Add Your Memories Below!

We are preparing to say “see you later” to a great man. After nearly 87 years of serving the Lord, Dad is succumbing to frailty in this fallen world. We look forward to rejoining him one day, and reveling forever in the Lord’s new heavens and new earth. But for now, we take comfort and inspiration from the kind words and fond memories of his many friends!

— John Hepp’s kids: John Stephen, David, Cindy, and Brad

Update Monday, December 12: We got a call this evening that Dad passed away at 8:20 pm. Praise the Lord. He was sleeping peacefully and then woke up in God’s presence. The Lord’s timing is always right, His grace is always available.  We’ll update the announcement in the upper-right widget as soon as we know the day and time for the memorial service. It will be at First Baptist in Van, Texas.

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On a mobile device? Memorial Service Details | The Bulletin | John’s Website | Memorial Gifts

Questions or problems? Contact Brad Hepp.

35 thoughts on “Add Your Memories Below!”

  1. I was a founding member of the HAWL Community Church and recall many visits, teachings and updates regarding his ministry by John Hepp from years back. We moved away and I am a member of another church now but still have fond memories of this servant of the Lord and his messages. May his legacy continue to influence and further the kingdom. My sincere condolences to the family.

  2. God bless the memory of John Hepp. Though I was never able to meet him personally, he and I had so many conversations about the Word over email. John was gracious, thoughtful, and a keen and intellectual student of the Bible. I pray that many more will take the baton and run the race in the same manner as John ran. God bless the Hepp family in this time of grief mixed with celebration.

  3. What a wonderful person! I have come to know about him through this website and friendship with his son Brad. How I wish I could have known him personally for years and years. What a different world this would be if it were populated with persons who had the relationship with Christ and strength of character that Mr. Hepp possessed. The First Baptist Church of Van was fortunate indeed to enjoy his fellowship over the years. I am confident he heard the words “well done” when his Lord greeted him in heaven.

  4. Dear John & Billie,
    You are now reunited enjoying each other once again. Just to think you are looking into the beautiful face of Jesus is beyond compare. My Larry had his first Christmas in heaven two years ago, and this will be your first, John. I cannot even begin to imagine what that is like, but look forward to the day I can join in the heavenly choir as well.
    While our family was living in a tribal area, you – John & Billie – graciously lent us your home as we were expecting our third child, Philip. What grace, what love, what kindness, all characteristics of your consecrated lives.
    Your dedication and hard work became more apparent to us when Larry and I moved to Puebla. To have been a part of your lives, and your children’s lives has been a very special blessing to me. I love you and will see you soon.
    My deepest condolences to John Stephen, David, Cindy and Brad. ❤

  5. The world has lost a truly great man but heaven has received a huge gift as our dear friend John entered into the presence of his Savior and Lord. What a time of rejoicing as John met Jesus face to face and then reunited with is precious Billie Jean ! We met Billie Jean and John about 45 years ago at a conference in Minneapolis Minnesota and have kept in touch over the years. Our many visits to Texas were so precious to us as we reminisced, prayed together, shared meals and played table games. It is hard to imagine going back to Texas and not visiting with John. Our hearts are sad for us and his children, we will miss him so very much, but we rejoice with John and will keep him in our hearts forever.

  6. John Hepp was such an encouraging, loving and kind person. Ever the faithful servant of the Lord. So knowledgeable and so willing to share that knowledge with others. We thought so much of your dad, and your mom, Billie Jean. My mom, Millie Hudgens, and I were blessed to know these two special people, and we give thanks for the impact their lives made for the Kingdom. God bless all of you and give you His peace.

  7. My long-time First Baptist friend. I think of a humble servant of God. Appreciative of the smallest favor. Honest. Observant. Caring. Easily gave compliments. Always studying the Word and ever learning. A teacher to teachers. Always ready to share the gospel. Always smiling. Loved Billie deeply. Loved his friends and ready to share anything he had. Learned to cook:) Loved to watch the Olympics. Faithfully served at FBC Van and Iglesia Getsemani of Van. I will miss your almost daily visits by the church office and will look forward to seeing you again in the Eternal Kingdom.

