Many in the Highland Lakes lost a best friend on Jan. 8 when Matt Netzer, 43, the popular pastor of RockPile Church, was killed in an auto accident.
“Something I’ve heard from so many people is that, ‘Matt is my best friend,’” said John Page, a RockPile Church board member. “Matt had that way of making one feel so valued and important. That’s a character trait that not many people have.”
Netzer was known for his outreach to outside congregations, even listing other area churches on the RockPile website and encouraging worshipers to make their home at a church, even if it wasn’t his own.
“Matt was a man who loved God first, loved his family second, and loved his community in a very close third,” said Lake Shores Church Pastor Jon Weems of Marble Falls. “Matt gave of his life both literally and figuratively for the Kingdom of God and helping and serving others.”
Netzer wanted local churches to work together as one, Weems said, with a joint mission to serve Marble Falls and the Highland Lakes and share the word of Jesus.
“When he came here and started RockPile, he started from nothing, and he knew the purpose of serving families, especially families with small children, and that was his focus and he never stopped,” Weems said. “Because of that, he built a church based on family. He was an amazing man.”
Highland Lakes Crisis Network Executive Director Kevin Naumann agreed.
“He was one of my best friends and pastor and mentor,” Naumann said. “That’s who he was to me. A friend and someone you could go to with anything about anything and always get the right answer.”
Naumann served with Netzer on the RockPile Church board for about five years. He said that RockPile was Netzer’s vision and that his force of personality aided him in his ministry.
“To run into him was to love him, for sure,” Naumann said. “That’s the impact he had, just walking into the room, you were disarmed and you could open up to him, and that gave him the opportunity to minister.”
A celebration of life service for Netzer is 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16, at First Baptist Church of Marble Falls, 901 La Ventana Drive. COVID-19 protocols will be in place. Out of respect for the family’s wishes, face coverings are strongly encouraged.
A GoFundMe has been established by the church for the benefit of his wife, Sarah, and their children. As of this posting, it has generated almost $69,000 for the surviving widow and their children.