Tributes paid to MAF founder Stuart King

Stuart King with the Miles Gemini aircraft in 1947.(Photo: MAF)

Tributes have been paid to Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) founder Stuart King, who died on 29 August aged 98. 

King passed away on the charity's 75th anniversary. 

A pioneering Christian missionary, he was one of the first British airmen to take light aircraft to Africa in 1948. 

At great risk to his own life, he flew into remote communities, many of which had never before been reached by air.

He was driven to found MAF at the end of World War II out of the belief that flight technology should be used for the good of mankind rather than its destruction. 

Seventy-five years on, MAF continues to serve isolated communities in over 26 countries, flying to more destinations than any commercial airline. 

It is used to bring often life-saving cargo, like food and medicine, as well as skilled personnel. 

Today, it partners with over 2,000 aid organisations, including UNICEF, WHO and the Red Cross. 

Stuart King 1922 - 2020(Photo: MAF)

Paying tribute, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who has flown with MAF to South Sudan and Uganda, said: "Stuart's tremendous contribution to the founding of MAF has had a profound impact on the ministry of many people across the world and the Anglican Communion.

"I was saddened to hear of his death and I pray for Stuart's family and the MAF staff at this time."

Lord Dannatt, Former Chief of the British Army said: "If ever there was a man who was inspired to turn a visionary idea into a reality, it was Stuart King.

"Stuart started with one aircraft but has changed the lives of so many by his passion, leadership and conviction.

"Stuart King's legacy is immense, and his family should be justifiably proud of all that he achieved in the service of Christ."