Remembering Curt

In 1935 at the age of two, Curtis Booth lost his father, who was murdered by some criminals hijacking his truck. This meant his mother had to go to work as a nurse, leaving his older brothers and sisters to raise him. Life was hard and money scarce for this fatherless family with eight children.
It’s not surprising, then, that Curt would learn many bad habits and end up in prison by age 30. In prison he learned the gospel from some fellow inmates and from my father and mother, Harley and Euletta Sanders. After serving four years in a Kansas prison, Curt came out of prison humble and law-abiding; but he had never obeyed the gospel according to the Scriptures.
The six states that had warrants for his arrest decided they no longer wanted him, and Curt remained free the rest of his life. Though Curt gave up his stealing, in time he once again began to drink and to take drugs. The oil fields of Oklahoma, where he worked, were filled with rough men. In his fifties, Curt’s heart had enlarged, and he weighed more than 400 pounds. His rough life left him obnoxious, foul-mouthed, and in rebellion toward God. Many a morning he woke up in a ditch somewhere after a drunken night hunting raccoons. This was his life until the doctor told him in 1987 that his life was almost over.
That reality opened his eyes and his heart. He remembered all the promises he had made to God in prison and began to contemplate his eternal salvation. He knew that he had never obeyed the gospel. Frantically, he went to every preacher in the small town of Crescent. Not one of them had time for him, and one clergyman threatened to call the law on him. At last he remembered his nephew, a preacher who would know what to do.
The next morning for three hours, Curt, his nephew, and four others studied what to do to be saved. They studied every passage in the New Testament on baptism. Early in the afternoon, Curt, his wife Jenny, and three others walked into the lake behind the house and were baptized into Christ for the forgiveness of their sins.
An amazing change took place in Curt. Never again did he drink alcohol or use foul language. He began studying God’s Word and teaching in the county jails. Singing, praying, and studying the Bible became his life. Pleasing God became the focus of his every thought. The old man of sin died; he was truly born again.
In time he got involved in a state-wide prison ministry. Since 1987, Curtis Booth baptized more than one thousand inmates into Christ for the forgiveness of their sins. You might remember that Curtis Booth was one of two people who sent Bible Correspondence Courses to Jeffrey Dahmer, courses that led to his conversion.
When Curt’s health became so bad that he was forced into a nursing home, he spent his time teaching anyone who would listen. When a resident came to his last hours, Curt would sit at his bedside reading Scripture, singing and praying.
Again and again, he thought about the souls of others. He never wanted someone he loved or knew to face God unprepared to go to heaven. God’s grace did not prove vain in his life (1 Corinthians 15:10). I thank God for the memories I have of my uncle Curt.
Curtis G. Booth passed from this life and into glory on March 8, 2005.

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