May 31, 1920 - Aug. 9, 2007
Reverend Roy Enoch Mouser was born May 31, 1920 in Ansley, Louisiana. He died peacefully in his sleep the morning of Thursday, August 9, 2007. He was 87 years old. He is survived by his wife, La Verne Davis Mouser; eldest son, Clinton Roy Mouser; daughter Sherry La Verne Mouser; son, Jon Craig Mouser; four grandchildren: Shawn, Vinson, Christopher and Christina and two great-grandchildren: Tanek and Kala.
In the late 1930’s, while Roy was studying to be a lawyer at LSU Baton Rouge, he was walking across campus one day, thinking about what he saw as painful inequities and injustice in the world and wishing “somebody would do something about it.” Suddenly he felt the presence of God and a strong sense that he was being called to do something about it himself, not as an attorney but as a minister like his father and grandfather before him. He knelt down beside a fire hydrant and “answered God’s calling.” He then transferred to Centenary College where he began his studies to become a Methodist Minister. There he met and fell in love with a lovely young lady named La Verne Davis who was also the daughter and granddaughter of Methodist ministers and shared his commitment to serve in the church. They married in 1941 and moved to Dallas, Texas after Roy obtained his undergraduate degree from Centenary. He attended SMU in Dallas, managed the Oakcliff YMCA, and served as the Texas Methodist Youth Camp Counselor until entering the Army where he was an assistant chaplain during WWII.
After serving in the military, Roy completed his Master’s degree in Theology from SMU, was ordained, and entered the Louisiana Methodist Conference in 1948. His first church appointment was Blackwater Methodist just outside Baton Rouge. During his 45 years as minister he also served Cedar Grove Methodist Church Shreveport, North Baton Rouge Methodist Church, Simpson UMC Lake Charles, Elizabeth Sullivan Memorial UMC Bogalusa, Mangum Memorial UMC Shreveport, First UMC New Iberia, First UMC West Monroe, Pharr UMC Morgan City, St. Stephens UMC Bossier City (now part of Asbury UMC). At one point he served on the Methodist Board of Pensions. Rev. Mouser “retired” after serving at First UMC in Denham Springs. However, his idea of retirement was to take on 3 small churches at Pleasant Hill, Converse, and Pelican, preaching a 3-sermon circuit on Sunday mornings. He retired a second time in 1993 and lived for a while with his beloved wife in their private home in Shreveport until they settled in together at Live Oak Retirement Community.
Rev. Mouser’s sermon style was to connect current events, books, magazines, newspapers, and personal anecdotes with the teachings of the Bible, helping to make God’s Word relevant to today. He was by no means a “better-than-thou, fire and brimstone” minister. He shared his humanness, with faults and shortcomings as well as positive attributes. He was loving, compassionate and non-judgmental, believing “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” He counseled people from the point-of-view that although there is a right and a wrong, no person or religion has all the answers. He believed that only God knows the whole truth, and we have to go to God for those answers. He was known as an exceptional counselor for discussing individual spiritual pursuit. In the pulpit he preached the Methodist doctrine. He believed in and loved the Methodist church, his congregations and people in general.
Rev. Mouser had a very active evangelical period during the 60’s, traveling and organizing revivals regularly. He visited other countries providing missionary work. He organized and led trips to the Holy Land for parishioners interested in walking where Jesus walked and seeing where Christianity began. During that time, Oral Roberts asked him to teach English at the Oral Roberts University in Oklahoma, saying that he wanted “spirit filled” teachers on his staff. Rev. Mouser turned down the request because he knew he had been called to be a Methodist pastor and to preach from the pulpit.
Rev. Mouser was known for the courageous stands he took during the McCarthy era, Civil Rights movement, and Viet Nam War. During each period he risked going against the grain of mass public opinion expressing insights that have since become the majority consensus. In the mid fifties, after he had delivered a particularly courageous sermon addressing racism, his six-year-old child asked him “Daddy, what does ‘integration’ mean?” His answer was “It’s about people being together, Honey, and we’re for it.”
Reverend Mouser was an avid speed-reader. The family remembers one 14-day vacation when although he fully participated with the family, he also read a dozen books. He had a brilliant sense of humor that cannot be overlooked when describing him. He was also well appreciated by sports enthusiasts, as he was sure to end the Sunday service on time with awareness of the days’ impending game. Truth-be-told, he was a “diehard” Cowboys fan.
Roy Mouser –husband, father, brother, son, uncle, minister, friend, “Big Daddy” to his grandchildren and great grandchildren, shining example and hero to many, especially to all of his family—will be missed and well remembered. He touched thousands of lives and fulfilled his calling to “do something about it.” The world is a better place because of him. And, if there is an even better place after this earthly life, which he did believe, then he is there. He has earned his reward.
Source: 2008 Louisiana Annual Conference Journal