(Photo: Screenshot via WXII-TV)
A North Carolina weatherman has recently announced that he is quitting his 23-year career in broadcasting to become the pastor of a church in Dobson.
Austin Caviness, a native of Burlington, will be leaving his 17-year position as the resident meteorologist at the WXII station in Winston-Salem at the end of May, his employer announced online Monday. Caviness told the The Blaze that he has seen how much his surprise career change has glorified God.
The weatherman, who also worked at the WCTI station in New Bern before moving to WXII in 1997, addressed his career change in his Monday morning newscast, telling viewers: "I love doing this and I will miss doing this in your guys' homes, but I tell you what, there's something I love even more – it is sharing the Gospel."
The meteorologist turned minister has said in many interviews that the decision to drastically change his career path was a difficult one, but ultimately he looked to the Bible passage Matthew 6:24, that reads, "No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money."
Caviness then found that he could no longer fulfill his dream of pastoring a church while also keeping his broadcasting profession, and therefore decided to dedicate himself wholly to God. He told the Winston-Salem Journal that ultimately, he finds sharing the Gospel to be more fulfilling than sharing the weather report.
"If I'm going to forecast anything, forecasting the grace of the Gospel is a guarantee whereas the weather is a little iffy."
The broadcaster amicably parted ways with his employer, and Hank Price, president and general manager of WXII, told the local newspaper that Caviness' decision to choose a less-lucrative profession says a lot about his character.
Caviness also told The Blaze that his drastic career change is evidence that faith is still alive in America today.
"[God] opening the door for me all these years and being able to preach what the Lord has put on my heart has shown me, boy is faith still alive in America today," he said. "And it has nothing to do with the size of the church or the number of people in the pews. Jesus started with 12 and look what He did with them."
The new pastor was voted into his new church, Salem Fork Christian Church in Dobson, North Carolina, two Sundays ago, and he has already held Easter services and met several congregation members. The congregation has fewer than 100 members.