Jerry White (Navigators)

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Jerry White
Jerry White Manila.jpg
White after speaking at a church in Manila, Philippines in 2005.
Nationality American
Occupation Evangelist

Jerry E. White is an American author, scientist, retired US Air Force Major General, and is perhaps best known as a Christian leader who is the immediate past International President of The Navigators, a worldwide Christian parachurch organization organization whose main purpose is the discipling (training) of Christians with a particular emphasis on enabling them to share their faith with others. White currently serves with The Navigators as President Emeritus and Chairman of the U.S. Board of Directors.

Personal life[edit]

White was born in Iowa and raised in Spokane, Washington. He and his wife Mary Ann have 4 children and 11 grandchildren. [1] [2]

In April 1990 the Whites' son, Stephen, was brutally murdered.[3] In an interview prior to the release of his 2002 book "Making Peace with Reality:Ordering Your Life In A Chaotic World", White said:

It caused us to re-examine everything. We, personally, had significant depth in the Word, having done Bible study for many years. But especially in the areas of God’s sovereignty and God’s love, we had to re-examine and “come to peace with the reality” that God is sovereign and that good will come out of this. It was quite difficult, but it was a true testament of our beliefs. I’m so grateful that both Mary and I had deep spiritual roots. Those roots deepened much through this time. I now had to live in a new reality.


Military career[edit]

White served 13½ years active duty with the Air Force, an additional 24 years in the reserves, and retired from the Air Force Reserves in 1997 as a major general.[4]

He entered the Air Force in 1959 as a distinguished graduate of the University of Washington Reserve Officer Training Corps program. In 13+ years of active duty in the Air Force he served in many capacities, including an assignment as a mission controller at Cape Kennedy during the height of the American space program. He also was an associate professor of astronautics at the Air Force Academy in Colorado and has co-authored a nationally recognized textbook on astrodynamics. White resigned from active duty service as a major general in the Air Force Reserves. He has been awarded the George Washington Honor Medal from the Freedom Foundation, the Legion of Merit Medal and the Defense Service Medal.

Assignment highlights[edit]

  • August 1959 - joined the US Air Force and began officer preflight training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas
  • July 1960 to June 1962 - served as mission controller, directorate of range operations, Air Force Missile Test Center, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla.
  • March 1973 - separated from active duty and commissioned in the Air Force Reserve.
  • Aug. 12, 1992 - Final promotion in the Air Force Reserve before retirement, to Major General
  • July 1993 - mobilization assistant to the commander, Headquarters Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
  • July 1, 1997 - Retired

Major Awards and Decorations[edit]

As International President of the Navigators[edit]

White is only the third international president in The Navigators’ 71-year history. He took over leadership of the organization from Lorne Sanny in 1986. Sanny served as president of The Navigators since the death of the ministry’s founder, Dawson Trotman, in 1956. On January 1, 2005 White was succeeded by Michael W. Treneer, after having served as President for 18 years.[5]

Lauren Libby, vice president of the organization, said that the foresight and careful planning of this transition is characteristic of White’s leadership style:

Jerry White’s contributions to the worldwide ministry of The Navigators are deeply significant,” Libby said. “When I consider the global changes that have occurred over the past 18 years, we are blessed to have Jerry’s prayerful and thoughtful leadership. We are adapting to an ever-changing world without compromising our values or our beliefs. Jerry’s integrity and commitment to God—and his commitment to the vision of The Navigators—certainly propelled this.

As an Author and Speaker[edit]

White has been on numerous radio and television shows and is booked regularly as a speaker at various retreats, churches, and similar venues. As a Scientist, White co-authored a nationally recognized textbook on astrodynamics. His books on Christian themes include Making Peace with Reality: Ordering Your Life In A Chaotic World, Honesty, Morality, and Conscience, The Power of Commitment, Dangers Men Face, The Joseph Road. Rules to Live By, and Unfinished[6]


  1. ^ "Profiles: Jerry White". Band of Brothers in Christ (2008 conference website). Band of Brothers in Christ. Retrieved 2008-02-29. 
  2. ^ "Jerry White (profile)" (PHP). Retrieved 2008-02-29. 
  3. ^ "Jerry White Interview". Retrieved 2008-02-29. 
  4. ^ "Biographies : MAJOR GENERAL JERRY E. WHITE". The Official Website of the U.S. Air Force ( United States Air Force. February 1996. Archived from the original on 2012-07-19. Retrieved 2011-04-15. 
  5. ^ "Navigator president launches leadership succession". Christian Examiner (Keener Communications Group). June 2004. 
  6. ^ "Jerry White". The Christian Post. Feb 17, 2004. Retrieved 2008-02-29.