A prominent Maumelle attorney, Stephen Holt, died on Jan. 28 at age 46 after a courageous battle with ALS, also called Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
Holt was a partner in the state’s largest personal injury law firm, Rainwater, Holt and Sexton, in Little Rock. A native of Leachville, in Northeast Arkansas’ Mississippi County, he graduated from Arkansas State University with a business degree and began working as a banking executive in Jonesboro.
He said in his biography that serving on a jury left him with the belief that he should have been an attorney so he went home and convinced his wife to place his new Jonesboro home on the rental market while they moved to Little Rock so he could enroll in the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s law school.
During his legal studies he said he and Bob Sexton became close friends and eventually went into practice together.
Also in law school he developed a close friendship with Maumelle City Attorney JaNan Davis. Davis reflected this week on the loss of her friend and law partner.
"I was fortunate to call Stephen and his wife, Patience, my friends. I first met Stephen in law school in the early 1990’s. Stephen and his family have been Maumelle residents for a number of years. He was always interested in projects in Maumelle although he was never interested in being in the limelight. Stephen was a man focused on the greater good. He loved God and put Him first in everything he did. Stephen saw the growth of his law practice with Mike Rainwater and Bob Sexton as an opportunity to reach out and spread the gospel. I have been blessed by working with these three gentlemen and have learned more about the Lord and about the law during my time practicing with them.
Stephen incorporated his love of and commitment to mission work into the framework of his family and participated in a number of international and domestic mission trips with his daughter, Abbey, and his son, Will. Stephen and I served together as Strategy Leaders for mission partnerships with our church, Immanuel Baptist Church of Little Rock. Stephen led the mission partnership between Immanuel and a church in Paraguay. His legacy and vision for that partnership and the people of Paraguay will live on for a very long time.
Adam Markham said about his friend, "Those that really knew Stephen Holt are quick to agree that he possessed an eclectic (if not contradictory) skill set. One that may best be described as a mix of compassion, determination, stubbornness, and humility. Behind his disarming smile lived an unusual depth of character. His was a quiet strength built in the refiner’s fire over the course of man years, resulting in an uncanny focus and resolve. Many years ago, Stephen was given a rare gift by His Creator: the gift of clarity. Stephen had the blessing of knowing what was truly important in life. Once he received this clarity, he wrapped his time, gifts, energies, and talents around it, somehow knowing that his life served a greater purpose. And in the long run this clarity indeed served a greater purpose, for it was this very clarity that ended up having an eternal impact far beyond even the Razorback Nation."
The family requests that any memorial gifts be directed to either the Acts 1:8 Fund at Immanuel Baptist Church, 501 N. Shackleford, Little Rock, AR 72211, or to the Stephen Holt Paraguayan Church Building Memorial Fund at the Arkansas Baptist Foundation, 10117 Kanis Rd, Little Rock, AR 72205.