Rooted Youth Ministry
David Hite of Enterprise was born in Longview, Wash., in 1971, the second son of Don and Charlen Hite. His dad was career military and his mom a full-time homemaker. His folks wanted to make sure their kids grew up in small towns like they did.
“They wanted us to be in an environment where if we messed up, they would know about it before we got home,” he said.
He graduated from high school in Orting, Wash., in 1953 and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in recreation with an emphasis in Outdoor Recreation from University of Idaho in 1998.
“I wanted to get paid to play,” he said.
He met his wife, Tina, when the two were volunteering with a youth group in Sumner, Wash., in 1998. They married a year later.
Tina has worked in mortgage for 21 years and is employed with Eide Baily in Enterprise.
David works at Joseph Market Place and operates his youth ministry program, Rooted Youth Ministry, which has a location next to Eide Bailly in Enterprise.
The couple have no children — “or you could say we have 60,” he said, referring to his youth ministry.
The Hite’s ended up in Wallowa County through a long friendship with Jack and Judy Burgoyne of Enterprise House. They used to be pinochle partners when they all lived in Clatsop County and over the years as their lives changed, the Hites visited Wallowa County too and began to think it might be the place for them.
When the Hite’s made the difficult decision to leave a ministry in Montana. they moved to Seattle for a time where David helped his folks with their sign business.
“We felt like fish out of water,” Hite said. “We wanted to get back to a small community where the values were pretty conservative. We’re just a better fit (there).”
They decided to trust God and make the move to Wallowa County. Their move has worked out well. Tina got work immediately and David found a job where his boss lets him put his ministry first.
Their nonprofit ministry is a para-church organization (a nonprofit that assists a community of churches but is not tied to a single church.)
Q. Why live in Wallowa County?
A. It feels like home. It’s become obvious the need our young people have to learn values and morals and God’s word, and we are fortunate enough to play a role in that. We received a lot of resistance (to our ministry) and were told it would not work and told there is a storied bumpy history of youth ministry in the county and we would be wasting our time to try. We found just the opposite and are pushing at the seams of our youth room.
Q. What have you learned from Wallowa County?
A. Like the rest of our country it is ideologically divided and I don’t see a lot of common ground — but that doesn’t mean we can’t be kind to one another. You can disagree civilly.
Q. Can you recall the first book that had a big effect on you, and can you recommend a book you are reading right now?
A. In about third grade, I would check out the same book every week in grade school, and it was about motorcycles. I would look at the pictures and dream about having a motorcycles. I have a motorcycle today.
A book I can recommend now is “The Debt: The Story of a Past Redeemed” by Angela Hunt. It is fiction. The premise is a mega-church pastor’s wife with the perfect life has a baby she gave up for adoption many years ago come back into her life and the scandal attached to it. It’s an incredible book. I’ve bought many used copies on Amazon and given it to friends because it’s whoa!