Kevin DeVries is the Founder & President of Grace Explorations.
He is a father of champions, a son of immigrants, an inspirational speaker, explorer, entrepreneur, author, and national men’s ministry leader from Grand Rapids, Michigan.
After climbing five of the seven continental summits, skiing to the North Pole, and searching for Noah’s Ark as a Lead Mountaineer in the award-winning film: FINDING NOAH, Kevin endured divorce, bankruptcy, loss of home and a near-death experience with a 97% fatality rate when his heart stopped beating for up to 15 minutes. In the Land of The Dead, he reached the naked soul of man, encountered the Risen Christ, and was sent back to complete his God-given mission.
Kevin’s story of riches, to rags, to redemption is heart-breaking and life-transforming. Only through understanding God’s grace, “God’s best & brightest idea,” did Kevin find true healing.
Today, as an Inspirational Speaker, Kevin ministers to tens of thousands of men, women and students each year at national faith conferences, church services, school chapels, corporate and community events in West Michigan and across the world.
Kevin DeVries speaks to tens of thousands of men, women, and students at national faith conferences, church services, school chapels, corporate and community events each year. He is known for his engaging transparency, poetic metaphors, disarming humor and unbridled passion to create an experience and atmosphere where true change can happen.
MOST REQUESTED MESSAGES
THE HEROIC JOURNEY OF GOD
God’s glory is the secret. Man's glory is the search. We’re all Noah searching for the same mystery of grace that filled a man with marvel while mankind drowned in madness. Kevin's search for the ark of history in the award-winning film: FINDING NOAH, will help you find the arc of your story. This session is about the true and mythic journey every person must embark upon to find their healed heart as home like an Ark frozen in ice inside a mountain of pain — the last remaining link to a shimmering world now lost in a flood of shame. On this journey you will discover the greatest discovery is what you find while you are looking for something else.
We seek an unknown point until we know the point: Life Is A Journey Not A Destination. Time means nothing and the moment means everything where all time zones converge at the North Pole. Often we travel to the ends of the earth to reach the end of ourselves to find a new beginning in God that never ends. Kevin's North Pole Expedition reveals life is like skiing to the Pole on a giant sheet of shifting ice - the moment you arrive, the destination departs. In the extreme Arctic, self-rescue is impossible. We journey together or we die alone. This session cures destination disease with a healthy respect for our spiritual journey inside community in a surreal story of time outside time.
CLIMB YOUR MOUNTAIN
We’re all exiles in a foreign country who must climb our own Mt. Ararat – ‘The Painful Mountain’ as prophets, priests and kings to discover our true names and powerful purpose. Elevation is revelation. Summit is halftime. True summit is Base Camp. Success is halftime. Significance is final. We're climbers not criminals. Descents are redemptive not punitive — nothing heals in thin air. Up is down. Inspired by Kevin's historic attempt to complete The Explorers Challenge, this session reveals mountains exist to be climbed not cursed. We do not conquer the mountain, only ourselves. Love is the mountain that conquers us as we climb towards God.
CAVE OF KINGS
Not all who wander are lost if they wander into the Cave of Adullam - BASE CAMP where all the Lamps of God like King David are lit. In the Cave of Kings, we wander in as fugitive soldiers and walk out as favored sons. Soldiers behave. Sons belong. Marrying a queen doesn't make a man a king. God makes a man a king. In this session, we pursue mans original glory rather than police original sin so the wounded knight inside a noble man no longer hides behind his baggage like King Saul. We heal with honor so a knight in a cave is crowned king in a castle where emasculated males become extraordinary men like King David - a man after God's own heart.
WHERE PAIN HEALS
Eden still exists as an echo of eternity on earth. Healing still happens where CHRIST as a river of water flows into Four Healing Streams: Church, Community, Counsel and Contemplation as emblems of Eden. To exempt one compromises the whole. We seek the cure of sin through confession to Christ and the healing of shame through confession of story in a redemptive community of Christ. This session reminds us we are patients not prisoners. We must feel in order to heal. God is a good surgeon who hurts us to heal us. Pain encrypts purpose until we affirmatively answer Christ's question: "Do you want to get well?" He is The Well that makes all men well.
