Joanne Rogers said her husband, Fred Rogers, saw himself as a minister first, and his long running children’s show, PBS’ “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” as his mission field.
“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” starring Tom Hanks is now in theaters, giving viewers a glimpse into how beloved TV personality Fred Rogers practiced his Christian faith by helping others navigate through life’s difficulties.
“One of the most important things we accept and know is that Fred was first and foremost a minister in the Presbyterian Church,” Joanne Rogers told The Christian Post on Thursday.
“He was ordained as an evangelist to continue his work that he was doing with family and children. That work was his ministry. There was never a time that he ever forgot that,” she maintained.
Rogers worked in television for more than 30 years after graduating college. The only breaks he took from working in television were times he devoted to his Christian faith. The TV pioneer attended Pittsburgh Theological Seminary where he was ordained as a Presbyterian minister in 1963.
“When he graduated from the seminary, he won the homiletics prize, which means he was a good preacher,” Joanne celebrated.
Although faith was the driving force of his life, Joanne Rogers told the filmmakers that for “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” it was imperative they not portray him as a saint, because his godly character was a result of the practice he put into his religious convictions.
Author of The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers, Amy Hollingsworth revealed that Rogers fervently prayed for his life to be an overflow of what he received from God.
“What he told me, the first time I met him, he said, ‘Every morning when I walk in that studio door, I pray, Dear God, let some word that is heard be yours,’” Hollingsworth told CP. “Even though he wasn’t allowed to talk about God on TV. He started out each program by asking God please let some word that is heard be yours.”
Countless people have shared testimonials of the impact the PBS show creator had on them despite never being able to share his faith on the mainstream channel.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Jeannie Law