Take 5 with Kevin Whitt

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By Brad Bowman

Basic bio

Native of Waterford, Michigan

Graduated from Waterford Kettering High School 1988

BA liberal arts degree from Southwestern Baptist University, Bolivar, Mo.

Attended Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville.

Associate Pastor at Pleasureville Baptist Church 1996 -2000.

Founding pastor of Harvest Community Church 2000.

Henry County Public Schools Director of Transportation

Why do you have interest in theology and ministry?

I sensed a calling. I have a deep personal faith in Jesus Christ. Whether it’s working in the church or outside of it, everything I do is to glorify him. I had a deep call to share the gospel in words and actions in daily activities.

I was the founding pastor of Harvest Community Church. I’m still a member of Harvest Community Church. We had been meeting at the Eminence Community Center for many years and shared the building at the Eminence United Methodist Church. As more people from Shelby County kept driving in to attend, the leadership decided to move the church to Shelbyville. Harvest Community Church is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. I resigned from pastor four and half years ago, but it is still part of my ministry. It’s not a job and I don’t get paid for it. I’m still a very active participant and faithful member.

How did you come to Henry County?

In 1996, I was first contacted to be an associate pastor at Pleasureville Baptist Church. They contacted me when I was coming to the seminary in Louisville. I lived for the first six months across from the Ford Plant and then moved to Henry County. With the blessings of the pastor (Pleasureville Baptist Church) and the congregation, I worked with the Kentucky Baptist Convention to plant Harvest Community Church.

All during this time, I worked other jobs. I worked for Cracker Barrel. I helped open the La Grange store and later the Shelbyville location as a server/trainer and worked also a grill cook.

In 2004, 2005 I interviewed for a bus driving position. I did ministry work and worked as a bus driver then. I applied for the director position when Mr. Gentry retired and this is my third year. I take my job as director very seriously and have the lives and safety of students in my thoughts when I wake up every morning.

What else would you do if you had the time?

My biggest joy is what I have done as a father and husband. I have three biological sons and a daughter we adopted from Ethiopia. I would not change anything I am doing, however, I’ve always had a secret desire to open a restaurant/coffee house.

I enjoy cooking. I like to cook a variety of home fares to ethnic foods. Watching my mother and my grandmother cook, three of us boys love to cook and the girl (mother’s daughter) doesn’t. I enjoy the hospitality. Watching people get together, families together, neighbors getting together and enjoying not just the food, but the fellowship and the relationships.

There would definitely be steaks, different meats — perhaps some lamb.

I also enjoy watching sports. I like baseball. I try to make it to a Louisville Bats or Cincinnati Reds games and Henry County baseball games at least a few times a year.

I enjoy traveling, but don’t have the time to do it as much as I want. I want to go to Alaska and to Ireland to see the diversity of land and the colorful people. One of my favorite places I have visited afar is Ethiopia — the rich heritage of the Ethiopian people. Plus we adopted a child from Ethiopia —adoption as a family is very important to us.

What is something about Kevin Whitt a lot of people may not know?

I have this innate ability to be hiding in the audience and get called up on the stage in a myriad of places.

I’ve been called up on stage to sing with Barbara Mandrell onstage. Before I was married, my parents came in for a visit and we went to Gatlinburg. She was doing a show there and there were thousands of people in this place and she called me up onstage. It was some kind of gag and she asked me to pick a song for us to sing together. So we sang a stanza of “Amazing Grace.”

I’m a little particular of where I sit at shows anymore.

The one my kids like to watch, since we have it on DVD, is us at the Comedy Barn in Pigeon Forge. I got called on stage again by a comedian that was doing a show with other contestants from the audience. I supposedly won this competition where they passed a hat around like musical chairs. It was between me and this other lady. They whispered in my ear and told me to hold on to my hat and I won. My prize was behind me and I didn’t know what it was. I turned around and there was a big old hog and they had it kiss me.

I got pulled up onstage at a musical theatre show in Branson, Missouri, too. My wife has just come to expect it.

We were on a cruise for our honeymoon and I was called up onstage by a ticket number I had so it wasn’t random. I played a trivia game and won a bottle of champagne that is still in our cupboard.

I went to visit my sister in L.A. and went to the Price is Right when Bob Barker was still on the show hoping it would happen and it didn’t.

Have a funny or humiliating story?

Haven’t I already? Probably the most humiliating was I volunteered to participate in a community drama that was taking place at Eminence High School. During our last dress rehearsal before a performance that evening — it was made up of several shorts, there was one scene I was in, this guy and I ran across the stage and jumped in the air to do a belly buster (jump in the air and bounce off of the other’s chest). It was a little scientific experiment in inertia. I went flying back and fell off the back of the stage. I had to be taken to the emergency room in an ambulance. I know if cameras had been rolling I would’ve won America’s Funniest Home Videos. I ended up having a torn ligament in my leg. They had to call in a quick understudy.