This week the spotlight shines on ARMS Vice President Mike Rafferty, K7PTL.

Mike was first licensed in 1973 and holds an Amateur Extra Class license. Previous call signs were WA6FTB, WB7CGT, KAIWR, KEFN, and AAAO. He has been an ARMS member since 1979.

Although he spends most of his time on 75, 40 and 20 meters phone with occasional CW operation, Mike also enjoys all the digital modes. He started with RTTY and packet and progressed through AMTOR, PACTOR and PSK31. He especially likes to build kits and interfaces for the digital modes.

The K7PTL station includes an Icom IC-910 and Yaesu FT-1000MP in the shack. He operates CW with the choice of a Bencher keyer or one of two Vibroplex keyers. He can run a phone patch with the TS-440 and patch controller. He enjoys putting this fine equipment to work for Field Day and the Pennsylvania QSO Parties. He's elmered several people in the hobby. Many of the people in his church now have tickets, including his pastor and wife. He says that's one way to make sure they can stay in communication!

Professionally, Mike is a pilot for Continental Airlines. He currently flies Boeing 757 and 767's. (He says, "If it ain't Boeing, I'm not going!") His routes take him all over North and South America, the Caribbean, and to several destinations in Europe. Years ago he was a crop duster and flew the air mail in Montana. From there it was UPS freight hauling in Convair 440's.

Mike is a deacon in a Southern Baptist Church near Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He works closely with his pastor in developing curriculum for their classes. They also pray often for their part of the body of Christ. Mike has helped a lot with necessary renovations at the church. He also does considerable counseling and discipling of individuals and couples. However, most of his time is spent in teaching in homes and at church with occasional calls to preach.

Mike's wife, Mary, is also a licensed amateur radio operator (K3PTL). This is how Mike describes the love of his life: "I am married to a very godly woman, Mary, who is also very active in our church. She has been our treasurer for the last several years. I proposed to Mary three days after I met her in San Diego and she was wondering when I would get around to asking her. In Denver she helped another Christian woman in a business start-up called, The Name Above All Names." Mike and Mary have one son, Travis, who is married and has five children. Travis and his wife, Esther, are graduates of Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and live just a couple of miles from Mike and Mary. When Mike retires in 2009, both families plan to return to Montana.

Galatians 2:20 is cited by Mike as his favorite Bible verse. "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."

Mike leaves these words with us. "It has truly been a blessing to be a part of ARMS over the years. I plan to continue that for as long as the Lord allows. Lord willing, we will be retired and living back in my hometown area of Missoula, Montana, and my ARMS involvement will be from the Bitterroot Valley."

[ POSTED ON 01-APR-2006, 27-SEP-2007 ]