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Looking Back: First Presbyterian in Space

Looking back to April 1962 and news of the first US astronaut to circle the Earth.

Colonel John Glenn has borne his witness as well as guided his space capsule.

A man of robust Christian faith, he has declared his conviction. ‘I would not have let myself to his project had I not believe that this new power is given us by God to become a means of bringing the world together.’

‘As our knowledge of the universe we live in increases, may God grant us the wisdom to use it wisely.’

John Glenn is a Presbyterian – member of Arlington Presbyterian Church in Virginia. His minister was seen by television viewers in this country in the Glenn home when the new of the successful space flight was being received by his family. He asked all who were sharing in the news to make a prayer with him that the fruits of the enterprise would be used as God intended and consecrated to His purposes.

In reply to a member of Senate asking about his Christian views, Glenn said: ‘I cannot say that, while I was in orbit, I sat there and prayed. I was pretty busy! My religion is not of the fire-engine type – to be called on only in an emergency. I found the way to peace with God a number of years ago. I have no worries now.’


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