Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ... Romans 13:14
It always amazes me when I begin a project with a definite direction in mind and God steps in and propels me down a path to something so much better. This was the case in my recent conversation with my sister-in-law, Missy. Knowing that I wanted to weave a tale of how God has blessed Missy with incredible outreach opportunities in the world of fashion, jewelry, and non-profits, I studied and prayed over a biblical concept that I thought fit into a perfect outline for an article. I had it ready to go, when God intervened and led the conversation in an infinitely better direction.
Threads of Service: A Little History
My brother Jase married the sweetest lady. The daughter of a preacher and a music teacher, Missy grew up knowing that she wanted to impact the world for Christ. Missy is a local girl, but comes from an entirely different background from us Robertsons. Fishing, hunting, and duck calls were foreign to her as a teenager, but once she met Jase, she knew she was in for the long haul.
Jase and I went to preacher’s school together, and we developed a special bond of ministry through the endless nights of poring over ancient biblical texts and driving long hours to and from school. He says that he would never have graduated if I hadn’t made him, but we all knew that he was uniquely called of God. It was obvious to me that the Lord was going to use Jase in a mighty way.
We graduated in the summer of 1988, and several days later, Jase and Missy were married. We were both hired as interns at the church, while Jase continued to work at Duck Commander, not getting paid, mind you! Our internship paid very little, but we were both happy and felt incredibly blessed.
Even though my ministry has taken a more public persona through my years as a full-time pastor, Jase, Missy, Lisa, and I have a unique ministry bond. While Lisa and I worked in a church, Jase and Missy embarked upon a personal mission to reach every one of their friends.
“After preacher’s school, Jase committed to witnessing to his friends from high school,” said Missy. “Once he went through the entire list, he started on everyone else that he knew. I remember Jase bringing a different friend home every night in order to minister and share the Gospel. He was always having Bible studies with friends. That was our beginning, and it's how we have always run our marriage.”
Jase, Missy, Lisa, and I forged a relationship as married couples based upon the ministry of outreach. Through Duck Commander, our family ministries have grown individually and collectively into various non-profits, awareness causes, and retail services, but we haven’t forgotten our beginning of grass roots, hometown ministry.
And hometown ministry is where it all started for Missy.
Threads of Ministry: Faith, Family, Fashion
If you don’t know it, Missy is an incredible fashionista. She doesn’t like to think so, but she is. Inspiring women to dress modestly and fashionably, the Missy Robertson clothing line is a breath of fresh air in the world of fashion.
“One of the neat things about my clothing line is that I wasn’t looking for it,” said Missy. “Growing up I never had any fashion sense. I had no budget to spend on clothes, so I simply chose modestly.”
My platform for fashion, both personal and professional, has not changed: modesty and class. Seldom do they appear together.” Missy Robertson
“As a teenager, I didn’t want to wear ill-fitting clothes just because they were modest; I wanted style and coverage. It’s not different as an adult. Thankfully, God opened the door, put a team in place, and launched me into the world of fashion!”
Now independent of its original host company, Southern Clothing House, the Missy Robertson line focuses on modest, classy clothes for women of all ages. Together with Laminin, her jewelry line, Missy is finding success within the industry, but gives all glory to God.
“As of October, we are doing this all on our own,” Missy said as she described the next step for her clothing line. “It’s a little scary! I feel like the people that I have around me are so much better at what they do than I. They understand me, my mission, and my ministry mindset. Their work ethic is amazing and their talent is incredible. I am so blessed.”
Currently the Missy Robertson collection is for sale both online and at K-Sera, a local West Monroe boutique. Owner Kelly Block is an important part of Missy’s vision of faith and fashion working in tandem.
“My team is Kelly Block and her girls at K-Sera,” said Missy. “[Jep’s wife] Jess and I were so honored to baptize her in the pool last summer. She’s been in the fashion industry for a long time, and all the girls that work for her are wonderful. Every day they call and ask what they can do, while faithfully running the bulk of our social media. They’re my fashion team.”
