September 18, 2015 : By Ted Allen - Office of Communications & Public Engagement
Senior Vice President for Spiritual Development David Nasser welcomed the crowd and more than 2,000 visitors, including guests visiting for Liberty’s College For A Weekend. Nasser said the Robertsons’ visit was more of a reunion, since Korie Robertson’s son, John Luke, and his wife, Mary Kate, are freshmen at Liberty. “Duck Dynasty” was filmed at Liberty last month as the couple settled into Lynchburg. The episode, the season nine finale, will be aired next spring.
“This little A&E reality show started as ‘Faith, family, and facial hair,’ but then it evolved from that and literally became this generation’s ‘Andy Griffith Show’ — the show that the world watches,” Nasser said. “They have an incredible witness. I think about all the people who have never come to church, never gone to a Christian concert or enrolled at Liberty University, but they turn on their TV and they’ve seen the Gospel shared through the testimony of this family.”
Besides working on the set of a reality show, launching a clothing line, and maintaining a blog to keep her 1.6 million Twitter followers up-to-date on how God is working in her life, 18-year-old Sadie Robertson, a high school senior, has written a book, “Live Original.” She talked about the book in a Q-and-A style format on stage with Nasser. A book signing was planned at Liberty’s Barnes & Noble Bookstore from 4-5 p.m. Friday.
“The theme behind ‘Live Original’ is being confident in the person that you were created to be … being comfortable in your own skin,” she said.
Her YouTube video on the subject of comparing oneself to other people has received more than 3 million views.
Sadie Robertson encouraged the audience to tell God, “This is how You made me and I’m gonna rock it.”
She also spoke about her three-month leave from ”Duck Dynasty” last year, when she was on season 19 of “Dancing with the Stars.” She said she was fearful at first, but was spurred on after accepting her younger sister’s wise counsel to overcome her fear and answer God’s call, if it was in His will.
“It’s not about being confident in myself — it’s about being confident in what God can do through me,” she said.
When asked where she expected to be in five years, she expressed her confidence in the Lord’s plans and timing.
“I would never have guessed I would be where I am now,” Sadie said. “I don’t have to plan because God’s done such a great job of taking me where He wants me to be, and I love to follow His lead.”
Korie Robertson, who is releasing her book about parenting called “Strong and Kind” on Oct. 27, talked about how she and her husband, Willie, have raised children to reflect His character. (Willie spoke at a Liberty Convocation in 2013.)
“I want them to be kind and confident and to treat everyone with goodness and kindness and love,” she said. “Willie and I talked about that and prayed that over them and worked to instill that in them from a very young age. Our kids were preaching on the table when they were 5 years old. They’ve always been kids that honor God and glorify Him and stay humble because they know whose they are, that it’s not about them.”
As a member of the popular reality show, Sadie Robertson said she is called each day to live out her faith.
“We didn’t just decide whenever the show started that we’d all be Christians,” she said. “This is not an act. This is something we try to do all the time, because living for God is an all-the-time thing that you do.”
When Nasser asked them how Liberty’s student body could pray for their family, Korie Robertson requested God’s continued physical and spiritual protection over the family as they travel and work in different locations. Sadie challenged the students to walk the Christian walk.
“You are the change,” she said. “The more you live it out, the more the world’s going to live it out for Christ.”
Friday’s Convocation also featured special music from Mike Donehey, lead singer of Tenth Avenue North. The band was scheduled to perform in the Vines Center on Friday night.
The event ended with an exhortation from Liberty Director of Athletics Jeff Barber, who urged the students to fan the Flames at Saturday’s 7 p.m. football game against the University of Montana. It will be one of the biggest games ever played at Williams Stadium, he said, pitting two top-15-ranked teams in the FCS Coaches poll with the Grizzlies (1-1) coming in at No. 7 and Liberty (1-1) at No. 14.