Tribute: Fred Krauss

Photo of Fred KraussSubmitted by Family

Siegfried Jurgen Krauss was born in a small mountain resort in Lower Silesia, Germany, on January 28, 1936, to Rudolph and Melanie Krauss. Fred was the second son of three boys. His early days were happy and carefree, unaffected by the war that would soon erupt in Europe. He learned the first three commandments in the local village Lutheran church; that was the extent of his religious instruction. In the spring of 1945 the mountains and valleys suddenly echoed with the frightful sound of heavy artillery day and night. The Krauss family had to flee and leave everything behind. The next few years were unsettling, and the emotional trauma from the war left Fred’s heart empty, heavy and searching for meaning even at this tender age.

After the war, Fred wondered if there was a God. He had a burning desire to know the purpose of life. Where was justice? What is man’s purpose? Why am I here? Where was real happiness and peace to be found? He sought the answer to these questions through religion, arts and philosophy, but all left him empty. He was restless and seeking. He recalled “having no rest or peace,” until he was on his way to Canada. After being robbed on the ship, he arrived in Toronto with just a couple of dollars and an address of where he could lodge.

Walking thoughtfully through a Toronto park on a warm summer’s night in 1958, Fred came upon a small group of people preaching from the Bible. In about half an hour, the message of the crucified, buried and risen Saviour that came to seek and to save that which was lost did what the doctrines of Nazism and communism could not do: it captivated his soul. He was invited to attend special gospel meetings where he heard more of God’s way of salvation. On a Lord’s day night in October, Fred stayed to talk to someone willing to explain salvation. In the reading of John 6:37, “Him that cometh to Me, I will in no wise cast out,” were an invitation and a promise that brought hope to Fred for the first time in his life. Soon, through the reading of John 5:24, Fred saw that Jesus died for him and that God had laid on Christ, upon the cruel cross at Calvary, all of his sins. He believed those words and was saved that very night.

Fred began attending Pape Avenue Gospel Hall, fellowshipping with the believers there, learning the Scriptures and enjoying the peace for which he had been searching. In due time he was baptized and received into fellowship. It wasn’t long before Fred began to hear God’s voice calling him into full-time work to tell others the marvelous gospel. Over the course of six years, Fred continued to seek God’s will and participated in several gospel campaigns. One of these outreaches took place on a boat in Newfoundland and Labrador during the summer months in the early 1960s with fellow workers Burt Joyce, George Campbell, Ernie Dellandrea and Wallace Buckle. Fred was the boat’s cook.

In 1964, after much exercise and prayer, Fred was commended to the work by the assembly in Pape Avenue. He then went to the Haliburton Highlands with Stan Simms for gospel preaching and teaching the Word of God.

In August 1965, Fred married a Scottish lass named Morag Taylor who had also been attending Pape Avenue Gospel Hall and who had immigrated with her family to Toronto in 1956. After the honeymoon, the newlyweds moved to the New Carlow and Bancroft area to help with the assembly there.

Three years later they moved to Milton, Ontario, and began to fellowship at Milton Gospel Hall. Their daughter Heather was born in February 1972. From this location, Fred travelled to all parts of Canada and the United States, ministering and engaging in gospel and children’s work. Dunkerton and Alycetown, Iowa, were visited in the summer months where tent meetings would take place for six or seven weeks. Assembly conferences were attended throughout North America during the year and visits to smaller assemblies were always a highlight for Fred. His ministry was fruitful and resulted in the salvation of many souls.

In the mid-1980s, Fred had the privilege of leading a group of fifty believers from the US and Canada to Israel. There would be four subsequent trips there, including Rome and Turkey, and one trip to Scotland, England and Wales. These trips were a wonderful time of fellowship with believers and those they met on their travels.

Fred and Morag moved to Keswick, Ontario, in 1999 and attended Newmarket Gospel Hall until 2021 when they moved to Bethany Courts in Unionville, Ontario, and attended Unionville Gospel Hall.

During Fred’s nearly sixty-year ministry there were many stories of how the Lord answered prayer, sometimes miraculously. One evening in Sault Ste. Marie, a storm took out all the electricity in the town except for that of the gospel hall. Because all the stores and businesses had to close, one man whose place of work had closed decided to attend the gospel meeting. During the meeting that man realized his need for a Savior and put his faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. Another time, Fred boldly asked the Lord to give him a specific number of souls for heaven in one year. By December 31 of the year, that exact number had come to know the Lord during Fred’s preaching. Fred’s salvation and call to ministry, had a profound impact on his mother, who saw the change in her son and came to know the Lord as a result of his testimony. In time, other family members in Germany came to know the Lord too.

Several months of health challenges in mid-2022 took their toll on Fred’s body, and on the afternoon of November 3, 2022, Fred was called home to be with his Lord and Savior. In the months prior to his passing, Fred accepted his health limitations with grace and acceptance.

Fred never forgot what the Lord had done for him by bringing him all the way from Europe to Canada to personally meet him on a busy Toronto street and show him the way of salvation. In return, Fred dedicated his life to serve the One who saved him and gave him life-changing peace and joy. He would say, “It was the greatest honor and privilege of my life to serve the Lord Jesus Christ.”

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2Ti 4:7).