  8. David, John Stephen, Cindy and Brad- we are deeply sorrowful for your loss. Take comfort in knowing he’s in Heaven getting to experience what we Christians all look forward to…falling in the arms of Jesus in worship and Jesus wiping away his tears and saying “well done thy good and faithful servant”. After that Uncle John has or will be looking up Aunt Billie, Grandma, Granddad, Aunt Gloria (etc) and all will have a glorious shouting re-union!! Uncle John was definitely a great man. He had so much love to share all around; with his family; relatives; local Church family and friends around the world. Cuz, Bruce.

  9. It was my pleasure to get to know John very well as a fellow missionary in Puebla, Mexico, during the 1960’s. He taught at the seminary there and made a significant contribution in the lives of many students. His biblically-based teaching and his warm testimony for the Lord impacted lives as they prepared for ministry. The current endeavors of many bear witness to his godly influence. In recent days I somewhat lost track of John here in Texas, but I never doubted that he was moving steadily ahead with his consistent zeal for the Lord and His people in whatever service was assigned to him. The jogging tracks of heaven are just a little bit busier these days.

  10. Thank you Uncle John for being such a faithful servant of our King. I remember when we all went fishing at Uncle Eddie Elliot’s pond when I was a kid,and you pulled in the big fish!

  11. Over the last 15 years John Hepp spent hundreds of hours in our home: listening to my children play instruments, listening to them read, listening to them recite memorized Bible passages, sitting at our dinner table sharing meals, answering Bible questions, entertaining the children with board games and tricks, singing hymns together with us, praying for us, sharing poems with us, and the list goes on and on. I am confident that the Lord has used all of these things as a means to sanctify my family. God has used him in a mighty way.
    I am so thankful that 15 years ago my wife, Dana, told me that I needed to walk over to First Baptist Church and meet Mr. Hepp. I was a new Christian and did just that. It was the beginning of a relationship that has eternal implications. I praise the Lord for His grace and love that He would see fit to have us be a part of John Hepp’s life. To God be the glory!

  12. Mr Hepp you will be truly missed. I will so miss coming to you with my crazy questions. You always made me feel special & that I was not as crazy as I thought I was. I will always admire you for your ability to teach the Bible where anyone could understand. God bless you!

  13. Much memories, John and Billie. For not only Talking the Talking but Walking the Walk!
    How often have we considered their teaching and life style roll model. I owe much credit to where I am in my walk today.
    Am certain he has already heard Matthew 25:21
    My Friend my Brother

  14. My Beloved Father in the faith. How much I will miss you on this earth. Thank you for loving me when I was unloveable. Thank you for your love of God’s Word, and teaching me how to live it. I look forward to seeing you again in eternity. Jeanine

  15. John Hepp was one of the most faithful, loving, sensitive, and theologically sound followers of Christ I have had the pleasure of meeting. And CONSISTENTLY so. The word meek is epitomized by John because he had great knowledge and power, yet was a simple, humble servant. His love for God and the deep relationship John had with Him was exemplified by the way he lived.

    Recent memories of John included him coming into the kitchen at the church on Wednesdays when we would be cooking for the Youth. John would get his little cardboard box out of the fridge, and pull out an old yogurt container that was now his “Tupperware” for the leftover coffee from the previous Sunday. Pour himself a cup, and stick it in the microwave. All the while asking what was on the menu that week. And effortlessly being a beacon of light and encouragement to whoever was in the kitchen with him.

    Truly God’s servant and a presence that will be missed!

  16. Thank you John for being a Bible mentor and friend. You pushed us to learn more and know more about the Bible and God’s will.
    We will miss you greatly, but your investigations for Biblical truths has ended in the revelation of truth in Jesus Christ! I know you must be over-run with joy!

  17. While we never had the opportunity to meet Mr. Hepp, we certainly know Brad, Susan, and their boys, so it is no surprise to learn what a fine man he was. We, too, look forward to meeting him in heaven some day.

  18. Judging from the many nice comments posted on this memorial site – the high esteem in which Mr. John Hepp is held is a good measure of the impact he had on the communities where he lived and friends he made in his life. I met Mr. Hepp as a missionary kid in Puebla, Mexico, where I also became friends with his children. My condolences to John Stephen, David, Cindy, and Brad, and to their respective families. You are fortunate to have such a father/grandfather.

