VERNON (KFDX/KJTL) — After leading the congregation at Fargo United Methodist Church in Vernon for more than 50 years, Reverend Irl Holt is stepping down this weekend.
“Just always glad to have visitors come out. Sometimes people be traveling down the highway and stop in to worship with us,” Holt said.
Welcoming all who have come through the doors of Fargo United Methodist church for the past 50 years, Reverand Holt says some of his fondest memories are of those who never planned on stopping by.
“We’ve had people from Altus, Oklahoma coming over and join with us. One lady whose husband was in the Air Force came by several times. We just enjoy people coming out,” Holt said.
It’s a legacy Holt is happy to leave behind as he steps down as leader of the church.
“He’s a great friend I guarantee you. I’ve got him in Lions Club and he hasn’t put out the flag route and he bounces off faster than I do but, ya know, he’s kind of like an adopted parent,” Baxter said.
Over the years, Music Director Kenneth Baxter says holt’s infectious good mood and welcoming personality is something that rubs off on just about everyone he meets.
“Just keep smiling and working,” Baxter said.
All evidence of the good-hearted nature Reverend Holt has instilled in his church family.
“I hope that the church will continue for many more years. And the bishop and the district superintendent will assign someone to this church and they’ll go forward,” Holt said.
Forward in his footsteps that have been followed in for decades.
“I’ve had weddings for several generations of kids. I’ve had funerals for five generations of one family all right here. They are just my people,” Holt said.
Irl Holt retired as an educator and administrator in Vernon ISD in 1997 and has devoted the remainder of his career to serving his church.
Holt’s final church service is this Sunday at 11 am at Fargo United Methodist Church.
A reception will follow from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at First United Methodist Church.
The mayor of Vernon has declared Sunday, June 6, as Irl Holt day