Baptist Men take ministry to new heights
Rick Houston, Special to the Recorder
May 31, 2010

Baptist Men take ministry to new heights

Baptist Men take ministry to new heights
Rick Houston, Special to the Recorder
May 31, 2010

In Ephesians, Paul writes

that some Christians are called to be apostles, others to be prophets,

evangelists, pastors and teachers.

Today, still others are

called to be pilots.

Members of the North

Carolina Baptist Men’s Aviation ministry have combined their passions for

flying and Christ to touch countless lives in countless ways. There really

doesn’t seem to be a job description as such … if someone needs help, the group

will do everything in its power to help out. That’s borne out in what could

best be described as a rather eclectic resume.

Partnering with the Angel

Flight organization, fliers of the North Carolina Baptist Men’s Aviation Ministry

have flown people in a number of different emergency situations. There have

been trips to Haiti and areas ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. Patients and their

families have been flown to and from Randleman, N.C.’s Victory Junction Gang

Camp, a sprawling complex for chronically and terminally ill children.

Prayers have been prayed

over – quite literally – the North and South Carolina state capitol buildings.

Youngsters receive plane rides to help foster a love for aviation. At the heart

of a long list of services, the N.C. Baptist Men’s Aviation ministry is a group

based on passion for what it does.

Contributed photo

Bob Joyner enjoys being able to share his love of flying with serving those in need through North Carolina Baptist Men’s aviation ministry.

Bob Joyner has long loved

aviation. A member of a Mooresville-based flying club that owns two four-seat,

single-engine Cessna 172s, Joyner first began using his talent and interest in

flying to serve others about 10 years ago. Now, he is the state coordinator for

the North Carolina Baptist Men’s Aviation


“I really couldn’t see

myself involved in anything that I really couldn’t use to serve the Lord and

serve others,” Joyner says. “Anything that I did like that, I would want to

ensure that I was able to do that, to use it in some way to serve. It’s just a

way to use my talents, skills and gifts that God gave me to serve others.”

Obviously, flying isn’t for

everyone. For Joyner, however, it’s a great way to get away from it all.

“To me, flying is exciting,”

Joyner says. “It’s not something that everybody does. It’s a little bit

different. When I’m by myself, when I go up, I just feel a sense of freedom. On

a Friday evening, if I want to go up to just knock around and leave the work

week behind, I’ll shoot an e-mail to a couple of buddies and they’ll want to go

up, too. The people that are involved in the ministry, everybody has the same


Another rather unique

ministry opportunity for the group amounts to a “church of the week” program.

“We fly over, maybe take a

picture, get it developed and (put it in the mail) with a note on the back,

‘Prayed for you today.’”

Imagine the impact that kind

of contact could make on a congregation. The wide range of ministry

opportunities that it takes on is quite humbling, from fun days at a local

airport with a group of children to somber trips transporting family members in

the midst of crisis.

Here’s how different the

missions of the North Carolina Baptist Men’s Aviation Ministry can be. A few

years back, members flew local Royal Ambassador and Girls In Actions groups out

of an airport in Elkin.

“We took the kids up and

most of them, their churches were close enough to where we could just fly over

and let them say a prayer over their church,” Joyner says. “We had real good

participation that day. We spent most of the day at the airport … it was a good


On the other hand, however,

Joyner recalls this sad mission as one of his most memorable.

“On Labor Day (2009), I had

someone who had a relative who had passed away up in Manassas, Va.,” Joyner

concludes. “His son had been killed in a traffic accident, and that was his

sister I was flying (home from the funeral). He was telling me how much it

meant to have her there. Every (mission) is different and has different

meaning, but that kind of touched me, just knowing that we helped facilitate

having her there in his time of need.”