We're continuing to discover central Illinois - and today we focus on Jacksonville.

I'd like to introduce you to one of the most intriguing humans to come out of Jacksonville, Crest Whitaker.

He is living an extraordinary life.

Whitaker persevered through racial injustice, played with Walt Frazier at SIU, was All-Missouri Valley at North Texas for basketball and track, played in the NFL with Archie Manning and that only involves sports.

He then became a firefighter, saved a victim trapped in a fire and delivered 16 babies. One of which, he had in his class as a substitute teacher.

Whitaker is a man of faith and he believes that's the only reason he's still alive after a heart attack.

He says his testimony is that "the good Lord said Creston, I'm not ready for you yet, you have more work to do." And he's doing just that.

Whitaker continues to inspire black firefighters including his son who was promoted to captain.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.