And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things what so ever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. ~ Matthew 28: 18-20

Memories of Captain Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger came flooding back the other day with the news of an engine explosion at 32,000+ feet on a Southwest Airlines flight en route from New York to Dallas Love Field. Facing an extremely stressful situation that could’ve resulted in hundreds of deaths, pilot Tammie Jo Shults safely landed her severely damaged plane in Philadelphia. In the aftermath, the passengers on that plane as well as many in the media have hailed her as a hero, and rightfully so.

She wasted no time rapidly lowering the plane toward safety when chaos broke out shortly after takeoff Tuesday from LaGuardia — maintaining her composure even as passengers reported from the cabin that a woman had been partly sucked out of a shattered window. “We have part of the aircraft missing, so we’re going to need to slow down a bit,” Shults is heard calmly telling air traffic controllers in audio transmissions after reporting the aircraft’s engine failure.

Turns out, Tammie Jo Shults is a committed Christian who loves sharing her faith. And we shouldn’t be surprised by that.

Take a look and listen…

Whether or not the passengers cared about their pilot’s faith doesn’t take away from the fact that Shults’ faith played an important role in her calm and successful handling of the near tragedy.

Speaking to Baptist Press, Shults’ pastor, Mike Mantooth, said:

I’m always amazed at the caliber of people at First Baptist Church, Boerne, Texas. Tammie Jo is an example of one of them. Through her commitment to excellence in aviation, she has gained a national platform to give witness to her faith in Christ. We are proud of her as her church family. She is being hailed as a national hero, and we are celebrating what God has done through her and at the same time praying for her as she grieves the loss of a passenger.

In the aftermath, Tammie Jo has been eager to give the credit to God, even referring to herself as merely the co-pilot. Speaking for Shults, her longtime friend Staci Thompson relayed that Shults “wants people to know that God was there with her … He helped her in getting control of, and landing, that plane.”

Take another look and listen at the entire episode (and from MSNBC no less!) …

Based on Tammie Jo’s testimony and life, those words are not intended just for show. She means them and she lives them. A longtime Sunday school teacher for all age groups, she once led the children’s worship program at First Baptist. BP News adds:

Shults has long evidenced a heart for evangelism and ministries of compassion. She has provided housing for hurricane victims and widows, helps care for her disabled younger sister and her husband’s elderly mother, and shares her faith in Christ with co-captains on Southwest flights.

So, even though the passengers on Flight 1380 were most likely not thinking about their pilot’s faith, Tammie Jo’s faith in God and her desire to submit to His will played a vital role in how she handled the mid-air explosion. While her training and experience were important variables, knowing that she was in God’s hands was an important variable, too.

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. ~ Romans 5: 1-2


H/T Gerard Vanderleun and his American Digest

PJ Media: No Surprise that Southwest’s Hero Pilot is a Christian

See also Captain ‘Sully’ Sullenberger: Hudson River Landing


Face of Jesus by Richard Hook

Soli Deo Gloria!