Kent Whitaker’s quiet life as a Houston construction executive changed in 2003 when his wife and younger son were murdered, and he and his older son wounded, all shot by a masked gunman. But the nightmare for this “perfect” family deepened when his older son Bart fell under suspicion for arranging the murders. In 2007 Bart was convicted and sentenced to death.
That night Kent wrestled with his faith, but chose to forgive everyone involved, long before Bart became a suspect. This forgiveness has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS’ 48 Hours Mystery!, and ABC’s 20/20. His book Murder by Family, a first hand account of the shooting and how God has worked in both Kent and Bart’s lives, was recently named to the New York Times’ Best Seller list and has been reissued as a trade paperback. All author proceeds are donated to charity.
Kent recently married Tanya Youngling, and they have combined their ministries under the banner of Bigger Picture Ministries. Both are now ordained ministers and travel and speak extensively on God’s grace and healing. They are currently writing a book on finding hope within life’s disappointments.
"Kent is the guy next door with a story no one wants to live, but everyone needs to hear. With literally hundreds of people making commitments to extend and receive forgiveness, the impact that Kent and his story have had on our church community at this year’s Easter services will be felt for years to come. What God has done through this story is nothing short of a miracle." - Kathi Lipp, Speaker and Author of The Husband Project, Church on the Hill, San Jose, CA
"Kent Whitaker has a sensitive heart. You will be encouraged by his humility and complete transparency as he shares the biggest test of his faith. His personality is warm, genuine and friendly. Your heart will be transformed as Kent shares his story of a father’s unconditional love." - Kari Barrick, North Minnesota Christian Women’s’ Conference
"Kent has traveled a path that few have been called to tread, and he tells his story from the heart. A powerful, uplifting story well presented." - Norma Corbitt, Director, Sycamore Tree Project, Vance Unit, TDCJ
"Kent is a very effective and professional speaker who connected with his audience at all times during his talk and the Q&A session. He was very well organized and it was easy to follow him throughout his talk. His presentation was clear and the large audience was very attentive. He had a significant impact on everyone and got a standing ovation when he finished. Afterwards, I received many requests for a CD of his talk. I recommended him to you and I would gladly use Kent again." - Andy Ramos, The Gathering of Men, Fort Bend County, TX
"I would like to recommend Kent Whitaker as a speaker. Kent has spoken twice for two different Priority Associates groups and has done an excellent job. He is prompt, courteous and very professional. Kent presents a moving story in a transparent way. He is very prepared and attentive to the detail of the particular presentation/audience. I have gotten excellent feedback from people that have come to hear Kent speak. I would definitely have him back." - Mike Moore, Priority Associates, Houston, TX