BELLY OF THE WHALE
When God Calls He Never Hangs Up. The silence we hear is our shame we misinterpret as His blame. Life is more than a series of mistakes. It is a sequence of mysteries so our unanswerable questions are answered with God's unquestionable self as God answered Jonah inside a whale — a tomb turned womb to resurrect a repentant man back to life. In this session we will learn unchangeable circumstances exist to change character so Grace, like water, can descend to the deepest depths of our depravity to drown our idols in our deepest life — a waking dream that spits us out on the same shore where we were first supposed to be in spite of ourselves for Him.
"Kevin is a rare man whom God has raised up for such a time as this."
- Brian Doyle, Founder & President, Iron Sharpens Iron National Men's Equipping Conferences
"Kevin’s journey calls to the heart of all men."
Traylor Lovvorn, Route 1520
"At every venue Kevin speaks, he touches men’s lives and fills the room."
Darrell Billups, Executive Director, National Coalition of Ministries to Men
"I continue to hear fruit from his message."
Nate Elarton, Lead Pastor, Compelled Church
"Your message poured into me with such sweetness all I could do was cry."
Kevin's vulnerability and willingness to unpack some of his most difficult experiences during his chapel message was a gift. By inviting us to see God at work in his own brokenness, he pointed to the transforming power of the Gospel and the beauty of forgiveness. We are deeply grateful for his ministry and influence in our campus community
Your message was so abundant with His life that I am still processing what you shared. I tried taking notes but surrendered to the power of the Holy Spirit. Your message poured into me with such sweetness all I could do was cry. I was so refreshed when I left that I brought this message home to my family. Kevin you are so gifted in communicating God’s perfect love into another man’s heart. Many men were trying to hide their tears at the end of your message of hope.
Tom Scott @ Iron Sharpens Iron Men’s Conference, Portsmouth, New Hampshire 4/30/16
I have read where it was said that “climbers never conquer a mountain, the mountain allows them to the top.” Kevin DeVries said that. Before Kevin joined our team, he had already climbed five of the tallest mountains on five continents of the world and skied to the North Pole. The mountains I referred to are Mount Kosciuszko in Australia, Mount Elbrus in Europe, Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, Mount McKinley in Alaska, and Cerro Aconcagua in South America. He was certainly well qualified with the knowledge and the physical ability to climb Mount Ararat in Turkey. But it would be on Mount Ararat where he would meet more than the challenge of the climb. More on that in a minute.
As I recall it was in 2009 when I first met Kevin DeVries. We were organizing a climb to search for Noah’s Ark on Ararat, and we needed an expert ice climber and mountain survivalist. Kevin proved to the team over the years 2009 to 2013 that he was the man for the job. Along with climber Holt Condren, Kevin was there to lead the climbs and teach us how to survive on the ice. In one case, I remember Kevin helping me crawl out of a collapsed tent and into the safety of another tent during a terrible storm at the 16,700 foot level of Ararat. Kevin was there to ensure our safety and put his heart into the effort to locate the ark regardless of where or how deep in the ice it might be. It was there, as is brought out in the movie “Finding Noah” where his heart would have a close encounter with the Lord. Without question, Kevin has found his ark – of salvation. I am blessed to have met and worked with Kevin on our team.
Captain Richard Bright
Expedition Leader & Owner, Ark Search LLC
Kevin’s genuine passion to explore is matched by his genuine desire to minister to men with transparency and authenticity. He is a rare man whom God has raised up for such a time as this. Kevin has traveled from Maine to Montana, from Virginia to Wisconsin and many places in between sharing his story (at our ISI Men’s Conferences). It’s a story of God’s Grace – a story worth telling and one that men want to hear.
