There was no better Christian life to write about last year—and celebrate—than that of Orville Rogers, who died in November at the age of 101. His life story embodied the positive and profound role faith plays for a very large number of Americans. (Newsweek)
Orville Rogers was born in Hubbard, Texas, in 1917, but it didn’t take long for life to deliver its first body blow. “My father deserted my mother, my sister and me when I was 6 years old, so I grew up in the home of my grandparents,” Rogers recalled. His grandfather, a farmer, wasn’t a particularly affectionate man. “He was not loving in an obvious way,” Rogers explained. “I knew my grandfather loved me, but he never told me so. But it worked out OK because I eventually came to the realization that it was just his way.
“Growing up in Oklahoma, a young Rogers was obsessed with flight. “I’d wanted to be a pilot since I knew what an airplane was,” Rogers told Philanthropy magazine in 2017. “I was named for Orville Wright, after all.”Two experiences as a young man changed his life. “In 1927, Charles Lindbergh flew the first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic. Afterwards, he made a tour of the United States and deliberately circled as many school houses as he could,” Rogers explained. “He circled around mine.”
Then came his first ride in an airplane. “I was 10 or 11 years old, and I was in the yard, and a plane flew over very low, and it looked like he was going to be landing, and sure enough he landed, and I talked to him, and he told me he was giving rides for $4,” Rogers gushed. “So I went home, broke my piggy bank and came back and got my first airplane ride. I didn’t tell my parents until much later. It was a wonderful experience and cemented my idea of becoming a pilot.”His is a remarkable life and a remarkable story and it all began here in Hubbard, Texas.
You can read about him in Newsweek – https://www.newsweek.com/man-mission-orville-rogers… or check out his video biography here as well: Flying High for the Glory of God. He passed away at the age of 101 in 2019, Pilot and world champion runner Orville Rogers trained bomber pilots in World War II, flew the B-36 on secret missions during the Korean Conflict, ferried airplanes to remote Baptist missions all over the world, and managed to squeeze in a thirty-one-year career as a pilot with Braniff Airways. As if that wasn’t enough, Orville took up running at age fifty-one and ran his first marathon six years later. At age ninety he broke two world records. He holds 15 World records. And it all began in Hubbard, Texas. https://youtu.be/UkAC1XCMj_o.