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‘Duck Dynasty’ stars talk about family’s faith journey, new ministry opportunities

Willie and Korie Robertson spoke during Convocation about sharing their faith with boldness. (Photo by Eva Soderstrom)

Liberty University welcomed Willie and Korie Robertson, stars of the hit television show “Duck Dynasty,” to Friday’s Convocation as a part of this weekend’s College For A Weekend (CFAW) activities.

The couple sat down with Campus Pastor Jonathan Falwell and spoke about where God has brought them since the successful series and how He has blessed them along the way. Willie reflected on his own upbringing and taking Christian values into his work. He said he originally planned on attending seminary to become a preacher, but now He thanks God for calling him into a different line of work because of the spiritual impact he has been able to have in business and entertainment.

“I’m so glad it turned out the way it did because I feel like we need more believers and Christians in the workforce,” Willie said. “Not that ministers are bad, (they are) awesome. But we need more Christian businesspeople, we need more Christian people in entertainment, Christians out there with that mindset. And not just sitting there saying, ‘We believe in Jesus,’ but having that ministry mindset and bringing that to the table.”

 “Wherever you go, take God with you, because sometimes you have no idea where you’re going to go in this life,” he told the students.

With all the fame that the Robertsons gained practically overnight due to the show, which ran 11 seasons from 2012 to 2017, they may have been tempted to hide or diminish their faith to better fit in with celebrities, but the family refused to do so. Whether it was ending each episode of the show with prayer or merely boldly speaking out on Christian issues, the Robertsons have not shied away from sharing the Gospel in all of their work.

“We believe that we’ve been called to an abundant life with the spirit of God with us and in us. When we walk into a place, whether it’s Hollywood or your work or your dorm, we don’t need to tread lightly but tread lively,” Korie said, explaining why they named the family’s production company Tread Lively.

Willie said that ultimately living out one’s faith comes down to proper prioritization. By placing one’s faith first and family second, it becomes easier to allow those two areas to guide every other aspect of life.

The couple announced that they would be releasing a new movie, “The Blind,” in September about the lives of Willie’s parents, Phil and Kay, including Phil’s dramatic conversion to Christ. Phil found Christ in a bar in Arkansas when a preacher drove across state lines to share the Gospel with him, saving him from his sinful lifestyle and restoring his relationship with his family.

“If none of that happens, I grow up in a completely different family,” Willie said. “A single-parent family. We would have been with Mom, with all these boys, and who knows what would have happened. I know I wouldn’t be standing here right now with all the success.”

Because of the radical change that Phil Robertson experienced years ago, God opened the door for his family to share their faith on a national level. It allowed them to create their business Duck Commander and through that create a show that reached people with the Gospel.

“If you look at the spiritual impact of that, with all the hundreds of millions of people all over the world who watched ‘Duck Dynasty’ that ended in a prayer, prayers went into living rooms of people who didn’t even know what prayer was,” Willie said. “They were exposed to the Gospel. Look at the followers we have on social media and our kids. I can bring it all back down to a bar in Junction City, Arkansas, with a little couple that no one would have ever dreamed. For me, it continued to inspire me to share my faith because we never know who those people are.”

Korie said Phil’s life serves as a testament to the power of God and His ability to save anyone from darkness.

“One thing that it taught us is just don’t ever give up hope on anyone,” she said. “I know a lot of people like to say, ‘People don’t change.’ But with Jesus, people do change, and they can change in powerful ways.”

(Photo by Natalie Olson)

Willie also shared that he is currently writing a book about sharing his faith, and he added that the family is producing a musical titled “His Story,” which will launch in May in Dallas, Texas.

The Robertsons concluded by sharing advice on how to live a life of faith without the confines and restrictions of anxiety.

“This world is scary. There’s a lot of scary thing happening right now, but whenever you put your trust in Jesus and know that He is with you, He is in you, He goes before you, it just eases all of that. It’s not about you and what you have to do,” Korie said. “It’s not about doing the next right thing and making sure it’s all perfect. It’s about saying, ‘God, I trust you. I give you my life. I’m going to follow you,’ and letting Him do His will in your life.”

Korie also participated in a CFAW President Parent’s Session on Friday morning.

The Robertsons joined cinematic arts students on Friday evening for a private screening of “The Blind” and participated in a Q&A panel directly afterward. 

Willie and Korie Robertson particpated in a Q&A panel after a private showing of “The Blind.” (Photo by Joel Coleman)
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