Wednesday, September 2, 2009

God Changes Minds

Enough was enough! Milton was a popular and highly respected bishop in the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, and was attending the denomination’s annual conference. The discussion at the conference turned to possible new technologies that would help men achieve greater levels of success and prosperity. A report to the denomination even included the possibility of a future flying machine to transport people from city to city. Milton was furious! From his chair in the audience he rose and loudly decried the absurdity of such talk, noting that it was blasphemy against God to believe that man would ever fly. Milton very publically stomped out of the conference, gathered his wife and children, and caught the next train home.

In the years that followed, Milton underwent a gradual but nevertheless remarkable change. He bought his young sons a toy “helicopter,” based on an invention of French aeronautical pioneer Alphonse Penaud. It was roughly a foot long and made of paper, bamboo and cork with a rubber band to twirl its rotor. His sons were captivated by it, and when it eventually wore out, they built another. As their interest in mechanics grew over the years, Milton made sure that his sons had access to the latest books and journals on the subject. Milton provided financial and emotional support when the boys started and grew fledgling companies, and even visited his sons Orville and Wilbur as they experimented with new models of aircraft on the windswept beaches of North Carolina. God changed the mind and heart of Bishop Milton Wright, and his crucial but unheralded support changed the world.

Are you open to a change of mind?

Dr. Gary Oster
Regent University
School of Global Leadership & Entrepreneurship


Innovation, airplane, Wright Brothers, Milton Wright, Holy Spirit


Crouch, T. (2003). The Bishop's Boys: A Life of Wilbur and Orville Wright. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.