The Wanderer

As I walked through the wilderness of this world …

Martin Holdt goes home

with 12 comments

News has filtered through from South Africa that Martin Holdt has finished his race. He had been suffering from pancreatic cancer which had spread to other vital organs, though the extent of the illness was apparently only recently discovered. As I understand it, he went to be with Christ late on the last day of 2011.

I had heard Martin Holdt preach on several occasions in the UK, but never really spoke with him at length until I had the privilege of giving him a car ride from Leicester, where we had been at the Banner of Truth Ministers’ Conference together in 2010 (he preached there in 2011), back to Epsom, south of London, where he was meeting a friend. After speaking of a few mutual acquaintances, we began to discuss some of ways, more or less usual, in which we had known God’s preservation of the saints, including some shared thoughts on the work of the angels. Wrapped up in these delightful topics, the journey flew by, although I was conscious of a few funny bumps along the way. Once my mind was free of the conversation, I began to pay closer attention to the roughness of the ride. When I got home I took the car to get a wheel checked, to be informed that the wire mesh in the tyre must have collapsed, and that the tyre had worn dangerously bald and was so thin that it was close to bursting. I never had the opportunity to report to him that we had been actively preserved from danger during the very period in which we had been discussing it.

Last year I came to know of at least two men who had fallen into terrible sin and left the ministry. How refreshing and encouraging to consider another man, an imperfect man as even the best Christian men are, yet a sinner saved by grace, who remained faithful to the end. For Martin Holdt, the time of preservation is over, the eternity of perfection is begun, and will be consummated at the resurrection. For him, the turn of the year has bought a glorious change of place and state. We grieve at his departure from us, even as we rejoice that he has gone home to glory.

In our worship this morning, we closed with a hymn concerning the new year, the last verse of which runs as follows:

Blest Three in One, to thee we pray;
Defend and guide us on our way;
That we at last with joy may see
The new year of eternity!

Martin Holdt did not enter a new year of time, but woke to an eternal morning. May God so defend and guide us that we, in our turn, shall do the same.

Martin Holdt (second left) at the Banner of Truth Conference 2011

Written by Jeremy Walker

Sunday 1 January 2012 at 20:30

Posted in Obituaries

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12 Responses

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  1. Wow. A great shock and a huge loss to Christ’s Church below. I did not know he was ill – he has gone home quickly. I will never forget his friendliness and interest in me at the recent Banner conferences, nor his challenging preaching. But how I rejoice at his great joy now.

    Jonathan Hunt

    Sunday 1 January 2012 at 21:09

    • I agree, Jonathan. Like you, I was very surprised by the news. We received a phone call from a member of the church here who is in South Africa to say that it was announced in the church there this morning. I have not been able to verify the news before posting, but I have no reason to doubt the report, and thought that it warranted a Sunday communication.

      Jeremy Walker

      Sunday 1 January 2012 at 21:19

    • Sad news – I will never forget attending his church in Johannesbrg and was priviliged to have him take me at my baptism.


      Saturday 4 February 2012 at 15:30

  2. Praise God for a man who lived his life by faith, his talk and his walk was in sync. Forever with the Lord. Strength to his beloved family and friends. I was blessed to have known Martin as a Pastor and a friend who walked a thousand extra miles to assist me in my life and Shawn’s. Nothing was too much or too difficult for Martin. Frances Corlett

    Frances Corlett

    Monday 2 January 2012 at 13:00

  3. What a great lost for us left here behind! I used to listen to him on Radio Pulpit, here in South Africa every Friday…. We are going to miss him Dearly!!! South Africa has lost a great Warrior of Christ.

    Lindie Van Wyngaardt

    Tuesday 3 January 2012 at 07:00

  4. A sad loss to the Baptist community, and the end of an era for the Church in South Africa and further afield. A saint of God who preached, defended and lived by the Doctrines of Grace in an age when it was considered outmoded and unpopular and indeed potentially costly to one’s ministry to bear the “Reformed” label. Our prayers go out to his family, especialy his son Jonathan, who once had pastoral oversight over me and my family at Hillcrest Baptist Church, and whom I consider a worthy successor to his father. I believe Pastor Martin’s ministry will continue long into the future (if the Lord tarries) with the treasure trove of recorded sermons, books and studies.

    Rev Graeme Beckett

    Tuesday 3 January 2012 at 10:46

  5. A man to respect, and man of God, an example to many. Sympathy to his family at this time, but an encouragement to know God is faithful and gracious to His children. The sudden passing is hard, but to know Martin is in glory is a wonder of hope. He will be missed by many, but having his sermons on Radio Pulpit to listen to will allow his message of God to continue. He fought the fight and will be honoured. Praise to our gracious God.

    June Bredenkamp

    Wednesday 4 January 2012 at 06:39

  6. Indeed one of God’s greatest has been called home……………….allthough we will feel the loss and mourn him deeply, we know that heaven is rejoicing in welcoming him home……

    Elize van Zyl

    Wednesday 4 January 2012 at 07:43

  7. I learnt more about pastoral ministry in an hour at his feet, than several books could have taught! Thank you for the impact you have made in mine (and so many other’s) lives! What an example you have been… your work in the Kingdom will continue to bear much fruit.

    Neil Henry

    Wednesday 4 January 2012 at 21:38

  8. The meetings I had with Martin and the addresses I heard from him are unforgettable! The centrality of Christ in life and ministry did touch me. He is with his Lord and Saviour and this is far the best! May the Lord of harvest send many of such ministers! We need it!

    Leen van Valen

    Thursday 5 January 2012 at 07:41

  9. […] few days ago I reported the death of Pastor Martin Holdt. A couple of days ago, David Murray, who knows one of Martin’s sons, Jonathan, posted […]

  10. Martin is missed by all at Die Seminarium in Kempton Park where he was the rector from January 2008 until his death on the very last day of 2011. I especially miss his guidance in prayer – and knowing that he had prayed for me and all at the Seminarium every morning…

    Esta Jefferies

    Friday 13 September 2013 at 06:56

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