  19. Mr. Hepp,
    Your friendship brought so much joy to my heart. Thank you so much for always encouraging me and sharing your wisdom. My family and I always enjoyed visiting with you, because the love you had in your heart for Jesus was so evident. So now as I learn you are resting with our Lord, I am rejoicing for you, but a little sad for the rest of us who will miss you till we see you again.

  20. To the Family of John Hepp,

    First of all I want to say how very sorry we are to hear of Mr. Hepp’s passing. He was such a kind man. We loved him coming over to watch the construction but most of all we loved visiting with him. He absolutely loved watching the construction that is taking place and asking questions about the process. He was a frequent visitor here at the administration building and we will miss him greatly. Our prayers are with you and your family.

    Don Dunn, Superintendent

  21. John, thank you so much for all love, encouragement, and help that you showed to Jeanine through some hard times. God put you there for her just when she needed you. We will never know just how much of a difference you made until we meet in eternity.
    May God comfort and encourage you now, and may he be glorified through you now, as He has been these many years.

  22. I was always encouraged by Mr. Hepp’s faith and his smiling face. He lived just down the street from me and we were both members of FBC Van. I will never forget the morning after the Van tornado, John Hepp and I walked up to the school in early morning hours processing the destruction in front of us. I really admired him. I am sad for all of us that he has passed, but glad for him. See you again, Mr. Hepp!

  23. So many memories, mostly of his wise teaching. I loved to hear him sing and he and Billie were both committed to being an integral part of the choir while we were there. He bravely allowed me to help with some of his transcribing when his writings changed formats, so I spent time in that cramped little office at the top of the stairs…he was so grateful for that space. I loved his giving spirit, his complete trust in God’s word, and his willingness to share what he knew to all of us who would listen. He graciously led a weekly bible study for a group of us…..those are times I will always remember because we read and prayed together for our families and friends.

    John, you gave yourself away for the sake of Christ. What a wonderful legacy of love!

  24. You are a friend and mentor.
    You are Mr. Consistency.
    I can’t thank you enough for your challenging questions and the gentle nudge to dig deeper in the Word.

  25. Mr. Hepp,

    You had such a heart for children. When I would have a group of preschoolers walking down the hall at church you always a magic trick or joke for them. I remember you had a cookie stash in the church’s kitchen to eat when you took your medicine 🙂 See you again friend.

  26. I have known Mr Hepp since I was about 6. My family attended the First Baptist church in Van where as a kid I thought is where he lived since he was there every time I would go. whether it be for choir practice, VBS, or a youth function, Mr Hepp would be walking around smiling and lifting up spirits. I found it fascinating that you could ask him anything about the Bible and He would know exactly where to find it and what it meant. He is a man who truly lived his life for the Lord and was a friend to anyone he met. I am so happy to have known you Mr Hepp.
    – Meghan Murphree

  27. Dear John,
    What a wonderful man of God you are. So wise in the Word and so gentle in spirit. Your kindness and smile will always be with us and we will miss you so much at FBC Van. For over 26 years you have been our friend and such a great teacher, mentor, Rabbi. Your intimacy with the Gospel brought its truth even closer to us. Please give Jesus a hug from me when you see Him.
    Love always,

  28. David,
    This is Kathy Williams Clanton, Pat’s twin sister. We graduated together. I would see your dad regularly at the track at the old football field. He was always telling me that he thought my daughter, Michelle, looked like me. He went to church with her, so evidently knew her. When I told him that I was a former classmate of yours he smiled so big! He said he remembered Pat, and recognized me after told him who I was. I would occasionally see him walking after that and he always smiled and waved. He is such a good man. We have all been blessed by having him a part of our community. Prayers and hugs to all of y’all.

  29. I have So many memories of Mr. Hepp. My family joined the church when I was three years old. I remember him being up there for many children’s choir rehearsals, programs, and Vacation bible schools standing in the background just watching and taking it all in! While living in the same town I would run into him every now and then and he would still ask about my parents and sister 20 years later! Such a wonderful man living for the lord every single day.

