Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Flying Evangelist

The internet is a marvelous thing . . . but today is the glorious first day of summer in Minnesota and calls me to the porch, so my post today will be brief.

One thing truly does lead to another when one is involved in a research project as I happen to be. In my last post I mentioned Rev. A. C. Valdez, pastor of the Milwaukee Evangelistic Temple, who chartered a NWA Boeing 377 Stratocruiser to broadcast an airborne church service in 1959 and took his 50 member choir along for the ride. I got curious about Rev. Valdez and discovered that long before his innovative Stratocruiser church service at 16,000 ft over Milwaukee, he'd been known as 'The Flying Evangelist.' He earned this moniker in the 30's and 40's when he held revival meetings in tents. To draw people to his meetings he would fly an airplane over a town where a meeting was being held. He would toss out leaflets or soft rubber balls (ouch) with meeting information on them. I haven't been able to determine whether he or someone else was the pilot. And we sincerely hope those rubber balls did not do any damage, human or otherwise. Amen.


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