SERVANT AIR MINISTRIES, INC.
ANNUAL REPORT 12/31/2002
Servant Air Ministries in the year 2002 had an outstanding and blessed year. Even though missions and air travel was down based on National Security interests, Servant Air made many new and innovative flights. Our first youth board member Mr. Chris Hull presented a great liaison for the Board of Directors and the students of Cocoa Beach High School. Likewise Chris helped in putting together a summer missionary aviation camp along with Dick Oktella.
A slate of offices was presented by Mr. Neal Spurlock and voted upon, re-electing Dr. Robert Lehton as President, Mr. Steve Miller as Vice President, Mr. Skip Williams as Treasurer and Mr. Fred Pino as Secretary. The financial position of Servant Air Ministries again remains stable, with a positive cash flow even though we have had rather large expenditures this year.
In 2002 Servant Air Ministry’s prayers of acquiring a long range twin engine aircraft were answered. In July 2002 a loan was secured and a large donation was acquired in order to buy a $50,000 1967 Turbo Aztec 250-T. The loan was secured on a very low interest credit line which will be paid back over the next two to three years. The Ministry lost a dear friend this past year by the sale of our Cessna 150 which had been a training airplane for these past seven years. The Cessna 150 served many of our pilots while they were acquiring their missionary aviation training and even though it’s an aluminum airplane it will be sorely missed. Our Cessna 172 has stepped up to the task of training our missionary pilots for primary and instrument work. Likewise the Saratoga and the Aztec we’ll use for more long distance traveling.
This year our exploratory missions have opened more doors in the Bahamas than years past. The door was opened for two missionary projects on Long Island, Bahamas and the Berri Islands were opened by Skip Williams, Bob Lehton, Bill Oyler and Steve Miller. The Berri Islands present two ports of entry for Bibles and missionary activity which will include approximately seven churches. The Church there is very open and warm concerning our ability to make Bibles and perhaps even medical facilities accessible to them.
With the Turbo Aztec this has opened more doors flying to the Bahamas in a safer fashion with two engines. And this year we picked up a new Christian group to help minister within the Bahamas which is called Covenant Players, which is a Christian drama group that will be carrying down on a regular basis to Grand Bahama and other outer islands. Mr. Steve Miller and Marc Ivanchek have opened the doors further for missionary activities and travel to Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala. One of our members Mr. Joe Cappurccino is now a full time missionary in Guatemala and joined us for the large convention with Pilots for Christ in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. In that meeting Pilots for Christ pledged to try to secure a Cessna 182 for him to be able to fly missions over the high mountains in the Guatemala jungle area.
In the last nine years that Servant Air Ministries has been flying we have taught over forty missionary pilots and served all the major islands of the Bahamas with the exception of Cat Cay and Andros. Those two islands are on the drawing board for this coming year 2003 to make exploratory flights as well as create project sites.
Servant Air provided a number of medical relief and emergency flights over this past year. One of our longest flights was flown by Steve Miller and Bob Lehton to Glen Falls, NY with a cancer patient and an article was written entitled “Coming Home” and published in the Pilots for Christ newsletter. This article certainly reflects the Christian commitment, servant hood and ability to fly long distance missions.
Servant Air Ministries was again instrumental in bringing the Feast of Tabernacles to the King Center in Melbourne, which is a celebration of the Christian feast of Succoth, for the International Christian Embassy. Servant Air Ministries not only helped to raise donations and donated ourselves to this cause but also provided missionary flights for musicians and dancers to various locations in Florida. Likewise Servant Air Ministries this last year, has hosted the Finnish branch of the International Christian Embassy flying them through out Florida for speaking engagements and gathering support for Israel as she stands alone.
Skip and Karen Williams again this year have acquired numerous Bibles and they were shipped to Long Island, the Berri Islands and other parts of the Bahamas. Likewise Steve Miller and Bob Lehton flew the Bahamian Congress to the Bahamas this year with a delegation to Faith Temple in Orlando and then back again to Grand Island Abaco, Bahamas. A number of our members flew for the first time mercy flights to North Carolina for cancer patients and other good will flights to promote missionary aviation.
We would like to thank the New Life Christian fellowship and the Cocoa Beach Ministerial Association and other churches such as Calvary Chapel for providing support for our ministry over the last year. These groups were likewise flown to various missionary projects during the year and as a number of anonymous donors paid for flight training for our younger missionary pilots. The Christmas party was well attended and perhaps the best of our nine year heritage. Even with the tension in America, loss of the World Trade Centers, and terrorist activities this year, it was still a time of celebration for the coming year to celebrate the Lord.
Mr. Nick Smith, Mr. Steve Miller, Bob Lehton and Joe Cappurccini attended the annual Pilots for Christ Convention in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in September 2002. This meeting was well attended and we enjoyed the fellowship and prayer among the other servants that are flying for the Lord. Joe Cappurccini was the hit of the conventions providing other chapters of Pilots of Christ with insight into doing mission work in Guatemala. The convention agreed that we would perhaps take four to five airplanes this summer for a large mission trip down to Guatemala and Nicaragua in order to allow mission aviation to take place for the northern chapters in the central Caribbean.
Flight training and air transportation for mercy flights were numerous this year.
Our Cessna 150 flew over 112 pilot training flights and our Cessna 172 flew over 77 hours in training and missions. Our Saratoga PA-32 flew over 113 hours on air transportation missions. Our newly purchased PA -23 Turbo Twin flew 63 hours in this last year and Mr. Steve Miller completed his commercial instrument multi rating in that aircraft. Bob Lehton and Roy Coy have done all primary instrument and flight instruction during this year, and this next year in 2003 we will be joined by Ryan Roberts a new graduate of flight safety academy to also provide primary flight training. Ground instruction during 2002 revealed 97.8 hours and actual flight instruction was conducted revealing 241.5 hours. Servant Air Ministries flew 365 hours over this past year in 2002. We praise the Lord for the fine running aircraft and no incidents Likewise we would like to finally acknowledge our Board of Directors for their fine work in supervising this ministry and likewise our head mechanics Dave Thomason and Roy Coy for their work during annual inspections and keeping the aircraft in tip top shape.
To conclude it has been my privilege to serve as President for Servant Air Ministries for the past nine years and once again thank you for your strong volunteer and support efforts in this ministry. We hope likewise that the summer camp for pilot missionary training will be established with the help of Teen Missions and Moody Aviation. Likewise, we acknowledge Paul Mitton who has done a fine job putting together our web site and Bill Oyler who will be updating the web site along with Robbie Kuschel. Paul even though in California wants to continue with the Board of Directors and perhaps start a chapter in that region. We sincerely thank all the members, board, pilots and supporters of Servant Air Ministries for a fine 2002 year.