Martin Holdt, 1941-2011
Martin Holdt, well known as an evangelical and Reformed leader in South Africa, was suddenly taken from us on the last day of 2011.
Born in 1941, Martin was converted at the age of 19 in August 1960. He trained for the ministry at the Baptist Theological College in Johannesburg. He was then called to serve in a church of 16 members in Pietersburg (now Polokwane). In his first year there he embraced the doctrines of grace. This assembly grew significantly. Martin was then called to be the Baptist Union’s first home church planter and planted churches in Phalaborwa, Tzaneen and Newcastle before being called to an established church in East London.
Following that, he was called by the Lynnwood Baptist Church to plant another church in the eastern suburbs at Constantia Park in Pretoria, a church from which he retired in 2011. Martin’s first wife Beryl was called home in September 1996.
It was Martin’s daily practice to retire early and rise for prayer and Bible study at 3.00 am. This empowered him spiritually. He was gifted with a metabolism to maintain this regime and also keep physically fit. He trained for marathon events, including the famous 54-mile Comrades marathon. His best time for the 26-mile event was 2 hours 50 minutes. The call came to return to Constantia Park Baptist Church. Martin married Elsab? du Plessis, who is an anaesthetist.
Martin always had concern for the Afrikaans-speaking people of South Africa and was rector of the Afrikaans Baptist Seminary. In recent years 60% of his preaching was in Afrikaans.
Martin is survived by five adult children, two of whom are Baptist pastors, and his wife Elsab?.