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Published: Saturday, October 15, 2011, 12:01 a.m.

Everett’s Kroeze Brothers celebrate 60 years of ministry

  • The Kroeze brothers have been running their televised ministry for 40 years.

    photos courtesy of Johnny Kroeze

    The Kroeze brothers have been running their televised ministry for 40 years.

  • The Rev. Johnny Kroeze (left), his wife, Kowanda, his sister-in-law, Sandra, and his brother, the Rev. Billy Kroeze in 2006. The Kroeze brothers have ...

    photos courtesy of Johnny Kroeze

    The Rev. Johnny Kroeze (left), his wife, Kowanda, his sister-in-law, Sandra, and his brother, the Rev. Billy Kroeze in 2006. The Kroeze brothers have been preaching for 60 years.

EVERETT -- The Rev. Johnny Kroeze remembers his very first sermon.
He was 9 years old, and the pastor at his Lake Stevens church put out a call to everyone who felt driven to be a minister.
Johhny Kroeze and his older brother, Billy Kroeze, got up on stage and preached what was in their hearts.
"I was plenty nervous, but I felt good. I knew God was in it," he said on a recent weekday morning.
The Kroeze Brothers found their calling that day more than 60 years ago.
The boys started preaching regularly a few years later. They didn't come from a family of ministers. They grew up in a family of six kids on a farm by Snohomish.
For more than 40 years now, the brothers have led a televised ministry with the help of Johnny's wife, Kowanda, and Billy's wife, Sandra.
Together they released music albums, wrote books and preached in 49 states and 50 different countries. The only state they haven't visited is Alaska.
The Kroezes film their TV ministry during services at the church they started on Casino Road, the South Everett Community Church. They get phone calls and letters from people all over the world.
Their ministry is non-denominational, though they were ordained in the Southern Baptist Convention.
Johnny Kroeze now focuses on providing encouragement to all those who need it.
His wife, Kowanda, was struck with cancer 23 years ago and kept beating the disease against all expectations.
"She is a miracle walking around," he said. "It kind of gave me an awareness that there are people who really need to be encouraged."
He makes trips almost daily to nursing homes and hospitals to visit people and pray with them. He has driven as far south as Olympia and as far north as British Columbia to perform funeral services.
Johnny Kroeze's son, Johnny, 51, was born with autism. He has amazing memory and still can tell you which city or country the family visited on what day during their ministry tour.
Raising Johnny at the time when so little was known about autism taught the pastor patience and compassion.
"If God brings you to it, he brings you through it," he said.
Katya Yefimova: 425-339-3452, kyefimova@heraldnet.com
Services in Everett
Visit the Kroeze Brothers at South Everett Community Church at 1 W. Casino Road, Everett. Services are at 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Sundays. Bible classes are at 9:30 a.m. Sundays and 7 p.m. Wednesdays for all ages, and at 6:15 p.m. Wednesdays for adults. For more information or to request prayer, call 425-353-2211. The Kroeze Brothers televised ministry airs on Trinity Lutheran Network channel and on Dish Network.
Story tags » EverettFaithChurches

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