Derek “The Geekpreacher” White is an Ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church and has been an active part of the convention scene for over 15 years where he worked as a volunteer for gaming companies such as KenzerCo and Troll Lord Games. His “watershed moment” arrived in 2007 when he had the privilege of being a part of a panel on Faith & Gaming with Gary Gygax and Michael Stackpole at GenCon. Shortly thereafter, he was asked to moderate similar panels and lead ecumenical worship services at GenCon, Gary Con, and other conventions around the country. In 2016, Luke Gygax asked Derek to become an official part of the Gary Con family and appointed him as chaplain. As chaplain, Derek helps maintain the Gary Gygax Memorial Wall, has helped bring back the boardgame library in conjunction with Innroads Ministries, assist with hospitality, and run games. He has also been known, when asked nicely, to perform dice blessings, weddings, and many other activities for his fellow geeks and gamers. When asked, “Why do you do this?” Derek has said, “The church, sadly, has often been unkind to my fellow geeks and I want to help build bridges between both of these communities which I love and consider a part of my family.”
Derek has been interviewed for Wired Magazine and various other publications and recently took part in the documentary “The Fantasy Makers” which examines the lives of George MacDonald, CS Lewis, and JRR Tolkien. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Management, has a Masters of Divinity from Memphis Theological Seminary, and never quite completed his doctoral work in Semiotics and Future Studies through Portland Seminary. He has also been known to have written few articles for Knights of the Dinner Table.
Derek is currently pastoring full time in Middle Tennessee where he lives with his wife of almost 25 years, their two children, three cats, and his gaming collection.