Founder & President
Iron Sharpens Iron
As former professional athletes and successful entrepreneurs that landed our own HGTV reality series, we understand to truly succeed one must first learn how to fail. Our friend, Kevin DeVries, believes that failing is not opposition but an opportunity to move forward. He’s faced his fears, died to his dreams and stood for Christ whatever the cost – and his life teaches us to fail forward so we don’t have to succeed backward. If you want to climb higher than the false summit of a successful, shallow life towards the true summit of a significant, lasting legacy, Kevin DeVries is the spiritual guide who can lead you there.
David & Jason Benham
We were very blessed to have Kevin DeVries on staff at our church for several years. Since then, he has encountered several lifetimes of experiences. When you think in terms of the “highs” and “lows” of life, Kevin has known both. He recently spoke at our men’s breakfast and really did an incredible job. Men of all ages were riveted to his every word. Kevin’s authenticity is as rare as the air he breathed on the mountains of Ararat. Kevin is an excellent communicator who is able to weave his personal experiences and Scripture together in a relevant way that connects with everyone in the room. God’s love and grace are very evident in both his words and his life. I highly recommend Kevin DeVries.
Rocky Barra Sr.
There are not many men out there that are willing and able to do what Kevin does so well which is to speak right into the heart of a person. He is a highly gifted communicator of truth. He has a way to make complicated things easy to understand. His vulnerability makes his message real and easy to relate to. When you invite Kevin to speak you are inviting much more than just another speaker. You are inviting a man that not only loves God but in many ways understands Him. He is that good.
Founder & Author
The Zone Project
Kevin presented his workshop titled: Finding Noah – Finding Grace for a group of men at one of our recent Iron Sharpens Iron Conferences. The response was tremendous. One pastor said that Kevin had one of the most compelling testimonies he had ever heard following that with, “And I’ve heard a lot of testimonies!” Men were drawn to his life of adventure and his story. As a matter of fact, his room was still nearly full long after the time for the workshop was expired. When one man is willing to be transparent and vulnerable, other men are drawn to this and encouraged to wrestle with their own shortcomings. Kevin was able to help men get to that point. We’ll invite him back again.
We had Kevin speak at our men’s breakfast and two-weekend services. He was such a blessing and each service was moving. I continue to hear fruit from his message that was honest, vulnerable and Spirit – anointed. One lady said to me that she knew we really did love single people and those single again because I had Kevin speak. Another man said for the first time since his divorce he sensed God’s love and freedom from guilt. I look forward to having Kevin again next year.
Kevin has faced physical, relational, financial and spiritual death….and came out on the other side knowing the love of Christ through great depths. Let him speak into your life and see what new adventures God brings your way!
Rocky Barra Jr.
Worship & Arts Associate
Having worked closely with Kevin during our expeditions to Mt. Ararat in some of the most extreme environments and grueling conditions, I can testify that he is a superb servant-leader. When we ascended the mountain at night to 17,000 feet, Kevin led our group to the summit, encouraging us along the way by writing motivating messages ahead of us in the snow.
Off the mountain, Kevin continued to exhibit a careful and compassionate spirit, directing our team to think spiritually and to trust in God’s greater purpose in all that we were doing. Despite some of the most difficult circumstances, one can experience in this life, Kevin has maintained his courageous faith and been an inspiration to others. Kevin has my highest recommendation as a leader and motivator of men!
Randall Price, Ph.D.
Center for Judaic Studies
Kevin and I have survived many long, cold nights on Mount Ararat together. We forged a friendship while enduring challenges on that mountain that few will ever experience. His insight into God’s wonderful gift of grace was just the right prescription for me as I walked through a dark point in my life. I have the highest regard for this man’s heart. If you’re looking for someone to speak hope and life into your men, Kevin DeVries is an excellent choice. His raw authenticity really connects.
Founder & Author
Surf The Woods
I’ve seen Kevin DeVries at his best and at his worst. He came into our ministry hobbling and broken, and through the love of other men (none of whom he knew), helped carry his load until he miraculously found his footing underneath him and his voice again. Through that experience, he was able to allow others to see a man rise from the ashes and find hope and a new message.
