Local brothers devote life to spreading the message
The Kroeze family.
The Kroeze brothers, Johnny and Billy, started preaching at The Lake Stevens Assembly 60 years ago. Over those six decades the Kroeze brothers have sang on television, traveled to 49 states and 50 countries and spread their message to millions.
“Our message is that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven and our mission is to reach as many as we can with this message,” Johnny said.
The Kroeze brothers spread that message through South Everett Community Church, an interdenominational church they started on Casino Rd.
South Everett Community Church offers classes for newborns to 90 year olds including a class for young adult females and Wednesday classes for youth. There are two services on Sundays at South Everett, 10:30 a.m. and a night service at 6 p.m. Sunday school classes start at 9:30 a.m.
Johnny and Billy came from a family of six children born and raised in Everett, Wash.
“While attending church with our parents a minister asked if anyone felt like they might be called to be a minister. Billy and I went to the stage,” Johnny said.
From that moment on at the ages of 12 and 15 , Johnny and Billy have been preaching.
“We have been at it [preaching] for 60 years, and we will keep at it as long as we can,” Johnny said.
The Kroeze brothers have also been singing on television for 40 years with their wives. They started playing guitars as children. “We ordered Gene Autry guitars through Sears and Roebuck, they were $7.50 a piece.” Johnny said.
Johnny also plays the banjo and the mandoline, his wife plays the big bass and his sister in law plays the piano. Aside from performing on television the group has recorded over 20 albums.
The Kroeze brothers believe in philanthropy and helping others. “There are people out there in rest homes and hospitals that really need encouragement in their life,” Johnny said.
They have traveled from Olympia to British Columbia spreading that encouragement. Johnny believes it is his own hardships that help him understand people and have compassion for them. His son was born with autism and his wife has battled cancer and gone through nine surgeries.
“When you go through tough times it makes you understand other people better.”