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Retired minister, wife stabbed to death in Mississippi

Fred and Mildred Joy House

Shock and heartbreak.
Friends, relatives and fellow Christians are dealing with both after a retired Church of Christ minister and his wife were stabbed to death in Mississippi.
Funeral services for Fred and Mildred Joy House are planned Friday in Fulton, Miss.
“Fred was a Church of Christ minister for many, many years,” his nephew Carl Royster, data compiler with 21st Century Christian publishing in Nashville, Tenn., told The Christian Chronicle. “The sad thing is that Fred and Joy had helped out their killer on multiple occasions in the past.”
The Itawamba County Times in Fulton, Miss., reported on the details of the crime:

A Fulton man has been arrested and charged with the Thursday murder of an elderly Itawamba County couple.
Jake Howard Carpenter, 29, of 485 Spencer Road, Fulton, was arrested … and charged with two counts of murder and one count grand larceny, said Itawamba County Sheriff Chris Dickinson. Carpenter is accused of the stabbing deaths of Mildred Joy House, 79, and her husband, Fred Doyle House, 77, both of 509 Spencer Road, Fulton.

In a later story, the local newspaper interviewed people close to the Houses:

“You wouldn’t find a better family than the Houses,” Lyndell Fikes said, speaking of his close friends Fred and Mildred Joy House, both murdered during a break-in at their Fulton home last Thursday.
Fikes, a minister at Plainview Church of Christ, where the Houses attended services, said the couple was loving and sociable.
“Every activity the church held, they were involved in the fullest,” he said, referring to the couple as “pillars of the community.”

WTVA.com reported:

“I can truthfully say I’ve never known two quite like them,” the couple’s son, Tom House, said. “There’s not anybody quite like them.”
To say Fred and Joy House were good people would be an understatement, according to Tom.

In Alabama, The Huntsville Times shared loved ones’ memories of the Houses from their time with the Madison Church of Christ in the 1960s and ’70s.
Joy House was an older sister of Royster’s mother, Nancy, a member of the Seven Oaks Church of Christ in Mayfield, Ky. Carl Royster said Fred House was like a brother to his father, Hilton Royster.
“Uncle Fred told Dad many times that he (my dad) was why he got into preaching,” Carl Royster said. “I don’t remember offhand where all he preached, but I remember that he spent a number of years in Parsons, Tenn.”

  • Feedback
    A very sad story. My heart goes out to their family, friends and church. They are all in our prayers.
    And just a reminder, please don’t allow Satan to use this, and other stories like this, to make you afraid to help people in need.
    Trey Morgan
    March, 30 2011

    Terribly sad. There is always a risk when you get involved in the lives of others and try to help them. I’m sorry to see that this young man turned out to be a violent criminal.
    John Dobbs
    March, 30 2011

    Very tragic. Having spent some time in Itawamba county, I know how close the churches are in that area. All of them have to be hurting over this horrible crime.
    Danny Dodd
    March, 30 2011

    So sorry to read about this… Blessings to family & friends go out.. ?
    Barbara Howard
    March, 30 2011

    This is just awful!! Yet they are in the absolute presence of the Lord at this moment, and forever there they will be! God is good!!
    Halie Gault
    March, 30 2011

    A great sadness that darkness would seek to overshadow the goodness of such people of God. Thankfully we do not look with only the eyes of men, but with an eye of faith can trust a God who is merciful. May God bless this family and help them take strength in the kindness he provides.
    Carl Feril
    March, 30 2011

    What world are we living in that doesn’t fear God or respect other people’s lives?, anyway we’re comforted to know that the couple bought a one way ticket that took them home to be with the Maker.
    Isaac M. Manyike
    March, 30 2011

    We’re living in an evil world but so thankful for the impact the Houses made on those who knew them. They weren’t afraid to get involved and try to make a difference in the lives of people around them. We shouldn’t be afraid to either.
    Paula Harrington
    March, 30 2011

    So many godly people doing loving things because it is who they are in Christ. Wonderful examples in spite of being a terribly heart breaking event.
    The church family in Long Beach, MS is so sorry to hear of this and are offering prayers for all who are hurting. At the same time we celebrate that tragedy cannot take from the Joy House’s what God has in store for them!
    Mark Hodges
    March, 31 2011

    How sad how sad. Praise God that we don’t have to grieve as the world does. May their family be comforted with their many warm memories and may Satan not gain a victory when he tempts them to be bitter. God bless you and hold you all so very close to Him. God is sad, too.
    Melody Huffman
    March, 31 2011

