texas. What a legacy! He was a man who impacted thousands of lives, by living the gospel as well as preaching it. He believed in the power of prayer. He was never seeking a name for himself, but was always about making Jesus known. His life is a great example of what God can do through ordinary people who are obedient! He even impacted the nation of Brazil during his time there. Oh to have that kind of influence! John Stemper will be remembered for the way he lived his daily life, touching thousands of people and bringing them into the kingdom. It wasn't a huge crusade, but one life at a time! John Stemper finished his race and ran well! Generations have been changed because of his obedience and love. I am so privileged to have known him!