By WENDY LEGERET
For The Daily News
PEMBINE, Wis. - The idiom, "to come full circle," is something that Minister Paul Whitt has done, and has embraced God along the way.
Paul Whitt is shown with his family. Pictured in front are his wife, Christie, and son Jackson. In back are Paul, son Alexander and daughter Emily.
While he is currently the athletic director at Beecher-Dunbar-Pembine School District, teaching students the fundamentals of the team spirit, his primary role is God's word as an ordained minister, part of Cross Impact Ministry.
His support comes from his family of his wife, Christie, daughter Emily, and his two sons, Alexander or Alex for short, and Jackson. Without them, he wouldn't be where he is today.
He graduated from high school in 1985. The idea of being around students started him on his quest towards working with youth.
It started in his hometown of Huntsville, Ala., where he got his start in journalism as a high school sports writer. Even though he was on the paper for just a year, he earned bylines, and that was enough to get him to his next level of following.
Whitt only worked for a year because he knew in his heart that he wanted to do something that would make a difference in his life; to become a youth pastor.
So, he went on to graduate school at Bob Jones University in Greenville, S.C., and, after he earned his masters in pastoral studies in 1994, moved to Lilburn, Ga., a suburb of Atlanta.
His calling came true as a youth pastor for the Berean Baptist Church, where he stayed for 11 years.
His primary responsibility was to work with students, and at times, he would travel across the globe with mission teens. Both Whitt and his teens were able to experience different cultures and visit such places as Spain, Mexico, England, Scotland, the Caribbean Islands, and the country as well.
Then, his love for sports once again led him to join the educational field.
He was hired on staff at Northland International University in Dunbar, and was the women's basketball coach for seven years.
While at Northland, his son, Alex, was a freshman at Beecher-Dunbar--Pembine High School at the time and was on the basketball team. Unfortunately, Alex's and Northland's women's basketball games overlapped quite a bit. Whitt was able to watch a couple of his son's games, but that wasn't enough for him.
Northland's men's games were either playing at home or Whitt was traveling with the women's team throughout the Midwest, and Alex and his dad were missing one another. Because Whitt was missing his son so much, he decided to resign from his coaching position.
He still served as dean of students for five years, mentoring, and as camp director for a 52-year-old camp as well as teaching youth ministry classes.
While it was something he enjoyed doing, he was away from his family, who lived in Pembine, and he decided that it was time that he step down once again to find his calling.
Two or three months after he stepped down from his Northland position, the coach of the Goodman-Pembine basketball team stepped down, and Whitt's friends asked if he would consider coaching.
After Whitt talked it over with his family, and they agreed it would be a great opportunity for him, he applied for the job, went through the interview process, and in 2012, he was hired.
He coached the boy's basketball team last year and got to know both Goodman and Pembine schools. After that, he became athletic director at Pembine High School. He has been involved in coaching for two years now.
Whitt's primary responsibility today is as an ordain minister for Cross Impact Ministry.
Cross Impact serves to minister to churches across the country, colleges, and career groups within their own churches. The end goal is to establish Bible studies on the campuses.
He travels throughout the country, and he is called upon for leadership conferences.
Whitt is proud of his family. Christie, originally from Mishawaka, Ind., works part time at the front desk as the receptionist for the Pembine High School. They have three children, Emily, Alexander, and Jackson.
Emily, 18, a graduate of Pembine High School, is a freshman at the University of Utah and is studying pre-med.
She chose University of Utah partly because of its athletic department and also because close friends of the family started the Gospel Grace Church in Salt Lake City.
This is a campus-based church that enriches the lives of college students. Emily is an officer with the Gospel Grace Campus Fellowship, and she hosts student conferences, aids student with move-ins, marriage conferences, sports activities for students, and scriptures.
Alexander, 17, now a junior at Pembine, is interested in business when he goes to college.
Basketball has been his sport since he's been a freshman in high school, and if all goes his way, it will determine where he goes to school.
He has also participated in cross country, is his student council president, and is his junior class vice president.
And their third child, Jackson, 12, in the seventh grade, and enjoys athletics, drama, and like his big brother, loves basketball.