Harrisonville church zooms into aviation evangelism
By Allen Palmeri
September 6, 2005
HARRISONVILLE – The Lawrence Smith Memorial Airport in Harrisonville will be the site of the Harrisonville Community Fly-In Sept. 17 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., co-sponsored by First Baptist Church and Anderson Evangelistic Enterprises.
Jim Anderson, dean of Midwestern Baptist College, Southern Baptist Convention, Kansas City, will be the featured speaker. Anderson is a pilot who has been flying since 1971. He has directed more than 30 airport events like the one being planned for Sept. 17.
Host pastor David Noble said many activities are being planned for the day including a tent with free children’s games, Christian music all day by six different groups and plane rides on a donation basis through the Heartland Chapter of Pilots for Christ.
Admission to the airport for the day’s events is free.
“It is a new and interesting way of reaching the community for Christ,” said Anderson, who is developing a missionary aviation program at the newly established Midwestern Baptist College. “Many people come to these, and the follow-up has been very rewarding. It puts the church and the airport on the map, so to speak.”
The Harrisonville Lion’s Club will serve food for the day, which will include participation by local city officials, airport management and the Cass County Civil Air Patrol. Traffic reporter Johnny Rowlands is scheduled to make an appearance with the KMBC 9 “Newschopper,” and various aircraft including the Lifeflight Eagle medical transportation helicopter will be on display. On the spiritual side, the local chapter of Gideons International is scheduled to participate.
“I have been extremely impressed by Dr. Anderson’s zeal for the Lord and his vision for reaching lost people through aviation evangelism,” Noble said. “We’re expecting great things to happen on and after Sept. 17. Already our congregation has benefited in many ways from its preparation for the event.”
Church members have gone door-to-door inviting members of the community to come to the fly-in. About 1,000 private pilots have been personally invited by the church, by letter, to join in the festivities.
“It’s very helpful to have an event to invite people to,” Noble said. “Inviting people to come to a fly-in is a non-threatening and natural way to lead into other topics, such as asking them if they have prayer concerns or if they need a ride to church. If they have a prayer request, we ask if we can share it with one of the prayer groups in our church that will send notes of encouragement.”
The airport is located on Highway 7, about a half mile south of the intersection of Highways 71 and 7.
For more information, call First Baptist Church at (816) 380-3733.