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TEN: Holtz


Jeff and Julie Holtz were looking for a church just after the birth of their third son, Joel, who was born at 28 weeks with major medical issues. Julie said they were “at a crossroads in their lives” when they received a direct mail flyer in their mailbox from CrossTown Church. They called the church to get more information and were pleasantly surprised when Pastor Ronn Smith and two elders, whom they had not met, showed up to pray with them for healing for their son.

“I remember a very powerful time of prayer with the elders at the church and us, just laying hands on Joel.” Jeff recalled.

After the family’s first visit to the church, Julie said she was hooked. Along with their two older boys, Luke and Matt, they quickly made CrossTown their home.

Joel spent his first 18 months of life in the hospital and they realized they had found more than just a church. People brought them meals, helped with their children and supported them in prayer. “It was one big family,” Julie said. “We just felt like the church — our family — was lifting us and keeping us going.”

Jeff remembered several times early in Joel’s life when doctors predicted he might not live or never breathe on his own.

“Our love for the Lord is not going to change if Joel lives or dies,” Jeff remembered telling Julie during that time. He recalled “that peace that passes understanding in the hardest time of our life, feeling God’s closeness and presence like never before.”

Jeff and Julie are amazed at what God has done in the life of Joel, who is now 8. He no longer relies on a tracheostomy tube to help him breathe or a G-tube to provide his nourishment. “It’s amazing,” Julie explained. “God has completely healed him medically.” Joel still has developmental issues, but the Holtz family focuses on the God they serve, Julie said.

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