GREENE COUNTY, Tenn. - Just about the time the popular cable program from A&E "Duck Dynasty" began, a little church in Greene County booked one of the main characters to come and give an inspirational speech.
Little did they know the show's popularity would soar and have people clamoring for tickets to come hear Phil Robertson speak.
Phil Robertson is the beloved patriarch of the Duck Commander Robertson family, but maybe you didn't know that he's a devout Christian and has been an inspirational speaker at churches for years.
About two years ago, members of the Mount Zion United Methodist Church went to hear him speak at a church near Nashville about the time A&E began airing "Duck Dynasty." "There were like eight of us that went down there and listened to him speak. We were just all so inspired by him. The motivation that he gave us and all the words he had to say about Christianity and we were really enthused about having him as a speaker here," church member Johnny Vest said.
The church already had a sportsmans' ministry going on each year with a wild game dinner in their fellowship center. "We decided to have a wild game supper and just cook the different kinds of foods and meats. We like to give a testimony and witness and we had 15 people saved that night, and last year we did it again and we had over 800 people here," pastor Kristen Burkhart said.
With Phil and his wife Miss Kay coming, they had no idea of the crowds they would have. "The show has really taken off since we booked him. We sold 3,000 tickets and we could have sold more if we had them. We've sold out everything we have," Vest said.
"We just kind of sat back and watched the Lord work because we thought, 'we'll try 2,000 tickets.' If we can sell them out and we'll feed those people and if we have to we'll sell another thousand. It ended up we sold out by December 17 and we started in October," he said.
The popularity of show has given Phil and his family a perfect platform for revealing more about themselves than the reality you see on the show, their Christian reality.
The event is March 9 and because of the number of people coming it has been moved to Hal Henard Elementary School in Greeneville; but again, it's been sold out since December.