In the upcoming months, Missy and her clothing house are branching out more into the development of Laminin Jewelry. Named for the cross-shaped protein molecules in the human body that literally hold our bodies together, Laminin embraces the rustic beauty of nature through wood and leather while bringing a bit of whimsy with gemstone and crystal elements.
Choosing to focus on outreach rather than mass-production, Missy has plans for the future of Laminin. With plans to partner with Project 41, a local non-profit ministry that seeks to shine the light of Christ to women that have been affected by the sex trafficking industry (through the provision of jobs and a means to provide for their families), Missy is using fashion as a ministry.
“I’m super excited about the Laminin line,” gushed Missy. “We want to hire women who have fallen upon hard times. Maybe they are single mothers who need to take care of children, but can’t put them in daycare; maybe they are victims of the sex trafficking industry and are looking for a way to get help; whatever the need, we want to create a safe environment for these women to heal. Currently, we have one team assembling the pieces from the online and local boutique sales. I want to grow into a vibrant ministry for women in need.”
Believe me, we Robertson boys would never have dreamed that fashion would be a huge part of our family legacy, let alone that fashion could be a ministry, but Missy has done the impossible.
“Using fashion as a ministry is unbelievably cool!” said Missy. “So many women appreciate the fact that I work hard to put out modest clothes that don’t look like old lady clothes. There’s been a real good response, and it keeps me going. It’s been very encouraging.”
Threads of Courage: Be Brave and Keep Going
As good as she is with putting outfits together, Missy is so much more than fashion. In March 2014 the world got a personal glimpse into the real-life struggles of Missy and Jase’s daughter, Mia. In the episode entitled Stand by Mia, our fans learned of my niece’s disability. Mia was born with a cleft lip.
Another facet of Missy’s life is the Mia Moo Fund. This Fund is an organization that is dedicated to raising awareness and funds toward the management, treatment, and surgical procedures of cleft lip and cleft palate. 100% of all proceeds go to the cause; administrative fees come out of other areas of the Duck Commander Company. All donations are given directly to the payment of a child’s surgery expenses.
Mia Moo exists to help families dealing with this disability,” said Missy. “There’s not a lot of information about cleft lip. When we first started praying about the surgery, we had no extra income to spare. Mia was born in 2003. At that time, we weren’t Duck Dynasty; we were the Robertson family. We had no idea how we’d even pay for gas, let alone the surgical procedures required to fix a cleft lip. Today, we are blessed, and we want to help others. That’s the reason we began the Mia Moo Fund. As of the beginning of November, we have helped 12 families with medical expenses.”
To date, the largest Mia Moo fundraiser came from a providential moment in a street market in Mexico.
“Mia and I ran across a small booth with charm necklaces for sale,” said Missy. “Anticipating and praying for Mia’s surgery, we bought a few necklaces that said, ‘Be brave and keep going.’ When we got home, I gave a few to her friends for prayer reminders, but Kelly Block at K-Sera suggested we duplicate the necklace and sell them as a Mia Moo fundraiser. We found a way to create the necklaces inexpensively with all proceeds going toward surgery and travel expenses for families of children with cleft lip. In less than two weeks, we had sold 4500 necklaces!”
By taking the opportunity that God dropped in her lap, Missy created a relationship, established a non-profit, followed through with fundraising, and blessed families in need. Serving the Lord is as simple as that.
Threads of Surrender: Moses and Mia
Every adult that attended Sunday school has heard the story of Moses and the burning bush, most likely presented in living color on a flannel graph board. I’ve always seen Moses’ life in three segments: the first 40 years in Egypt; the second 40 in the Midianite Hilton; and the final 40 in total dependence upon God.
At the end of the first 40, he assaults and murders an Egyptian taskmaster. Thinking what he did was the solution to the Israelites' problem of slavery, he assumed he would rise to power and lead the people of Israel to freedom. Unfortunately, he didn’t have the right training to lead the Hebrews, because he was raised as an Egyptian. On the other hand, he didn’t have the right pedigree to lead the Egyptians, because he was born a Hebrew. Lost in no-man’s land, he did what he thought was the only answer and ran away.
