Life, Death, and Faith: John Porter Convocation

Zach “Yogi” Yoggerst

john porter02576 (1)On January 29, an alumnus of Illinois College, class of 1967, spoke as a special guest during the chapel service. His name was John Porter and he came to speak about how he had escaped from death while at the same time had found a strong faith.

Porter joined the U.S. Army when he turned eighteen and became an airplane mechanic. He had never flown in his life, but for some reason wanted to work on planes. Little did he know that this decision would change the way he thought about his faith and religion.

On January 27, 1962 a young John Porter boarded a military plane in Tehran, Iran. When he woke up that morning he had a weird feeling so he put a bible in his flight suit. On his flight a storm hit and the pilot had trouble navigating through the storm. The pilot was lost in the clouds when all of a sudden the plane hit a mountain. The crew on the plane was stuck at 13,000 feet. They were surrounded by snow and he began to freeze with no food.

Porter then said, “I didn’t know if I was gonna make it.” After getting to this point of the story, he became a little emotional. He added, “I had never been so scared.”

He was stuck on top of this mountain for multiple days. On the last day he began to see things. Porter claimed that he was visited by the devil himself. The devil told him to roll over and fall asleep. He told him that falling asleep would make everything better.

When he was told this, Porter considered his options. He was then visited by angels. The angels told him that if he were to fall asleep he would not reach the pearly gates.

Porter was saved by a paramedic who was helicoptered in. He swore that it was God’s doing. He never was the same again. He promised if he survived he would go to church. He kept his promise and he never was the same. His faith has never been stronger.

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