Third Generation "Duck Dynasty" Star Toes Family Faith Line

John Luke was 16 years old when their family’s reality show, Duck Dynasty, burst onto the scene and the Duck Commander Robertson family instantly became famous.  “I’m one of the younger generation on Duck Dynasty and a teen who has become an adult in front of millions,” says John Luke.  Since much of the filming occurred long before the first episode aired, John Luke’s entire high school experience was centered around a reality TV show.  He says the guy on TV is only a small part of who he is.  “We seldom show others our whole selves.  Thankfully, God sees that whole picture,” says John Luke, who made a commitment to follow the Lord and was baptized in the river by his grandfather/family patriarch Papaw Phil, when he was 14.  “I didn’t find myself when I was 14.  I was 14 when I found my Savior,” says John Luke.  “That has to be the first step toward the future, and it’s the most important one.”  Around the time he was committing his life to the Lord, John Luke, now 21, met Mary Kate at summer camp.  When he saw her two years later, they became friends and he fell in love with her.  They were married in June 2015.   

At 18, John Luke pictured what his life would look like 10 years down the road.  He wrote down his objectives, desires and expectations and recalls the story of his own grandfather who started Duck Commander with his hunting friend.  “Papaw Phil wanted to build and sell the best duck calls in the world, yet initially all he had was that dream,” says John Luke.  A few years ago, John Luke started a Snow-Ball stand.  “I love Snow-Balls.  Some people call them shaved ice, or Sno-Cones, but in Louisiana, we call shaved ice with sugary flavoring a Snow-Ball.”  His dad, Willie, originally shot down the idea but eventually agreed to help him start it up. 

John Luke and Willie’s Ice Cabin now stands in front of the Duck Commander warehouse.  They are open from 11 am to 7 pm every day except Sunday and sell every flavor of Snow-Ball.  John Luke says the skills he has learned from building his business have been a great experience including hiring people, working with them, finding the right equipment and dealing with customers.  “Plus, I’ve been able to hire many of my friends from my youth group and give them opportunities for summer work,” he says.

John Luke says he also learned about passion and faith from his 2-Papa (his mom’s father). When John Luke was little, he would visit 2-Papa at work.  His great-grandfather, Alton Howard, started Howard Publishing because he loved hymns and wanted to create a hymnal.  Eventually, his son John (2-Papa) took over and it grew from a small publishing company to one of the most respected Christian publishing companies in America.  After the company grew to 40 employees, a big New York publishing company wanted to buy Howard.  “This was a hard decision.  The company had been in the family for so long,” says John Luke.  2-Papa prayed to God to send him a sign.  At the time, the Howards were on their way to the beach for their annual family trip.  “God, if you think its best for met to sell Howard, let me find a sand dollar,” his grandpa prayed. 

That week during the trip, they were hunting for sand dollars.  For the first time in their family beach history, one of the family members stepped on an entire bed of sand dollars.  “There were thousands of them,” says John Luke.  His 2-Papa accepted the offer to sell the company.  Duck Commander was starting to grow at that time and several members of Howard Publishing came to work at the Duck Commander warehouse, which used to be the Howard Publishing warehouse and today houses all the duck calls and the family offices.  2-Papa works full-time at Duck Commander.  “My grandfather took a risk letting go of something that meant so much to him,” says John Luke.  “God had a plan.  He always does.”   

John Luke says it is critical to know who you are and where you are going.  He also learned that failure is a part of life but will not define you.  When in doubt about your plans, look for your “sand dollar moment.”  “I’m still learning,” he says.  Currently Mary Kate and John Luke attend Liberty University and live in Lynchburg.  They returned to West Monroe for the summer break.

Mary Kate grew up in a Christian home.  While she was a teenager, she felt incredibly close to God and depended on Him in many areas of her life.  Many of her friends had boyfriends, but Mary Kate chose to remain single.  She made a deal with God telling him she would not settle for anything less that what God had for her.  When John Luke and she first started dating, he was seeing someone else.  Mary Kate texted John Luke’s sister, Sadie, telling her she liked John Luke. 

When John Luke decided to have a serious talk with Mary Kate, she didn’t hestitate to tell him the truth.  “Whether you choose me or this other girl, I know you’re a godly man…I know you will make the right decision.  Just know I wouldn’t date a guy I wouldn’t marry and I’d date you.”  Her words made John Luke’s mind up at that moment. On his 19th birthday, John Luke proposed.

Mentioned in the Video

Guest Info


Oldest son of Duck Commander CEO, Willie and Korie Robertson

Author: Young and Beardless, Tommy Nelson, 2016

College Student: Liberty University

Married since June 2015

Wife: Mary Kate

Siblings: Rebecca, Sadie, Bella, Will and Rowdy


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