Tuesday, May 05, 2009


Testimony of A Father's Forgiveness to be Highlighted on National Television Friday, May 1

(THE WOODLANDS, TEXAS) The evening started off with the Whitaker family going to a restaurant for dinner. Nothing especially unusual about that. The home, one of many on the well-kept block in Sugarland, Texas. The family, typical. Average. Loving. Churchgoing. Indeed, there was nothing out of the ordinary about the Whitakers until an assailant's gun changed the course of their lives.

A few hours later, in ICU, Kent, who had been wounded, felt God's insistence that Kent decide whether he would forgive the attacker. Kent did, never dreaming that the assailant was part of a plan set in motion by his own son Bart, who now awaits execution on Texas' death row for plotting to kill his father, mother, and younger brother. Only Kent survived the shooting.

"The first night in the hospital, I forgave everyone who was involved in this," Whitaker told CBS News in an October 18, 2007 interview. "It is a gift from God that allows me to do this. I think he gave me that gift so that when I found out that it was my son, that it would be legitimate forgiveness."

ABC's 20/20 will broadcast a segment on Friday, May 1 at 10pm ET/PT in which the Whitaker family tragedy will be explored and Kent will explain why he chose to forgive everyone involved. The story is also highlighted in the bestselling book MURDER BY FAMILY, A True Story of Greed, Grief, and Forgiveness (Howard Publishing, a division of Simon and Schuster).

Other media that have covered the story of forgiveness include CBS's 48 Hours and the Oprah Winfrey Show. Other appearances are planned, and Whitaker is currently scheduling a speaking tour of churches.

Kent's intention for the book and speaking tour is to focus on God's faithfulness, grace, and power. As such, all proceeds from the sale of Murder by Family will be donated to the December 10 Fund, a charity managed by the Houston Christian Foundation


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