Pilots for Christ celebrate 1,000th flight

Published: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 at 02:37 PM.

“Today, we celebrate our 1,000th flight,” said Fred Kelley, Chaplain for Pilots for Christ.

 “It is truly a miles stone that relates to over five mission dollars in aircraft and pilot log time. We believe this demonstrates the best of the American Spirit; it also represents a Blessing, that we ask God to help us as we fly, and to this date we have never had any type of in-flight problem.”

Pilots For Christ International is a non-denominational, non-profit organization of pilots and aviation enthusiasts, “dedicated to the promotion of the Gospel through aviation and necessary ground transportation.”

According to the history of Pilots for Christ at www.pilotsforchrist.org, the Rev. William "Bill" Starrs of Parkesburg, Penn., was led to organize Pilots For Christ International.

“It is the very nature of pilots to be more than dedicated to their love of flying. Sometimes they have a tendency to let it dominate their lives. This frequently leads to the Lord taking a back seat, and this was happening to Reverend Starrs. Realizing this, Bill began praying that the Lord would show him the way to re-channel this love of flying to a greater love of God,” according to the website.

Starrs decided to take the pilots’enthusiasm and use it in the Lord's work. Airplanes had been used in missionary work for some time, but usually as only a means to reach areas without adequate transportation systems or to enable missionaries to cover more territory. “He then mailed out 4,000 invitations to pilots in the state of Pennsylvania to join ‘Pilots For Christ.’ The results of this invitation were very disappointing. So he took out an ad in a flying publication with national circulation, continued to pray, and things began to happen. ‘Pilots For Christ’ was then born in January of 1985.”

Kelley explained that the Alabama Chapter of PFC was founded over 17 years ago by a group of mission minded pilots in Monroeville, Alabama who “wanted to use their love of flying to help transport patients who needed time critical transportation to far away hospitals.”

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