John W. Kurtz, age 96, passed away on Friday, April 20, 2018 and was welcomed to his heavenly home by a host of family and friends. The most important was the welcome he received from his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who said, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”
John was born on December 7, 1921 to Frank and Guretta (Royalty) Kurtz of Harrodsburg, Kentucky. He is preceded in death by his beloved wife of 67 years, Martha Gene Kurtz.
John was reared as the son of a tobacco farmer in Kentucky, and at the age of 13, he surrendered to God’s call on his life to be a preacher. While still in high school, his first pastorate was the Republican Baptist Church, just outside of Lexington, Kentucky. He attended Georgetown College in Georgetown, Kentucky where he was the class president all four years of his attendance. After college John attended Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, and afterward pastored churches in Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee. He is the Pastor Emeritus of Tulip Grove Baptist Church of Hermitage, Tennessee.
In 1954, he was elected the first State Convention President of the newly formed Ohio Baptist Convention. John pastored over 50 years, then upon retirement, he began Pioneer Missions, Inc. Through the work of Pioneer Missions, John helped many small churches, providing teaching, encouragement, funds, training and even office equipment. On many of his Pioneer Mission trips the “Professor” a handcrafted wooden puppet, tagged along and John would use the puppet in church services, for banquets and Vacation Bible School.
Left to celebrate his rich life of ministry and service are his children, John Kurtz and wife Elaine, Ron Kurtz and wife Pam along with five grandchildren and six greatgrandchildren.
A service of celebration will be held at Hermitage Funeral Home and Memorial Gardens, 535 Shute Lane, Hermitage, Tennessee.