Meet Pastor Kurt Hettinga
Kurt Hettinga was born here in Wisconsin and raised in a Christian family. His parents had a real and life-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ, and were people who loved the church. Their authentic faith in the living Jesus provided a great environment in which Kurt could grow and develop his identity and the direction in life.
Kurt gave his life to Christ as a young boy and quickly felt the call to full time Christian ministry. He saw the reality of Christ through watching the example of his parents and older siblings, all of whom followed Christ and who were called into full-time Christian ministry. After high school, Kurt attended Grand Rapids School of the Bible and Music where he met a lovely international student from the country of Denmark, named Karen. As it happened, Karen and Kurt began a friendship, fell in love, became engaged, and were married.
After a year of concentrated study of the Bible, Kurt transferred to Bethel College in St. Paul, Minnesota, graduating with minors in English, Anthropology, and Speech, with a major in Biblical studies. While there, he studied under the some of the best Bible teachers of our day - John Sailhammer, Robert Stein, and Walt Wessel. Theologians Wayne Grudem and the Mickelsens (Berkeley and Alver) were fixtures of the adult Sunday school program in their church. Shortly after graduating from Bethel, their first son, Hans, was added to their family.
Later that year, Kurt was called to pastor a fledgling Baptist General Conference church in Mondovi, Wisconsin, where he and Karen served for two and a half years. From there, they moved to a struggling rural church in Marathon, Wisconsin, serving the church there for six years and presiding over the church’s first building program. While in Marathon, God blessed them with the last addition to their family, another son, Erik.
After resigning his position at the church in Marathon, Kurt worked in construction for the next three years. In the meantime, Karen finished her training to become a dental hygienist. On the weekends Kurt “filled pulpits” and did interim pastorate work. In God’s gracious design, the last of those interim pastorates was Bethany Evangelical Free Church, in Clintonville, Wisconsin. When Kurt was asked to consider becoming their full-time pastor, he agreed, and has had the privilege of serving Jesus Christ at B.E. Free Church since 1993.
With a strong background in contemporary Christian music ministry from his earlier years, Kurt enjoys writing Christian music and has more recently been serving on the Bethany’s worship team. He also enjoys sports and the great outdoors. He and Karen also love spending time with their grandchildren (Minnesotans) as much as they can arrange to see them.