Occupation: Senior pastor at Friendsville United Methodist Church and author of “Carry Me Not” and the soon to be released sequel, “The Dead Horse Lived.”
Family: Wife, Victoria White; son, Charlie, 5 months old
Rev. William “Skip” White is the senior pastor of Friendsville United Methodist Church and the author of the novel, “Carry Me Not.” He was born and raised in North Dakota and earned his degree in Religion and Philosophy from Dakota Wesleyan University and his Master of Divinity from Duke Divinity School.
“I’ve been in Friendsville since June of 2008. I’ve lived in Maryville a year and Lenoir City two years,” he said. Friendsville United Methodist is his third church. “I was associate pastor at Fairview United Methodist and was lead pastor in Lenoir City and now, I’m here in Friendsville.”
White said he had the plot for “Carry Me Not” in his head a long time and he wanted to write a novel. He started working on it and before he knew it, the book was finished. He self-published it and sells it online.
“Carry Me Not” is a multi-functional book, a narrative people can enjoy and learn from, and it also has a study guide so Sunday School classes can talk about the story and the theology issues subtly embedded in the plot. “The story isn’t overbearingly Christian or preachy. I want people to enjoy it without having to address theology,” he said. “The story is a Western and takes place in Dakota territory.”
White said he grew up reading Louis L’amour books. “For as much as I enjoyed Louis L’amour, I felt I grew up in the West and knew the West and the vast major of experiences wasn’t like what was seen on TV,” he said. “They were like my hometown. People went to work, loved their families, grew old and died and love it. There were no high-noon showdowns.”
The central plot is a person is killed in a small Western town in the 1800s and the townspeople are left to solve the mystery, White said.
White said the story makes people think about how crimes were dealt with years ago. “We take for granted when a murder happens that we have detectives but in the Plains, they wouldn’t have that specialized employment,” he said. “The people solving the murder are the hardware store owner and the preacher and the local people who do other things.”
Here is Skip White:
Who are you most like, your mother or your father and why?
“My mother. She is handsome.”
What is your quote from television or a movie?
“Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.” Woodrow F. Call - Lonesome Dove.
How do you like your steak cooked?
“I like my steak paid for.”
What are you guilty of?
“Being too awesome - and filled with humility.”
If you could do one impulsive thing, unrestricted by cost, what would it be?
“I would buy a planet. That’s right, I would own my own planet, and I would name it ‘Walter.’ Walter is a great name. What else would you name a planet?”
What is your favorite material possession?
“My Statler Brothers albums. I love the Statler Brothers.”
Who has been the most influential person in the 20th century?
“Whoever invented the DVR and the Mach Three razor. They both changed my life. Mach 3 has 3 razors and gives such a smooth shave, how can it not help your life? And the DVR because you don’t have to sit through commercials any more.”
What was your most embarrassing moment?
“Probably seeing this article in print and being filled with regret.”
If you only had a week to live, what would you do and why?
“Sob uncontrollably - which is also what I do when I am pulled over for speeding.”
What is one word others often use to describe you and why?
“Corpulent. It means hefty. In grade school, we called it husky. I would pay anything to be called husky.”
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
“Have an amazingly high metabolism.”
What is your passion?
“Jesus and buffets under $10. I love buffets. If I go and spend $10, I’ll eat $10 worth. That’s the way I run. I’m a pastor; it comes with the territory.”
With whom, living or dead, would you most like to have a long lunch?
“It depends on who is picking up the tab. Churchill could eat.”
If a movie were made about your life, who would play you and why?
“Kevin James from ‘King of Queens.’ I get that a lot.”
If you could go back in time for a week, what time period or year would you visit?
“I’d love to go back in time, but I would only go back to the time period after the indoor toilet was invented. ”
What is the best present you ever received in a box?
“I got a Joe Diffie CD once that I thought was pretty great. I grew up on the farm. My parents have a big farm in North Dakota. I grew up listening to the Statler Brothers and country music and have an appreciation for it.”
What is the best advice you mother ever gave you?
“ ‘I’m going to teach you how to cook. I have a feeling you will be single for a while.’ She’s an amazing cook. She was right, and I didn’t starve. That was the summer of my sophomore year in college.”
In the workplace, would you rather be powerful or popular?
“Popular. I’m kind of an attention junkie.”
Who is your hero?
“I’m going to say my wife…for obvious reasons. I have to go home to her at night, and I’m scared of her.”
Do you use Myspace, Facebook or Twitter?
“Facebook. I do not understand Twitter.”
What is your theme song that best describes you?
“The Cheers Theme Song, the extended version. It is hilarious.”
What is the worst job you ever had?
“Director of the Sandi Patty Museum. I have never had that job but it’s the worst job I could think of.”