Bill and Jan Kilgore, MAF missionaries since January 1988, have served in a variety of settings including several African locations, Haiti and the United States. Bill served as a flight instructor on-loan to Moody Aviation in Spokane, Washington for 14 years, until recently, when the Kilgores moved to North Carolina, where Bill is serving on-loan to Compass Aviation, again in the role of flight instructor, training future missionary aviators.
Bill enjoys flight instructing, 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 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! At last count, his students numbered over 150, with approximately 60 currently serving in full-time ministry worldwide.
Bill was born in Frankfurt, Germany, to an Air Force family and lived in Ohio, Texas, California, and Arizona. Bill became a Christian at the age of ten. As a young man, Bill went on short-term mission trips, to France and 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 lived with her family in Kansas, and Arizona. She was influenced greatly by her Christian family upbringing, and at the age of ten, Jan became a believer in Jesus. 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 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. 2005 – 2019 were years spent on-loan to Moody Aviation in Washington State, where Bill flight instructed. In 2019, the family joined Compass Aviation in Shelby, NC , where Bill trains pilots for overseas service.
“We lean heavily on a BIG, BIG God, and we trust His leading through all these many twists and turns in our lives,” says Jan. “We’ve learned to rely on HIS clarity for the timing, location, and direction of each new ministry opportunity. You know what? He never disappoints!”
The Kilgores have 9 children, 2 daughters-in-law, and (so far) 3 granddaughters. Their youngest two children, Shaelyn (15) and Wilson, (17) are in high school, and made the move to North Carolina with them. Aaron (19) stayed behind in Washington State to begin college, Hayden (21) is living and working as a river raft guide in Colorado, Brighton (23) is a collage artist who lives and works in Florida, Ashton (29) is finishing up her Emergency Physician residency in Pennsylvania, Colton (32) and his wife Kimberly and 3 daughters, Elouise, (5) Adaline, (3) and Rosalie, (1) live and work in the print industry, and do event and wedding photography in North Carolina, Jordan (33) is a professional sky-diver/base-jumper in California, and Ryan (34) and his wife, Christina, live and work in Arizona as an airline pilot, and Nurse Practioner. “We are definitely sprawling out, so getting our growing family ALL together in one place is getting harder all the time!”
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.
The U.S. offices of MAF serve as a hub for MAF services worldwide. A day in the life here includes specialized flight training, staff mobilization and counseling, purchasing and shipping of aircraft parts, finance and accounting, administration of an Internet gateway for worldwide email, fund raising, printing and mailing of various materials, and many, many more activities. Some staff serve around the country; training future pilots and mobilizing potential candidates to serve with MAF.
MAF missionaries raise support for a pooled fund out of which MAF covers salary, housing, benefits, and staff-related ministry expenses. MAF exercises discretion over the use of missionary support in the exercise of its mission and care of its staff.