The true measure of a Servant is viewed through the service of one who has resolved that their life belongs to the Lord. Under the umbrella of this conviction, the Servant engages each day of his life, convinced that he is living toward leaving to reside in the eternal Presence of the One to whom his soul belongs. Romans 14:7-8 says, “For not one of us lives for himself, and not one of us dies for himself; for if we live, we belong to the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.” Such Truth was personified and epitomized in the honorable life of Deacon Larry Eugene Finnen.
He was the firstborn of four children assigned to the parental stewardship of Marjorie Marie (Swisher) Finnen and Horace Bill Finnen on November 6, 1950, in Austin, Texas.
He sealed his eternal destiny when he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior during the tender years of his youth. He was baptized on Easter Sunday in 1961 at David Chapel Baptist Church in Austin, Texas, under Pastor J.L. Dawson.
His formal education was as unique as his abilities were viewed under the ambitious aspirations of his father. His father taught him the value of living responsibly through honest and honorable employment. To secure employment as a construction worker, the job required him to have a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Therefore, at the conclusion of his sophomore year, he aspired to and earned his GED in 1967. He would yet attend and complete his High School coursework in the Ysleta Independent School District and graduate from Bel Air High School in 1969.
His academic endeavors would continue following his graduation as a student enrolled on the campus of (UTEP) the University of Texas at El Paso.
He attended as a Music Education Major. While there, he pledged and was accepted into the Kappa Kappa Psi (KKY, honorary fraternity for college bandsmen) and Alpha Kappa Lambda, a service fraternity.
Service was his passion which would establish and keep him on the path to fulfilling his God-given purpose. Service was not acceptable to him unless it entailed the devotion of his life. Devotion was more than a statement but the only Standard he viewed acceptable to be honorable.
In July 1971, he invested this devotion by enlisting as an Army Bandsman in the United States Army. He served tours of duty in Japan, Korea and was intermittently stationed at Fort Hood, Texas. He also served tours of duty in Holland; Belgium; Germany; Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri; Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base Norfolk, Virginia, and Fort Myers, Virginia. He was highly decorated as a soldier musician. His accolades and awards include the Meritorious Service Award with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Commendation with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters, the Good Conduct Medal 6th Award, Army Overseas Ribbon, and the National Defense Service Medal w/1 Service Star, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon Numeral 2. After devoting “20 years, 6 months, 22 days, 10 hours, and 46 minutes” of honorable service to his country, SFC Larry E. Finnen retired from the United States Army in January 1992 at Fort Hood.
The honor of his service to his country was directed and held accountable to his reverential pursuit of pleasing the Lord. His passionate pursuit of pleasing the Lord confirmed his entrance and ordination into the Diaconate while serving at the Eighth Street Baptist Church in Temple, Texas. He was ordained as a deacon under the Leadership of Pastor Dock U. Reese on June 17, 1974.
Only Divine Providence could have assigned Pastor R. A. Abercrombie of the Marlboro Heights Missionary Baptist Church to preach the ordination Message and issue the Deacon's Charge to Service.
Five years later, after returning from a three-year tour of duty at Camp Zama, Japan, in September 1979, Deacon Finnen united with the Marlboro Heights Missionary Baptist Church.
Deacon Finnen served many ministries not limited to the following: He served as Pastoral Choir president, Junior Boys Sunday School teacher, the sponsor for Royal Ambassadors, Men’s Sunday School teacher, Bus Ministry Driver, Wind Ensemble Director, Pastoral Advisor, Building Overseer, 1st Vice President of the Board of Directors for Marlboro Heights Missionary Baptist Church, and a member of the Audio/Visual Ministry.
The quality devotion of his service to God as a Servant of God was something he preserved as an exceptional Steward of Time. He viewed the assignment of Time as the pacesetter for fulfilling the Purpose of God for his life. As such, he diligently submitted himself to the discipline of preparation for greater works through higher education.
During his tours of duty at Fort Hood, he attended and graduated from Central Texas College on December 19, 1983, earning an Associate in General Studies degree. On May 15, 1992, he graduated from the University of Central Texas with a Bachelor of Science in Social Work degree.
Every investment of himself through learning bore the fruit of his devotion to service to the lives of others. In July 1992, he took a position with the Texas Department of Human Services, Child Protective Services, as an Investigator of child abuse and child neglect in Bell County. Here he remained as an investigator for five years in the Bell/Coryell County area. In November 1997, he took a new position as a Family Based Safety Services worker with the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services. He would remain in this position in the Bell/Coryell County area and practice for eight years. During these years, he remained adamantly engaged in the pursuit of graduate studies. On May 10, 2003, he earned and was awarded a Master of Science degree from Tarleton State University. The major course of study for this degree was Counseling Psychology/Marriage and Family Therapy. From November 2005 until December 2010, he was employed by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services as a Certified Child Protective Services Supervisor.
He studied to serve and served to study until retiring on December 1, 2010, from the Child Protective Services business after more than eighteen continuous years of service in the Central Texas Area.
For over four decades and four years, Deacon Larry Eugene Finnen has been an exceptional servant of the Lord assigned to the Marlboro Heights Missionary Baptist Church. His love expressed through the sacrifice of his labor and leadership under the Lordship of Jesus Christ is a godly legacy inspiring each of us blessed to know him. The Standard of his Life in Service to the Lord is certain to be commended by our Lord in the words, Well Done, thou Good and Faithful Servant! Well Done!!!
On the evening of January 16, 2023, the Lord received His Servant unto Himself, confirming his triumphant transition into His Eternal Presence. Among those who preceded his transition are his parents: Marjorie Marie (Swisher) Finnen and Horace Bill Finnen; one son: Timothy Finnen, and siblings: Eva Finnen, Donna Manson, and James Finnen.
Among those who remain to cherish the fruit of his earthly tenure and eternal triumph until the reunion at the return of our Lord is his loving wife: Wanda Finnen; one son: Paul (Angelita) Finnen; Grandchildren: Shayna Finnen, Triniti Finnen, Israel Finnen, and Kullen Finnen; and a host of other family members, loved ones and friends.