History of Pilots for Christ International

Love flying, but love the Lord more
The Lord led Reverend William “Bill” Starrs of Parkesburg, Pennsylvania, to organize Pilots for Christ International. The very nature of pilot is to be 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. For the Lord said: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21, Luke 12:34 NRSV)

Put the enthusiasm to work
After much prayer, God led Bill in a different direction. The thought was, “Instead of trying to curtail this tremendous enthusiasm that pilots have for flying, let’s take the enthusiasm and use it in the Lord’s work.” It was a new concept! 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. So Bill designed a logo and a set of wings, mapped out a plan and prayed for guidance.

Prayer and Perseverance
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, 1985.

Bill prayed that God would send 100 members the first year. On December 31, 1985, he received a membership application in the mail from a new member in New York. That person was member number 200! The Lord had exactly doubled his prayer request! But the Lord had only just started. “Pilots for Christ” has continued to grow, and its present membership now includes people from all over the world. “Our Lord’s Air Force” is doing more and more of His work with no end in sight.

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