The Rev. Robert Whitaker, pastor of Victory Praise and Worship Center, is a prominent figure in Minden as a counselor and pastor. He and his wife, Mary, have five children between them, and they value education and respect, two characteristics he learned as a child and puts into practice every day. He was taught to leave the world better wherever he is. Michelle Bates/Press-Herald

He is a pastor, a counselor, a husband, father and grandfather. He is a teacher and retired military – and he is a black man.

The Rev. Robert Whitaker, born in 1956 in Baltimore, Maryland, is not a native of Minden, but he and his wife, Mary, made their home in Minden in 1992 with their five children. One of the things that attracted him to Minden, he said, is its strong Christian roots and its compassionate people. However, he said he could still feel the “separation” between the city’s white and black population.

“This is a unique community,” he said, “because

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