Pastor Leon HoldenPastor Holden has been pastoring for over twenty years and twelve of those years have been at First Baptist Church.  God has used him and his family in a mighty way since he has been here.  Pastor Holden and his wife, Sarah, have been married for twenty eight years and have five wonderful children (Leon III, Timothy, Christopher, Hannah, and Faith).  Two years after God saved him, he surrended to the call to preach.  He says, "I want to be obedient to whatever He calls me to do. He is so worthy of my obedience."  Pastor Holden holds a Doctorate's Degree and is everlearning.  Pastor Holden has a heart for the people in the community of Steinhatchee and would love to serve your family.

My name is Herbert Leon Holden Jr. born in Perry, Florida August 15, 1969 to Herbert and Diane Holden. At the age of five my father passed away in an automobile accident leaving my mother alone with two sons. I remember those early years being very painful. I awoke many nights crying re-living my first father’s death. A few years later after much heart-ache, anxiety, and depression my mother got remarried to a military man. His name was Charles A. Miller Jr. and he became a good father for my brother and I. We love him very much.

My parents were not saved at the time, so they raised my brother and I the best way they knew how, which turned out pretty good, I guess, morally speaking any ways. Every three years or so we would move to a different location being that our new dad was in the Army. We lived in South Carolina, Georgia, Wildflicken Germany, New Jersey.

As a teenager I got very wild, handling my emotions, anxieties, and hang-ups with drugs and alcohol. It really seemed to fix things at the time, but it didn’t, it only made things worse. Because there was no drinking age in Germany, by the age of fourteen I had my own bar tab at the Club Chatue. This led to sleepless nights, skipping school, lying to my parents, and trouble with authorities. My parents really began to worry about me.

At the age of seventeen we moved to New Jersey. That first morning of school I seen a beautiful girl named Sarah, sitting in the back of the School Bus. It wasn’t long until we became high school sweethearts. A couple of months later we dropped out of school, got married, and moved to Florida.

The first years of our marriage was tough only by the Grace of God we made it through. We moved seventeen times in six years, had three boys and the life of drugs and alcohol was uncontrollable.

It was then when everything seemed to be falling apart that my mom invited us to a revival that her church was having (My parents had not long been saved and going to church by this time). My wife wanted to go, but only because they were serving supper each night and she didn’t want to cook.

Walter K. Ayers was preaching that night, he was from Texas. He preached a message on a time to live and a time to die. There were about five hundred people there that night, but it seemed as if he was preaching directly to me. 

During the invitation Sarah wanted me to go with her to the altar but my pride wouldn’t let me. Sarah went on by herself and got gloriously saved. After that night, I ran from God for two more weeks until one day I thought that I was about to die, I just couldn't run anymore.

It was on a Friday, I came home from work and nobody was home, it was just me and God. I couldn't hold back anymore, I fell down beside my bed and cried out to the Lord saying... If there’s a God in heaven like that preacher talked about, then I want to be saved. I prayed a solid hour crying out for God’s mercy realizing that I was a sinner and needed the Lord’s forgiveness. Thank God... He moved into my life that day and saved me to the uttermost. Then He sealed me unto the day of redemption and I haven't been the same since. To God be the glory... great things He has done.

Two years after God saved me... He called me to peach and may I say that’s a story in itself. I don’t understand why God would call me to preach when there are so many people that could do the job way better then me. But I do know this, I want to be obedient to what ever He calls me to do. He is so worthy of my obedience.

Now I’ve been married twenty eight years and have a wonderful wife and marriage. I have three boys and two daughters. I’ve been pastoring for over twenty years and over twevle of those years I’ve been here at First Baptist Church and for that I’m so blessed. I’ve received my Masters degree in theology and working on my Doctorates degree. My oldest son Leon (27yrs) is married with three kids living in Tallahasee,FL. My second son Timothy (25yrs) is married with two kids Pastoring in Jacksonville Florida. My third son Christopher (23yrs) is married with two kids Pastoring in Chiefland Florida. My two daughters are Hannah (12), Faith (10) and what an added blessing they have been to our family.