Archive for Saturday, November 28, 2009

6News reporter decides to follow father’s footsteps

November 28, 2009


The life of a preacher’s kid is full of questions.

If your dad is a preacher, how can he have kids?

We’re Lutheran. He’s just my father… not a Catholic Father.

Is “Son of a Preacher Man” your favorite song?

No. But I did dance to it at my wedding at the request of my wife.

Will you go to seminary like your dad?

That’s not in my immediate plans, but I certainly feel a tug in that direction now and then.

That said, my preacher’s kid (PK) story is not a typical one. My father, the Rev. Dave Whetter, is a second-career pastor. After spending 20 years in the business world, he resigned as president of an automotive company in Grandview, Mo., and started seminary. In fact, he returned to school at the same time I started college at Kansas University.

About four years later, we started our career paths together; Dad as a Lutheran minister and me as a sports reporter at Channel 6. Truth be told, I became a journalist because of my dad. Even though it took him a couple decades to find a job he truly loved, he always made sure to tell me and my two sisters that happiness was more important than money.

I pursued a job in sports because it was always my passion. And dad made a move to ministry for the same reason.

With that in mind, my days as a journalist are over for now. I anchored my final 10 p.m. sportscast last night. Tomorrow, I will be introduced as the new director of youth ministries at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Overland Park.

Even as an adult, the life of a pastor’s kid is different. Your extended family includes an entire congregation. Holidays and weekends equal long hours at church, not down time at home. And nodding off during a sermon is not an option!

But becoming a PK has also been an amazing gift. I’ve been blessed to see my father in a role where he is truly happy. Today, he leads Salem Lutheran Church in Lenexa. I never remember him smiling as often as he does now. And his late-in-life leap of faith into ministry will always be a reminder to me that when God calls, your only real option is to answer. I’ll miss serving this community as a sport reporter. But I can’t wait to serve my new community in Christ. Maybe it was always my destiny as a PK!


inspire 8 years, 6 months ago

Best of luck, DJ! I met you during the 2008 Project Graduation and was so impressed with your attitude and willingness to come out after midnight and announce raffle winners. The kids loved seeing you there! I was particularly impressed with how you really seemed to care about the kids!! You will definitely be missed but it's clear to me you are doing a great thing with your life and your talents!

loverofdogs 8 years, 6 months ago

Great choice DJ. You have shown integrity in the sports world, but will make an even greater impact in our world by helping young people find what it means to live a life of faith. Ministry can be tough so hang in there and remember who it is you ultimately play for.

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