Houghton was born in Stafford and educated at London University and ordained in 1917. He held curacies at St Benedict, Everton and All Saints, Preston before heading to China as a missionary with the China Inland Mission in 1920. In 1923 he married Dorothy Cassels the daughter of William Cassels, who had been a member of the Cambridge Seven and became a bishop in China. Houghton was general director of the China Inland Mission at the time when the Mission had to leave China in 1951. He was Bishop of Eastern Szechwan from 1937 to 1940. Returning to England he held incumbencies at St Marks, New Milverton, Leamington and St Peter's, Drayton, Banbury. He retired in 1963 and died on 25 January 1972.
Houghton's books include “The Two Hundred”, 1932; “China Calling”, 1936; “If We Believe” 1952; “Amy Carmichael of Dohnavur”, 1953; “The Fire Burns On”, 1964; and “Living Your Life”, 1966.
He also wrote the hymns "Facing a task unfinished", "My Lord, who in the desert fed", "O Thou who dost direct my feet" and "Thou who wast rich beyond all splendour".
- “Who was Who” 1897–1990 London, A & C Black 1991 ISBN 0-7136-3457-X
- Hudson's Directory, a list of members of the China Inland Mission held by the successor mission agency OMF International
- Crockford's Clerical Directory1940-41 Oxford, OUP,1941
- The Times, Friday, January 28, 1972; pg. 16; Issue 58387; col F Obituary: Bishop Houghton
- British Library website accessed 31 January 2011
- Frank Houghton: Texts at Hymnary.org
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