  30. I did not know Mr. Hepp well, but what a wonderful Christian witness his life has been! I remember him singing with his accordion in church and hearing some of his stories from the mission field. I especially remember him walking around the track with his index cards memorizing scripture.

    Praising God for his life and praying for your family,

    Heather Meadows Marshall
    (My Dad is the youth minister at FBC Van)

  31. Mr. Hepp,you are an inspiration to me and my family. When I worked at FBC, Van, your daily visits were a time of joy. You were always asking me about what was going on in my life and interested in my whole family. Watching you walk in the gym and working on your memory verses and whole books of the Bible is amazing and your dedication to God’s Word makes me want to learn more. It was always a great time when you visited the Sunday School classes. I know the teachers were sweating, hoping they were saying the right thing, but we always learned a great deal about the lesson by what you offered. Of course, your gracious attitude helped everyone to gain understanding. Thank you for loving God, FBC, Van, and me and my family.
    Tammy Hukill

    Mr. Hepp,
    You are happy every time I see you and your joy is contagious! You have always made me feel cared about and important when you see me and my little girl, Emmie. Your dedication to Gods Word and your service to Him is inspiring. You are so loving, and you are so loved.

  32. I always enjoyed hearing you and Billie sing and play accordions at church. Also loved being “old enough” to join your adult class. You were so knowledgeable and challenged us weekly to study and learn the scriptures. You were a blessing to FBC Van and will be greatly missed.

  33. Dear Mr. Hepp,

    Thank you for sharing the Word with me in Sunday school. I’m so thankful you called me and let me know you would be teaching my class. I’ve enjoyed learning from you. Thank you for loving my Dana and her family. I will see you later.

  34. Dear Mr. Hepp,

    It’s me! Mariah. I remember when we first met. I was soooo upset because I thought you were trying to date my mom! I have no idea why I ever thought that, but it is funny to think back on. You’ve become like family to me, and I love you so much. You are one of the godliest and most caring men I know, and I am so honored to have known you. Thank you for all of the good memories, and I cannot wait to see you again.

    With love,
    Mariah Broadbent


    Hi, this is Christiana. I remember so many things about you. I remember you reading me books, and coming to all of my school performances. I also remember the time I almost ate a fake grape at your house. I remember you doing magic tricks at birthday parties and pool parties. I love you so much! It was always you and me. I’m so glad I met you and thank you for reading me poems. Speaking of poems, the last time I saw you, you t told me to learn a poem. I did, so here it goes


    the finest clothes,
    the fanciest cars,
    to dine in elegance
    with the Hollywood stars
    Getting front row seats,
    to all the best shows
    taking limo rides here,there
    and to and fro
    dropping dollars out of your pockets
    as you glide down the hall
    at your every beckon call
    Mansions not ranchers,
    with palm trees instead of oak
    with enough money to last a lifetime,
    vowing never again to be broke
    Look around and listen close
    at the party you’re the host
    knowing it all means nothing
    if you’re not rich in the holy ghost

    Thank you, Mr. Hepp. You mean so much to me. I will never forget you. I love you, and I can’t wait to see you again.
    ~ Christiana


    Hey, John! Even though most of my memories with you are from when I was young, the feeling those memories carry are as clear as day. I always looked forward to visiting Mr Hepp’s house, watching Wipeout and watching you perform your magic tricks. You were such a Godly man as well and I look at your generosity and kindness and faithfulness in an admiring way. I’m thankful for everything you’ve done in my life and the lives of my family members, we all love you and are praying for you. Can’t wait to see you again!

    ~ Patrick


    You are my dear and true friend, John Hepp. I count you
    as one of my closest and smile when I remember our
    times together. My prayer is for your peace and comfort.
    Any tears will be for me here missing you, and any comfort
    will come from thoughts of you enjoying unfettered fellowship
    with our Lord and Savior. Thank you for being so good
    to me, mine, all of us. ((HUGS))

    Until we meet again,

  35. Wow how much fun we have had through the years……John and Billie were just a part of the Wood family…..we would laugh, tell stories and SING……always remember visiting Puebla……

    Cuz John and I would occasionally talk about Biblical truth and church but invariably I would have to say ok wait a minute you just passed me by….an incredible mind.

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