Grant was one of the first IWT staff for the New Zealand IWT Campaigns who had completed his lecture phase of training in Auckland, NZ & was on his internship in Leithbridge, Canada preparing for the city-wide IWT campaign in 2002. While traveling back from Calgary to Leithbridge he was involved in a tragic car accident & died a few days later on April 11, 2002.
Grant Julian Kelly was born October 26, 1979 in Vereeniging, South Africa. He attended primary school in Roodepoort & was a class rep at West Ridge High, He excelled in cricket, played rugby & ran cross country. He committed his life to Christ at a Baptist Youth Camp & grew quickly in the Lord at the Wilro Baptist Church, taking part in planning youth activities. He always had a fervency & zeal for the Lord & sharing the Gospel with others. He was a passionate, wholehearted young man who was well liked by others. After emigrating to New Zealand, Grant worked for a year & attended a Sports College. Meanwhile his passion was for his church youth work(which would explain all the late school assignments!). Everyone around him got the good news shared with them – his love for Christ was contagious. When he left Wellington for involvement in IWT, his father Alan Kelly said goodbye with a heavy heart in January 2002 as he felt he would not see him again. He had received a word from the Lord that Grant would not live long.
Grant was an IWT city facilitator for the Leithbridge evangelistic campaign & was greatly loved by all those in the Body of Christ he came into contact with. He visited the local indigenous people in the area also in preparation for the Campaign & was esteemed for his heart & passion to honor all regardless of background & association in the Body of Christ. He was stirred by the need for unity in the Church in Leithbridge & said in one small prayer group he was willing to lay his life down for unity in the city & for people there to come to know Jesus. The Church in Leithbridge was shocked by the death of this young man who had come from the other side of the earth to work in their city & rallied together at a memorial service for Grant held on Sunday April 14, 2002 at College Drive Community Church, Leithbridge. God took the Church in Leithbridge to a whole new level of unity & commitment together to share the Gospel. The IWT Campaigns continued seeing many come to Christ across the city. One young boy wrote on his decision card where it asked how did you come to know about the Campaign, answered through Grant Kelly. This would be one of many who were deeply impacted for eternity through Grant’s life. It was a challenging moment in the NZ IWT Campaigns also with all staff who knew Grant committing themselves to go forward & like Grant lay their lives down for the sake of the Gospel in New Zealand. This was realized with the harvest of 25,500 people committing their lives to Christ in 2004 during the NZ Campaigns.
He is sadly missed by his family – parents Alan & Dawn Kelly(step mother) & mother Kathy Lawrence, siblings – Sean, Dane & Kevin Kelly, Brett & Nikita Lawrence, Grandparents – David & Juliette Kelly, Mike & Merrill O’Gorman.
Sadly missed by his YWAM Campaigns family who worked closely with him.