Bill and Jan Kilgore, MAF missionaries since January 1988, have served in a variety of settings including several African locations, and Haiti. Their current assignment has them living and serving in Spokane, Washington, where Bill is flight instructing on-loan to Moody Aviation. Bill enjoys instructing, while drawing on his years of overseas flight and life experiences working as a missionary pilot. Pouring training and experience into the missionary pilots of tomorrow is just one way of helping to see people changed for eternity. What a joy and privilege to be part of sending out the next wave of missionaries into the world!
Bill was born in Frankfurt, Germany, to an Air Force family. Later his family lived in Ohio, Texas, California, and Arizona. Bill received Christ as his personal Savior when he was ten. As a young man, Bill was able to go on two short-term mission trips, one to France and one to Australia. He attended Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, IL, and later Moody Aviation, in Elizabethton, TN, where he graduated with a B.S. in Mission Aviation Technology. Bill has his commercial pilot’s license with instrument, multi engine, and flight instructor ratings. He is also a licensed airframe and powerplant (A&P) mechanic.
Jan (Hillard) was born in Vandalia, IL, and moved later with her family to Kansas, and Arizona. She was influenced greatly by her Christian family upbringing, and at the age of ten, Jan believed in Jesus and accepted Christ as her Savior. After high school graduation, she attended Pacific Christian College, and Moody Bible Institute.
Bill and Jan met in high school and were married in 1982. The Kilgores' first assignment with Mission Aviation Fellowship was to Zaire, Africa, where Bill flew for the African church and the mission community. In 1991, the family returned to the States for health reasons, and Bill became the assistant to MAF's Africa Regional Manager. The following year, he worked in MAF's technical department, flying with new MAF pilots to prepare them for overseas service. 1993 took the family to Haiti, where Bill led the MAF staff as interim program manager. In Haiti, MAF flies for many mission organizations, medical emergency flights, and community development. From 1994-1996 the family lived and worked in Zaire, Africa, for a second time, and when civil war forced a move from Zaire, the family relocated to Nairobi, Kenya, where Bill continued flying with MAF's European branch. Later he became assistant to the Africa Regional Manager. In 2001, The Kilgores worked in Northeast Africa to establish a 'flying doctor service' with the local ministry of Health.
"Raising our family while working in so many different cultures and languages throughout the years has been a stretching experience for all of us," shares Jan, "but what a challenging and exciting way to live as God has directed us. He has been continually by our side throughout the difficult times, and has given us so many blessings along the way!"
The Kilgores have 9 children; Ryan, (28) is an engineer who lives and works in Arizona. Jordan (27) is married to Lauren and is currently living in Montana. Colton (25) is married to Kimberly and they lives and work in North Carolina. Ashton, (23) has recently moved back home while she attends medical school at the University of Washington. Brighton (17) and Hayden (15) are in high school, Aaron (13) is in middle school, and Wilson (11) and Shaelyn (9) are in grade school.
Our house is as busy as ever, and we remain active in our local church body and neighborhood, and as often as possible with Bill’s flight students at Moody Aviation. We are so very thankful for a healthy family! Our two boys, Hayden and Wilson, are much more stable with their diabetes/celiac these days, although it is something we are never far away from. We continue to appreciate the many prayers spoken on their behalf as they grow up learning to live their lives with these diseases. God’s provision for the healthcare of our family has been incredible!
God calls the men and women of MAF to serve Him in unique ways. He may also be calling you to a special role in the Kilgores’ ministry. Please prayerfully consider becoming a Ministry Partner with them through prayer and/or financial support.