Nothing is better than to see a man find the courage to walk into his darkness, find something glorious there, pick it up, hold it, and let Jesus re-craft it into a new and sturdy foundation. Kevin did that. But he didn’t go there by himself. He took us with him and we took him with us into our own darkness in order to find the rising sun. A real, raw, no-holds-barred, non-judgmental community of ragamuffins for Christ helped Kevin DeVries find a way to connect to the hearts of others. We are so thrilled to have others hear his message of Grace.
Go The Distance Ministries
One of the beautifully broken, Kevin DeVries’ authenticity and transparency inspires and convicts as he boldly shares Abba’s unconditional love with Pharisees and Prodigals alike. Of all of Kevin’s noble adventures, his journey into his own heart to face his own darkness is by far his most courageous. Along the way, Kevin drank deeply from the well of God’s scandalous grace and has learned to not hide his glorious limp. Kevin’s gift of articulating his journey calls to the heart of all men…wooing them to step into the darkness and embark upon their own adventure of knowing themselves. I’m a better man for knowing Kevin DeVries.
Life & Recovery Coach
Hollywood can make a real movie about men of faith. These are cool guys. They are incredible guys. Kevin DeVries…what a wonderful man. He has the heart of a lion. These are the men I want to share with America.
I met Kevin DeVries during a special screening of the film “Finding Noah.” Since I have got to know Kevin and listen to his testimonial story, I have a greater appreciation of his humility and his love for Christ. He is authentic, vulnerable and his heart is to be so transparent that others see this transparency and want it for themselves. At every venue Kevin speaks, he touches men’s lives and fills the room. It is a reality check for men in the world we live in today.
Darrel Billups, Th.D.
NCMM, Executive Director
National Coalition of Ministries to Men
Kevin led packed out workshops at two of our Iron Sharpens Iron men’s conferences this year. He poured his heart out to our men through his amazingly transparent testimony and story. Men came face-to-face with their own life struggles as Kevin shared openly about his personal journey of faith. He even went the extra mile and took time with each man who wanted to talk with him well after his session was over. Classy. I highly recommend Kevin as a speaker; I know that we will be inviting him back!
Focal Point Ministries
Many are called to speak into the broken hearts of men and women, but only a few are chosen. Through his own intimate knowledge, Kevin DeVries has experienced how Jesus heals the brokenhearted. He is God’s chosen vessel to help lead others on the journey of discovering their greatness. His speaking style is captivating as your heart is unlocked with every word describing the Father’s love. Kevin has the ability to administer God’s grace through his authenticity and vulnerability. Kevin understands the single life. He serves as a valuable member of the ResLife Singles Ministry Committee, providing sound advice and trusted counsel. And he is a dear friend!
God has taken Kevin DeVries, like he did Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, through the valleys and mountaintops of life, with all the joys, trials, and scars involved. I met Kevin as a quiet 9th grader where I had the privilege of teaching and coaching him in Cross Country. We spent long fall days running together, building more than our physical stamina. We spoke of life and goals, of girls and God.
In the subsequent years, Kevin has experienced the pain of broken relationships in a way only God could have orchestrated. Yet, through all of that, God has Kevin right where He wants him. God brought Kevin and me back together through the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. It was our privilege to have Kevin speak to the athletes at the FCA Camp at Albion College. As he related his life story, students were touched in dramatic ways, hard hearts melted, tears flowed and healing began. May God continue to use you, Kevin, as His vessel of mercy and peace.
Kevin’s Iron Sharpens Iron Keynote message brought personal vulnerability to his message which connects well with men. His willingness to share his personal story in the context of redemption and a call to action is perfectly shaped for a male audience. We will invite Kevin to Keynote at our other venues. Men loved the breakout sessions, and from the notes, I saw them taking, will work to apply what they learned. We enjoyed hosting Kevin in the very heart of “Cajun Country” which spawned shows celebrating Gator Hunters and more. He bravely dug into food delicacies like our locally caught Crawfish, Alligator, and Raw Oysters. I must say that he has either gourmet taste or a cast iron stomach!
Gulf Men South