Ronnie Holderby was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, raised as part of a family of seven—four boys, one girl, with a loving Father and Mother. Ronnie was taught to always work and play hard. His goal? Become a real man’s man. He set out to outthink, outwit, outwork anyone he came across, and outfight them, too, if the situation required. He didn’t talk about his feelings and never cried—he was taught real men don’t do that, and they never give up. He became successful in the world as an owner and CEO of a large construction company. He built and owned multiple homes, had nice cars, trucks, boats and all kinds of recreational toys. He was a husband to a beautiful wife and father to three strapping boys. He was good at the game of baseball and played many years for the love of the game. He and his twin brother managed and coached a men’s travelling team that went around beating teams in other states. When he was out with the boys, he laughed heartily, went to strip clubs, drank hard, snorted cocaine in crazy amounts, and stayed out so late that some nights, he never came home at all.
Yup, make no mistake about it, big Ronnie Holderby, Texas drawl and all, who lived for himself first, knew the definition of a man. Problem was he didn’t know God’s definition of a man. And he was about to find out.
It all happened the day his eldest son, Lance, told him he was addicted to crystal meth. Ronnie, having just recently kicked his life of addiction to cocaine and alcohol, felt something bubbling to the surface that was unfamiliar. Tears. He felt responsible for his son’s affliction—that his own addictions had led to his son’s addiction—and it broke him. He fell to his knees and cried out to God, a God who he hardly knew, and told Him that he would do anything to spare his son from his own struggles in life. The prayer seemed to set in motion the man Ronnie was about to become.
When he found out that Lance was stealing tools from him and selling them to supplement his addiction, Ronnie found himself being thrown right into the fire—he had to decide whether to handle the situation himself or call the police. It was the hardest decision of his life. Lance was handcuffed and arrested in the house and taken away as the family watched in horror. Ronnie was once again a heartbroken dad, husband, and man who had made a mess. But the tears were just getting started.
Alongside the D.A., Ronnie pleaded for custody of his son, informing the court that he would get him into a rehab facility in Louisiana, far from his circle of bad influences. The judge agreed.
A year and a half later, the Holderby’s flew to Louisiana to take part in a week long intervention with Lance who had been clean for a year. Ronnie, Teresa, and sons, along with eight other families, took turns sitting in the middle of a large circle to share how their child’s actions had hurt them. If the tears had flowed in the past months, it was nothing compared to the crying that took place that week.
On the plane ride home, Ronnie felt wiped out. His twelve-year-old son, Brett, seated next to him, turned and said, “Pop, this family needs to go to church.”
Ronnie did a double-take, then said, “You’re right, son. Yes we do, and I’ll find us one.” A friend suggested that Ronnie and family should go hear a young pastor by the name of Miles McPherson over at Horizon Church. After attending for three months, Brett once again delivered a jaw-dropping bomb. “Pop, I want to go to the front when the altar call is given this Sunday to ask Jesus to come live in my heart, but I think we should all go as a family. I don’t want to go alone.”
That following Sunday, when the altar call was given, Ronnie, Teresa, and sons Brett and Luke prayed and gave their hearts to Jesus. But it wasn’t until they went into the room to the right of the stage to receive prayer that Ronnie’s transformation went into high gear. “I could feel the sin pull off me in layers and the weight of my sin being lifted off my shoulders,” says Ronnie. He stayed in that room, and cried for what seemed like hours. “When I came out, I was a new man. I knew God was giving me a second chance with my new life,”
Months later, Ronnie was driving down the 15 freeway on his way to one of his jobsites when he felt God telling him to turn his truck around, go to the Miles Ahead office and tell Pastor Miles that he was willing to serve in any way Miles needed.
“I’m on my way to work, God,” Ronnie answered back. “I don’t have time for that.”
But God was persistent with the CEO. Turn your truck around.
Finally he relented. He arrived at the office about the same time Miles was arriving. “Hi, do you remember me? God told me to come and offer myself. I’m here to do whatever you need.”
Soon after that, Ronnie was using one of his flatbed trucks to haul equipment for a Miles Ahead Crusade happening at the Sports Arena. From the way his back and legs felt, it was grunt work, but from the way his heart felt, he knew something significant was happening. “I suddenly started to feel a joy and fulfillment with purpose that I had never known,” Ronnie adds. “The more I gave to the Lord, the more He gave back.”
And he hasn’t looked back since. He and his wife are “all in” when it comes to the God-given vision of Rock Church, and an example of what it means to be generous with time, talent, and treasure. He and Teresa are grateful for their new life in Christ serving faithfully as volunteers in many ways since the Rock’s inception nearly fifteen years ago: Ronnie started and led Sunday ministries, including Parking, and Set-up/Breakdown; he helped develop Altar Call, Small Groups, and served on Sundays as a volunteer pastor and counselor. Fourteen years ago, he established the Rock's Men’s Ministry, and volunteered for most of that time as the leader, though today, he is on staff as the group’s Pastor. “The Rock Men’s Ministry has been assigned by God to cultivate and reproduce impactful Men of God, who are also spiritual servant leaders. Real men are humble. Real men are servants. Real men forgive. Real men don’t manipulate or cause division. Real men sacrifice their desires for their families. Real men give their lives away. Real men love and know Jesus, pointing others to Him. And therefore, real men in surrender to God pray, worship and cry.”
Note: Lance Holderby was delivered from his addiction and saved. He is married to Jenny Holderby who is saved and they have two beautiful little girls, Allie and Carley, who also love Jesus.
Join Pastor Ronnie and Rock Church Men’s Ministry for these upcoming events:
February 7, 2015
United - No Man Left Behind | All Men's Breakfast (Speaker: Pastor Miles McPherson)
February 16, 2015
Next Men’s LIFE Groups series begins. Sign up at the United - No Man Left Behind | All Men's Breakfast or email [email protected].
What has God done in your life? Share your story at [email protected].
For more information about the Men's Ministry, click here »