Sky Pilot of the Great Lakes – Discipleship through Service

When I found the life story of Rev. William H. Law, the Sky Pilot of the Great Lakes, I remarked on the various historical niches the story fell into. Of course, it covered Great Lakes Maritime history, United States Lighthouse and Life-Saving History, Coast Guard history and Michigan History at local and state levels.

But there is another theme that runs through the story of Reverend Law’s life and that is his Discipleship through Service.  Throughout the story we see Rev. Law constantly putting the needs of others before his own. The book is full of selfless stories such as braving a storm on Lake Huron to procure a proper coffin for the funeral of a friend’s son to towing a Native American funeral procession with his power boat when they weren’t making good headway to an island burial site.

Stories of his efforts to bring joy to and fight for better pay and pension to the Life-Savers and Lightkeepers throughout the United States are numerous, so numerous that not all of them made it into the final manuscript. When the Sky Pilot of the Great Lakes hears of the death of a friend in the USLSS his initial response is to travel to visit his friend’s orphaned children and make sure they have a grand Christmas.

Through his discipleship through service, Law’s reward was seeing the smiles on the faces of those he helped. This more than most thing is what truly made him happy.

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John Kotzian was born in Rogers City, Michigan located on the shore of Lake Huron and raised some 30 miles away in Hillman, Michigan. He is the great-great-grandson of the “Sky Pilot of the Great Lakes”, Rev. William H. Law.

His passion for the Great Lakes and its history grew from the stories handed down through both sides of his family about Rev. Law’s travels and relatives lost in the sinking of the S.S. Carl D. Bradley.

He currently resides with his wife, Kimberly, in Brooklyn, MI.
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