Serving in Crisis Situations
Ernie Rogers first felt called to rescue ministry in the mid-1970s when he was flying Search and Rescue (SAR) helicopters in the High Sierra mountains of Nevada and California, where he made 32 rescues. That experience planted the desire in his heart to serve others in crisis or disaster.
Ernie was born and raised in Gallup, New Mexico. He graduated from Howard Payne College in Brownwood, Texas, in 1971 with a B.S. in business administration, later earning a master’s degree in management from Salva Regina College, of Newport, Rhode Island, and a master’s degree in international affairs from the Naval War College.
Following the undergraduate study, he was designated a Naval Aviator in June 1972 and reported for duty to NAS Fallon, Nevada, flying the H-1N helicopter as a Search and Rescue (SAR) pilot in the High Sierra Mountains.
He went on to lead a 27-year career in the U.S. Navy, retiring at the rank of captain. Following the Navy, Ernie joined Liberty University and was a co-founder of the School of Aeronautics.
Then in 2016, Ernie completed the SBC of Virginia Introduction to Disaster Relief and began serving in the ministry that God had placed on his heart many years ago. During his time with SBC of Virginia, he has deployed to West Virginia, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, and Puerto Rico. Additionally, he has served here in Virginia several times following various storms and events.
Ernie has also become a valued member of the instructor team, traveling across Virginia to assist in teaching and coordinating Disaster Relief classes.
More than two years ago, when SBCV acquired warehouse space in Lynchburg, Virginia, Ernie was quick to volunteer at the warehouse, not only as a worker but as the manager. A team of 8 to 10 volunteers meet nearly every Wednesday, from 10 a.m. until about noon, working on equipment, inventorying trailers, organizing and keeping everything running smoothly.
Ernie’s story is just one of many within the SBC of Virginia Disaster Relief family. Without all of our hundreds of volunteers, this ministry could not exist. Whether you deploy to Texas or the next storm location, assist with training, move trailers around the state or beyond, or work at the warehouse (we can always use more workers!), you are valued. We praise God for each of you and thank Him for your desire to go and serve.