Reverend Raymond Phillip “RP” Kloepper, 96, transitioned from this life Saturday September 23, 2017, at Sunshine Health Center in Pontotoc, MS after a long and fruitful life of serving God, his Church, family, friends, and the communities in which he lived and pastored.
Rev Kloepper, a native of Illinois, was born October 3, 1920 to the late Paul and Anna Lehr Kloepper. He married Betty Cagle of Herrin, IL on September 18, 1944 while on furlough from the Army Air Corps during World War II. He served three years, part of the time in Alaska, and was honorably discharged as a First Lieutenant.
He spent 70 years as a licensed minister of the United Pentecostal Church International. Along with his wife Betty, they served churches and other organizational ministries of the United Pentecostal Church International. After teaching high school math and science as well as serving as chief research chemist for the United Electric Coal Company, he served as the Youth Secretary of the Illinois district while pastoring the United Pentecostal Church of DuQuoin, IL. In 1955 the Kloepper’s answered the call of God to become the first full-time superintendent of the Tupelo Children’s Mansion where they served until 1970. During these years he concurrently pastored the Cedar Grove United Pentecostal Church. He also served as General Sunday School secretary for the UPCI for a portion of those years.
He left Tupelo to become president of Gateway College of Evangelism, now Urshan College. During his tenure there, he was instrumental in procuring the present campus of Urshan College and Urshan Graduate School of Theology in Florissant, MO. From 1974 until his return to Tupelo in 1991, he pastored in Superior, Wisconsin, also serving for four of those years as District Superintendent of the WS district. Upon their return to Tupelo, the Kloepper’s filled pulpits on an interim basis all over the Mid-south, especially in MS. Brother Kloepper remained affiliated with the Tupelo Children’s Mansion for over 60 years.
In 2013, he was chosen to received the “Order of the Faith” from the United Pentecostal Church International, one of the highest ministerial lifetime achievement honors that can be conferred. Rev. R.P. Kloepper’s life was lived for Christ, his church, his family, and all God’s children. His life made an impact on so many other lives, making a significant difference.
A service celebrating his life will be held at 12 noon, Saturday, September 30, 2017 at the Cedar Grove United Pentecostal Church on Veteran’s Boulevard in Tupelo with his pastor, Rev. Danny Robbins officiating. Preceding the funeral service at noon will be a time of visitation from 10am until the service begins at noon. Burial will be done by Holland funeral home privately, whose directors are assisting the family.
Survivors include his loving and devoted wife of 73 years, Sister Betty Kloepper of Tupelo; his son, Dr. Ray Kloepper and his wife Mary of Apopa, FL; his daughter Claudette and her husband Rev Marvin Walker of Oakland Township, MI; his grandchildren who affectionately called him Pa-Paw: Alison and her husband Gordy Davis of Ocoee, FL; Candace and her husband Peter Johnson of Ashburn, VA; and Rev. Jonathan and his wife Lindsi Walker of Lake Ronkonkoma, NY; Three great grandchildren: Kate Davis, and Quinci and Graham Walker.
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The Venus family offers prayers and condolences during this time of grief. Having gone through this experience it is not uncommon to be overwhelmed. BUT GOD-- is there right in the midst of life bringing peace-- comfort and love.
Submitted by Lora Venus on Oct 2 2017 12:29:19 PM
The passing of this great kingdom builder reaches to every direction of the Church. He was a multi-gifted leader. Prayers for Sis Betty and the family. He was a wonderful role model to the McFarland family.
Submitted by Garry and LOIS Truman on Sep 30 2017 04:58:49 PM
Prayers & thoughts are with the Kloepper Family. Always enjoyed hearing Bro. Kloepper when he visited our Church in Columbus.
Submitted by Mary Taylor on Sep 30 2017 03:28:59 PM
Bro and Sis Kloepper,
Alison and Candace and families, we send our warmest greetings and love. Your father was a great leader and role model, we are blessed to have known him.
Submitted by Jeff and Tulla Priessler on Sep 30 2017 12:59:01 PM
Much love and prayers for the Kloepper family. Papa Kloepper was a very dear friend, prophet and mentor to us personally and to First Pentecostal Church of Columbus, Ms. The 'Kloepper Suite' will continue to display a beautiful photo of him and Sis Kloepper and a plaque of honor as a room set aside for the prophet. We love and honor the lives of such dear people!
Submitted by Rev Steve and Pat Blaylock on Sep 30 2017 11:28:58 AM
Ray and Mary, what a life this wonderful man of God had and the many souls he touched. Thoughts and prayers are with you all at this difficult time. God's blessing and comfort to all. Gail Mrenca
Submitted by Gail Mrenca on Sep 30 2017 10:57:01 AM
I have wonderful memories of this great man while at Gateway. We have laughed with him over the midnight prank Monte Showalter and I played on him. He did have a humorous side.
Submitted by Roy Barnhill on Sep 30 2017 10:22:19 AM
I'm saddened to hear of the passing of Bro. Kloepper. My thoughts and prayers are with all of the family. My life was blessed to have Bro. Kloepper in it during my time of work at Tupelo Children's Mansion under the Drury's and Walker's. May God bring each of you comfort and strength during the days ahead.
Love and Prayers,
Submitted by Paula Hunt on Sep 29 2017 11:24:17 PM
We are praying for you all as you say goodbye.
Love to each one! Nancy & Dave Norris
Submitted by Nancy on Sep 29 2017 10:57:56 PM
I am embarrassed about not checking my message before submitting. Our message should read "We enjoyed getting to know Rev & Mrs. Kloepper..." Thank you.
Submitted by anneil gillentine on Sep 28 2017 09:54:55 PM
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