    I did not have the privilege of meeting the couple, but our hearts go out for them. Our deepest sympathy from the church here in Mitchell’s Plain, Cape Town, S.Africa. (Rev.14:13)
    Much love from the Mervyn Pasqualle, minister of Church in Eastridge, M.Plain, Cape Town.
    Mervyn Pasqualle
    March, 31 2011

    Two warriors now gone home from the battle lines. Fierce love was their mission and their joy. Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
    Pray for Jake Carpenter to repent. It would be easy to wish him ill, but that is not the way to honor Fred & Joy’s love shown to him. God always has been, is now, and ever will be faithful. Honor God when the temptation to seek retribution wells up inside you.
    My condolences to the family and my encouragement to the rest who are yet on the battle lines: Do not lose heart.
    Glenn Ziegler
    March, 31 2011

    The peace of God that passes understanding will guard all our thoughts in Christ Jesus, despite sorrows, heartaches and losses in this life. Alvin Jennings
    Alvin Jennings
    March, 31 2011

    The prayers of the saints will comfort the family of this devout Christian couple.
    Alvin Jennings
    March, 31 2011

    I knew Fred from his days at Madison Academy and the Fanning Hgts congregation in Huntsville Al. He taught Bible classes there and often played basketball with the guys. He was full of fun and very well versed in God’s word.
    Dr. Wayne Ray
    March, 31 2011

    I am so saddened by this terrible tragedy. I extend to Tom and other family members my heartfelt sympathy. May God bless you all during this time of terrible loss and circumstance.
    Lindell R. Doty
    March, 31 2011

    I am so sorry o hear about these murders, But I have a feeling that the Houses would have befriended him anyway. I help people by the roadside and some have said it is dangerious, Well that is true, but I just have to help. I believe these soldiers of Christ died with no reget for loving this man and helping him out. Not knowing the Houses, I believe I know the Spirit of love that guided them through the Word, and lets move bravely onto loving the unlovable, that Christ may be glorified in us, like He was through them.
    Tim Gean
    March, 31 2011

    May our loving Lord Jesus comfort and encourage all the family. And may the young man who did the murder be brought to Jesus Christ for repentance and salvation. With all my love. Jack Kline
    Jack Kline
    March, 31 2011

    How tragic! My heartfelt prayers go out for their loved one, the congregation & to all that knew them.
    Let’s all pray for the young man that he will find Jesus & start on a better life for the Lord.
    Kathy Voorhees
    March, 31 2011

    A very bad thing to hear.
    I pray that one day may the lord change the heart of the boy to see jesus. And i pray that God give the family the courage.
    April, 1 2011

    Knowing Mr. Fred only briefly, I came to enjoy talking with him in the morning at McDonalds. He always had a smile and enjoyed picking at the workers there at McDonalds. There is no reason for what happened to them, only an evil person would do such a thing. Thank God for people like Mr. and Mrs. House. We mourn their passing, but rejoice in their eternity with God. My thoughts go out to their family, and prayers to everyone involved.
    Karen Kimbrough
    April, 1 2011

    This is another sad situation with worldy greed upon God’s people
    even in times of service. God knows we struggle. They will be in His arms!
    Dan DuPey
    April, 2 2011

    I was a member at Alamo,Tenn. when they were there and the world has lost two wonderful people. They loved everyone. My prayers are with the family.
    Joe Lavenue
    April, 2 2011

    I did not know Fred and Joy House. I do recall reading Fred’s articles he published, while he was an active minister. I am acquainted with their son, Tom, and my thoughts and prayers are for Tom and his family. Tom, may God richly bless and comfort you.
    Marlin Kilpatrick
    April, 3 2011

    My heart is saddened that this Godly couple died so tragically, and my sympathy goes to their son, Tom, and to all the family in their loss. These great people were guided by God’s Spirit in serving Him and helping others. Satan thinks he can conquer God and His people with such unGodly acts as this man did to them. The truth, however, is that victory belongs to the Houses, because they are in the arms of the Heavenly Father where they will live forever. Praise God for His love and grace!
    James Haney
    April, 5 2011

    This happen to a wonderful senior couple last year from Mayfield who lived over at Paris Landing. Some guy just up and killed them both no motive, didnt know them. The town of Mayfield were devastated and still hard to understand. The world has become so different in last 25 years. I hope death by media (copycat syndrom etc- or journalist just dieing to start any commotion to get news going) on tv and internet is not a huge cause of the change in attitudes and weird minds. but I am afraid it is. God Bless this couple.
    Beth Egerer
    April, 30 2011

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