The last installment of our Neighbors to the Nations 2010 interview series is one with Kevin Whitt, lead pastor at Harvest Community Church in Eminence, Kentucky. I first met Kevin in 1996 when he came to Pleasureville (Ky.) Baptist Church in view of a call as Minister of Youth. He and I developed a close friendship and have remained close friends over the years.
In 1999, Kevin planted Harvest Community Church. He would be the first to tell you that he really planted two churches in one location. But I’ll let him tell you that story.
I appreciate Kevin taking time out to do this interview. He will speak on Sunday night, September 12 at 7:00 p.m.
GBTG: When did you surrender to Christ? To His service?
Kevin Whitt: Some experience the grace of God like a deluge; that one transitional moment when God brings about regeneration in an otherwise unsuspecting persons life. For me, the grace of God was experienced like a steady falling of rain throughout my early years. Through godly parents and biblical preaching I heard and responded to Christ through faith as a child. God’s faithful work of salvation has been steadily moving me forward throughout all these years and I continue to see God’s kindness in this journey of sanctification.
1b. I was seventeen years young when I sensed a call, a God given desire to the ministry of preaching/teaching. Although there have been a variety of outlets for that calling; my passion and joy, continues to serve Christ and His Kingdom through the local church.
GBTG: How long have you been at Harvest Community? What made you decide to plant a church in Henry County, given all the churches that are presently there?
Kevin Whitt: I have been at Harvest Community Church for 10.5 years. There had not been a Southern Baptist Church planted in Henry County since the 1890’s and there was a growing population of people that were unchurched or who had a superficial relationship with the church.
GBTG: What is distinctive about your church from other churches in Henry County?
Kevin Whitt: We desire to build the church around the centrality of the Gospel in all aspects of our ministry, including Biblical expositional preaching/teaching. Our steady diet of Biblical intake is verse by verse teaching through books of the Bible. Even though we have a long ways to go in the following area; we teach parents, especially Christian Fathers, that they are the ones who are responsible to train their children in the ways of God and much of our present energies are centered on equipping dads and moms to fulfill the role that God has given them.
GBTG: I understand you have four children–one of which you just adopted from Ethiopia! What brought you to the place where you wanted to adopt?
Kevin Whitt: The ongoing work of the Gospel is what brought us to this point. Even before we got married, my wife and I knew that we wanted to adopt. My grandmother and her twin brother were adopted as children, but for us it was much more than a nice thing to do. It was the outworking of our own adoption in Jesus Christ. To us, there is no clearer picture of God’s work of grace, than adopting children who are unwanted and forgotten. Just as the Bible teaches; "This is true religion….". I am truly an advocate for adoption; every Christian should be involved with adoption in some manner; if that’s through adopting children of your own, giving financially to help someone else adopt, or giving of time and resources to orphanages or Christian adoption groups; we all can play an important role.
GBTG: What can we expect from your talk at the NTTN 2010?
Kevin Whitt: You can expect God to be made much of. Everything we do, including church planting is all about His glory. We will see how God, sovereignly chooses to use messed up people like us, to accomplish and fulfill His purpose of building a church for himself. If you think that church planting is for the "professional", then you need to come explore the scriptures and see how each of us, as Christians, are called to a ministry of reproduction through proclaiming the unchanging Gospel message. I believe that every Christian should be directly or indirectly involved with planting churches through their own local congregation.
Thanks again, Kevin.