I have met many people in my life…but only a handful that was memorable. John Holt was memorable. John was the genuine article. I first became acquainted with John when I accidentally became a member of our church’s governing board called the Session. I had been asked by a friend if I would submit my name for consideration for an elder position on the Stewardship Committee. I had been a trustee many years before and I assumed that the job was somewhat similar to what I had done previously. My friend told me that the Stewardship Committee only met a few times per year and that I would not be a member of Session. I consented and the next thing that I knew I was a member of Session for a three-year commitment. After a few weeks, I thought that I would bow out quietly…but John asked me to stay. I respected him to the extent…that I stayed.
John seemed to have more duties in the church than anyone that I knew. He did everything from operating the sound system on a weekly basis…to locking the church nightly…and even changing the light bulbs when they burned out. I joined him on the church lock-up duties as well as many of the physical needs of our church. John challenged my faith…he made me want to be a better Christian. John was not afraid to disagree and when he told me something I took it to the bank…he was the real deal!
Jonn was my idea of a Renaissance Man. He could speak widely and with considerable knowledge on a variety of subjects. I have never met a greater example of a Servant-Leader.
John has often been called the ‘Go-To Guy,’ due to his intricate and vast knowledge of not only the sound system of our church but almost any Physical Plant needs for First Presbyterian.
John was known by many and respected by all. I have listened with rapt attention to his explanation of our Presbyterian Faith…I have never heard a better or more detailed council of what it meant to be a Presbyterian. He was unassuming and a bit quiet…but his eyes held a world of knowledge and understanding…and love for the fellow members of the human family.
Not long after John and I met…I was involved in a retirement business adventure…I had an Opportunity Meeting in Carbondale…invited many people…almost no one came…John was one of the few that attended. John admitted that he did not want to sell insurance…but he wanted to support me…
John Holt did not talk about being a Christian…he showed us…