CBC Alumnus Perspective: Kurt Holthus
Name: Rev. Kurt M. Holthus
Graduation Year: 1979
Current Position: President/Founder of Hope International Ministries
City and State: Ft. Myers, Florida
Tell us about your career and what you do now.
I lead the organization God birthed in our hearts in 2000. Hope International Ministries responds to disasters around the world and in the USA with medical teams and medicine to meet the need. We responded to Hurricanes Katrina & Rita at the request of Governor Blanco and relieved the 82nd Airborne Medical Division in New Orleans, Louisiana. From Hurricane Sandy to the devastating earthquake in Haiti, our teams are there.
In Haiti, we were on the ground four days after the quake with 37 medical professionals and more than $2 million in donated medicine. We had $1.5 million in morphine which God put in my heart to take (a very unusual thing because we never transport narcotics into another country), and upon our arrival, we discovered that amputations were being done with local anesthetic. The morphine was an answer to their prayers. Our teams spent three months caring for the precious people of Haiti.
The Dominican Republic is our primary focus of ministry. Working closely with the presidents of the Dominican over the last 18 years, we have brought $161 million in donated medicine and medical supplies into the country to meet the desperate needs of that nation. It’s estimated by the Ministry of Health that we have directly impacted 22% of their nation.
On every trip to the Dominican Republic, we hold medical clinics in a different village every day with our team of 270 medical professionals. We conduct evangelism outreach and a building project while holding a pastor’s conference with more than 2,100 national pastors in attendance last year.
Former President Leonel Fernandez and current President Danilo Medina are dear friends of ours. My wife and I had the privilege of laying hands upon and praying over President Danilo Medina in his office at the Palace. Three of his Cabinet members have now come to Christ, with another having an encounter with Jesus on the platform of First Assembly of God Ft. Myers, Florida just last Sunday as he thanked the people for sending Hope International to their country. The Holy Spirit fell upon him at the January 19th, 2020 9:30 a.m. service. He was unable to speak, and when he did it was through a veil of tears asking me and Pastor Betzer, “What am I feeling? What’s happening to me? What is this?” It was a God moment that you can experience by going to FAMFM Facebook Page – it is viewable there.
When not in the Dominican Republic my wife Debi and I travel throughout the USA preaching, gathering medicine and equipment and new team members for our trips. 60% of our yearly team is non-medical to facilitate the medical side of our missionary endeavor. We are one of the only NGOs certified to deploy with the US military in the event of a disaster.
Upon graduation from CBC, I served as a youth pastor for nine months in Fenton, Michigan. I resigned to become a church planter in Mt. Clemens, Michigan. In those days the A/G district office gave me a box of hymnals, a prayer with a pat on the back, and our church planting journey began! How did it go? GREAT! We started with 17 people and upon resigning 20 years later we had an amazing church of more than 500 people who loved God and loved people!
What is your favorite memory from CBC?
The quality of education and spiritual guidance at CBC was key to my success in ministry.
How did CBC help you identify/develop your calling?
I was court-martialed from the USAF on Aug 29, 1974 for being a drug addict – while receiving an honorable discharge (which is a divine story of its own)! I asked Christ into my heart on Nov. 10, 1974 and showed up at CBC for the fall 1975 semester without having been accepted yet! LOL! I was so “green” and young in the Lord when they asked me what my major was I thought they were asking “WHO my major was” and I responded, “I don’t know yet sir, I just arrived here.”
My VA benefits paid for educating this naïve young believer who knew nothing more than that God had called me into the ministry and I was there to prepare. The staff and leadership were faithful to go the extra mile in preparing me for a lifetime of ministry – and I am forever grateful.
How did your experience at CBC prepare you for life after graduation?
Through an exceptional staff of professors and leaders, God readied me for the future. It was a long four years of learning, loving, leaning, and growing in Him. Some of the challenges were monumental but God has a plan for allowing those to transpire in our lives. It was an excellent staff of spirit-filled professors who helped me see Jesus in every fire I found myself in and that prepared me for where I am today!
What advice would you give a current student preparing for the workforce?
Stay focused, enjoy every experience, don’t take yourself too seriously, and be naïve enough to BELIEVE what GOD speaks to your heart to do for Him. Listen to wise counsel – but have faith IN WHAT HE HAS SPOKEN TO YOUR HEART TO DO and YOU WILL DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS YOU!
What would you look for if you were in a position to hire a new graduate?
Someone humble with a heart, determination, and sensitivity to the voice of God, yet loyal to the one who he/she will be laboring under. Someone who walks humbly before God without the pride often seen in the ministry today. Ethics is a must for anyone ministering with Hope International Ministries.