For the second 40-year season in Moses’ life, he was a nobody shepherd in the land of Midian. He learned a trade, married a local girl, and lived a simple life. All was silent and still, until he ran across a burning bush in the middle of the desert. God has a plan, but Moses does everything he can to convince the Lord that he’s not the right guy for the job. In one of the most beautiful verses in Scripture, God calls Moses to be the leader Israel needs despite his shortcomings.
The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say” (Exodus 4:11-12).
Still wrestling with self-confidence, Moses doubts his ability to speak for God. But God, in His infinite wisdom and mercy, creates a support team for Moses and calls his brother Aaron and sister Miriam, as well. Aaron becomes the mouthpiece; Miriam becomes the counsel. Together with his team, Moses returns to Egypt and facilitates the release of Israel from their bondage.
In the final 40 years, Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, along with Joshua, their scribe, lead the nation of Israel across the desert and prepare them for the Promised Land. Moses found true success when he surrendered to God’s will for his life and allowed the Lord to create the support network he needed to be an effective leader.
When Mia was first born, Missy was worried about how her daughter, born with a cleft lip, would be able to minister to the lost. She agonized over the fact that her speech would be halted and she may never be able to sing. But God had a plan.
“I remember the day when Mia asked me if she could share her story,” said Missy. “I never dreamed she would want to get up in front of people and talk about her disability, but she was insistent. We wrote a speech together and chose a song for her to sing. My beautiful daughter who was born with a disability that affected her speech stands in front of thousands of people and tells them that like Moses, God made her mouth. And then she sings. There hasn’t been a single time when she did not receive a standing ovation coupled with tears.”
Threads of Outreach: Age is Relative
Mia started sharing her story at nine years old. Moses was 80 when God set a fire to the burning bush and to his heart. Age is relative. When Mia speaks of her cleft lip, she quotes God’s words to Moses and believes that God is with her, that He made her mouth, and that He will be glorified through her story. If she can do it, why can’t we?
When we first started the television show, we prayed as a family that the next generation wouldn’t be drawn in by the trappings of the world. We figured that our family could handle it; Jase, Jep, Willie, and I were pretty steady and could keep our feet on the ground. Phil and Kay would feed the population of the United States if they could fit around the kitchen table. But the kids were a different story.
While we were afraid that the world would tarnish the innocence of our children, God was weaving a masterpiece. Mia is a tiny ambassador of God’s providential creating hand; Sadie is a nationally known sweetheart that stands up for modesty and purity; John Luke and Mary Kate showed the world what godly courtship and marriage looks like; each one has a story to tell.
“I’m so proud to be Mia’s mom,” Missy said. “She is an ambassador for cleft lip awareness as well as a mighty warrior for the King of Kings. The ministry opportunities brought to us by the Mia Moo Fund are incredible.”
So, yes. The Robertson family is famous. Our faces are on t-shirts, pocket knives, and plastic cups. We make a lot of noise in the hunting and fishing industry, and because of Missy, women are starting to look modest and classy. But all of our success and fame is rendered worthless when compared to the blessings of godly children, bible studies, ministry opportunities, and outreach programs that this Duck Dynasty has created.
For more of the Missy and Jase Robertson family story, their book Blessed, Blessed... Blessed is available for purchase at local and online book distributors.
By: Alan Robertson
Alan Robertson is the oldest son of Phil and Kay Robertson. He helped build the foundation of the family business, Duck Commander. Recently, Alan has returned to the family business after serving in full-time ministry for more than 25 years. Alan plays a vital role in the family’s commitment to spreading the gospel of Christ through their love of hunting and the great outdoors. Alan and his wife, Lisa, are parents of two grown daughters and proud grandparents to two granddaughters and a grandson on the way.