'Duck Dynasty' Fundraiser Canceled by Church Ministry Over Wine Deal
The Robertson family of A&E's "Duck Dynasty" reality TV show have been the darling of the Christian right for months with invitations to speak at churches and universities.
However, it appears the clan is not perfect in the eyes of one Tennessee ministry.
Free Will Baptist Family Ministries has canceled a fundraising event at the Viking Hall Civic Center in Bristol, Tenn. in October, which would have included Willie Robertson.
The event was to help raise money for a $1.7 million school construction project that serves at-risk youth.
"Our greatest responsibility is to the young people we serve," Derek Bell, the ministry's director of development, wrote on the ministry's Facebook page. "Therefore, we feel that in light of the recent news that the stars of the show 'Duck Dynasty' are partnering with Trinchero Family Estates to launch Duck Commander Wines, to continue with this event would send mixed messages to the young people who go through our Adolescent Drug and Alcohol program."
"Our message must be consistent," added Bell. "The lives of those children may well hang in the balance. We certainly apologize to the people who have already purchased tickets, and pray they understand our position."
Bell told The Christian Post that the fundraiser with Robertson would have made between $70,000 and $85,000.
He says the Free Will Baptist Family Ministries would have canceled the fundraiser anyway because of its stance against drinking alcohol, which is actually allowed in the Bible in 1 Timothy 5:23.
"We think [the Robertsons are] great people. We appreciate them bringing faith back into the mainstream on television like they have. We just hate that they've made that decision and it's caused us to have to go the direction that we're going," said Bell.
In a press release announcing the wine deal, Robertson stated:
We decided to create Duck Commander Robertson Family wines because we know that many of our customers and our viewers choose to celebrate family moments with wine. We knew we needed to find a family company in the heart of wine country that could produce authentic, quality wines. The Trinchero family is the right fit, and the wines are delicious.