(Kenny Felt/Special to the Tribune)
LaRoche recounted the story of his friend, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright, who once sent an email to his entire contacts list apologizing for not sharing his Christianity with them.
That's what Robertson was in Fort Scott Sunday to do. Before 1,300 people at Memorial Hall, Robertson preached his deep conviction that there is a design to everything -- from human beings to Earth and galaxies beyond -- created by God. Those turned away at Memorial Hall were given the option of watching Robertson streamed live on the Internet at Fort Scott Church of the Nazarene.
He added it was an honor to meet his mother, Patty, who has risen fast on his list of impressive people.
When the Robertsons were first approached about doing "Duck Dynasty," Jase said his dad Phil remarked that it would never work. And given the state of reality TV, Jase didn't think it would be a hit either. But thanks to people like those in Fort Scott, it is.
When he went to his first interview for the reality show, Robertson said he brought his Bible and duck calls. Asked why, he told the audience, they were the only two things he knew about.
Robertson said his priorities are faith, family, facial hair and feathered fowl -- "in that order."
The duck call business has taken the family from poverty to wealth. The family patriarch, Phil, made duck calls from Louisiana cedar trees for 25 years, references said. The business started in a shed. "We try to show wild ducks that all our decoys are real," by making them sound like actual ducks, said Robertson, who was dressed in a long-sleeved shirt with a T-shirt on top and a stocking cap with sunglasses perched on it.
"My judges have wings," he said.
At the duck calling world championships, he said most of the calls didn't sound like his feathered friends. Duck Commander makes a variety of calls for all types of ducks to allow hunters to "speak the language."
Robertson said hunting gives him a place to view the God's creation and it's good, clean fun. "As much as I've been outdoors, I've never bumped into Mother Nature," Robertson said. Referring to Romans, Chapter 1, Verse 20, he said anyone can look around and "see the divine nature."
This leads him to the questions of where this force is coming from and why do ducks keep flying south when they get massacred every year. "They feed the food chain. It's a design," Robertson said. He added that when you look around at the world, you can see it was created by a living God.
Having been baptized at age 14, Robertson said he believes because "that is the only way you'll get a second chance."
He added it's never too late. "All the power of life, a changed life and a better life is there. I can get forgiveness....," Robertson said.
Before Robertson spoke, Fort Scott Church of the Nazarene's worship team, led by worship team leader and administrative pastor Jeff Dillow, performed. "For having two weeks, we thought it went tremendously well. People were really responsive," church office manager Gretchen Goodyear said.