Photos from MAF Presidential Installation Service

A team of Christian aviation and communication specialists formally installed its newest President and Chief Executive Officer last month in a private service attended by more than 150 staff members and friends.

On the evening of Friday, Mar. 18, Kevin Swanson was formally installed as President and Chief Executive Officer of Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) at an installation service held at the MAF headquarters in Redlands, Calif.

Swanson, who joined MAF in 1979, assumed the helm of the 60-year old mission as interim president in March 2004, after the departure of Gary Bishop, who served as president from 1997 to 2004. Following his recent acceptance of the position on a permanent basis, Swanson was unanimously appointed to the post by the Board of Directors.

At the installation, officiated by the Reverend John Thill and the MAF Board of Directors, Chairman Ronald H. Pritz delivered the charge from Joshua 1:6-9, in which the Lord commanded Joshua to be strong and courageous as the Israelites prepared to cross the Jordan River after the death of Moses.

A celebration dinner, consisting of international dishes prepared by the staff, preceded the service.

According to MAF, Swanson's leadership during the past year "reflects a resolute commitment to world missions, a steadfast dependence on God's leading, and a renewed priority to bring the Gospel to all remaining isolated people groups."

Swanson, and his wife Linda, joined MAF in 1979 to serve as a pilot/mechanic family in Venezuela. According to MAF, Swanson's tenure include management positions as program manager in Venezuela, area manager for South America, regional director for Latin America, and vice chairman of the MAF Board of Directors.

Linda, who has counseled new MAF staff prior to their departure overseas, continues to be active in the ministry. She counsels staff, leads women's retreats, and is a sought-after speaker among church groups.

Mission Aviation Fellowship, which serves the needs of the poor and needy in some of the world's most remote regions, operates a fleet of 56 aircraft throughout 16 countries of Africa, Asia, Eurasia, and Latin America. Each year, MAF flies more than 3.2 million miles across jungles and inaccessible terrain in support of some 600 Christian and humanitarian agencies. In addition to flight services, MAF provides communication services to remote areas worldwide including e-mail, HF/VHF radios, internet access, and distance education.

MAF was founded in 1945 by former World War II pilots "who loved the Lord Jesus, loved flying, and wanted to see their two loves joined."