SERVANT AIR MINISTRIES, INC.
Servant Air Ministries, Inc., in 2012 had a good year in providing flight training and air transportation. With the fuel prices and insurance premiums increasing, Servant Air Ministries, Inc. was still able to fly a total of 243 hours in 2012 almost doubling the missions from last year utilizing our three aircraft. Over all we were up significantly in the number of hours from last year’s hours flown, based on fuel prices and resources. This being the ministry’s 19th year of the organization’s existence, Servant Air continues to provide quality missionary flight services to the Southeast part of the United States and the Bahamas. The ministry continues to meet its mission statement of providing chapel services, on the field at Merritt Island Airport and providing individualized missionary flight training and ground school experiences. Air transportation consisting of mercy flights is provided for various ministries and churches, throughout the state of Florida and the Southeast part of the United States.
A slate of officers was presented to the Board in our June 2012 meeting, and the following officers agreed to serve in their same positions. Dr. Robert E. Lehton was again elected as President; Mr. Dick Todd was elected as Vice President, Mr. Ryan Roberts as Board Secretary, and Mrs. Lydia Dixon as Treasurer. The Board kept its same composition as last year, but received resignations from, Mr. Fred Pino, and Tom Liston longstanding members of the Board. Each was for sincerely thanked for their long service and continued to support of Servant Air even though they will no longer be voting board members.
The Board officially thanked Mr. Kyle Dixon and Mr. Dick Blondin for coordination of air show evangelism. Mr. Steve Miller will still be responsible for dispatching of flights and Mr. Dick Todd will be responsible for supervision of the maintenance of the aircraft. We would like to especially thank Dick Todd, Steve Miller, Dick Blondin, and Bud Campbell for taking excellent care of all 3 aircraft. Bud was presented a “dedication” plague for his long time service of maintenance and friendship during our annual Christmas party. This year we had 3 annual inspections and rebuilt the right engine on our PA-23 Aztec, installed 4 new fuel bladders, and installed vortex generators for safety and better fuel economy.
We hired Mr. Richard Van Esselstyn as our new Executive Director a graduate of Rhema college and certified flight instructor. Richard wasted know time in connecting with Wings of Hope to offer ground school and flight instruction to those students interested in becoming missionary pilots. Richard has flown over thirty students this year. This year we flew 135 hrs. in our C-150; 103 hrs. in our C-172, and 5 hours in the Aztec. A total of 243 hrs safety flown. In the last four years we have flown a total of 536 children in young eagles flights with Dick Blondin recording 148 flights of young eagles. Scott Demasso, Dwight Bell, Bob Lehton did the remaining flights. Dick and Judy Todd handled the registration and ground work. For our nineteenth year of ministry we have through June 30th 2012 flown the following:
- 3195: Total Missions hrs.
- 2624: Mission Flights
- 2214 Flight Training hrs.
This year we flew 123 missions and 226 hrs. of flight training.
We had a booth at the major airshows in our area including the Valkeria, TICO-Titusville, and Sun N’ Fun with Tim and Lori Layne in Lakeland. We did our first radio program this year with our new executive director being interviewed on the air.
The financial position of Servant Air Ministries, Inc. remains very stable, with a positive cash flow; however we have had large expenditures the year of 2011 in the area of maintenance and our new 8400 sq. ft. Hanger and Chapel. This year we spend a lot of money getting the Aztec in excellent condition. We paid off the final mortgage on the C-150 of three thousand dollars this year.
Mr. Dick Todd, who is Servant Air Ministries’ A1 and A&P mechanic has kept all three airplanes in excellent shape, along with the help of Mr. Steve Miller and Bud Campbell. Mr. Todd continues to be a blessing to the organization by supervising maintenance of all three aircraft, which includes annual inspections and routine progressive maintenance throughout the year.
Mr. Ryan Roberts continues to manage our web site and it continues to run smoothly. Ryan Roberts, at the end of last year, put “PayPal” on the web site to receive donations by credit card, for our new projects and this has provided some additional income.
In September 2011, Dr. Lehton was again elected as Vice President of Pilots for Christ at the Convention held in New Port News Virginia’s annual convention and Mr. Dick Todd was elected as a General Board Member at large. Bob Lehton presented the Chapter report for the year 2011-12, at this convention.
Mr. Dick Blondin has done a wonderful job in representing SAMI at local airshows. This year with the help of Tim Layne of the Michigan Chapter, we were presenters at the Fun ’n’ Sun Airshow. Dick traveled in the C-172 with volunteers daily to man the booth. We also participated in the Prayer Flight Ministry, praying for our country on May 5, 2012.
The most exciting event this year was a merger with Copters for Christ and Dwight Bell, who is the President, by providing flight training, to his ground school class of youngsters in mission aviation. We will be conducting introduction flights to this youth that is taking ground training by Dwight.
In 2012 we prepared an overall summary of flights from 1987 to December 31, 2011, to secure a grant from the United Way. This summary consists of 17 pilots that regularly fly for Servant Air. We have flown during this period 3195 mission flights and training flights of 4838 hrs. Total flights of missions and training is 4,838 hrs. for our 19th year. This will be updated each year to measure the performance of the organization and for funding purposes.
In conclusion, even with the escalating price of fuel and maintenance, Servant Air Ministries, Inc. continued to fly. Again, it has been my privilege to serve as President of Servant Air Ministries, Inc. for the past 19 years and I again thank the Board of Directors and volunteers for their efforts in service in Jesus’ name. We will continue to make Young Eagle flights approximately four times a year and numerous trips to the Bahamas and Southeast part of the United States providing mercy flights. We’ll continue our efforts to provide evangelism at air shows and work with all ministries throughout the Southeast part of the United States in providing charity and missionary flight activities. We have flown a lot of missions but knowledge that God is our pilot and with all these statistics we only serve one God.
We sincerely thank all the members, Board, pilots and supporters of Servant Air Ministries, Inc. for a fruitful year in 2012 and expect the Lord to produce great fruit in this coming season.
Robert E. Lehton, CFII, MEI, President