From the Worldwide Faith News archives

[PCUSANEWS] Presbyterian Media Mission Remembers TV's Fred

Date 28 Feb 2003 15:31:31 -0500

Note #7610 from PCUSA NEWS to PRESBYNEWS:

Presbyterian Media Mission Remembers TV's Fred Rogers
February 27, 2003

Presbyterian Media Mission Remembers TV's Fred Rogers

Presbyterian Media Mission

PITTSBURGH - TV's most beloved children's program host and producer was
ordained in 1962 by Pittsburgh Presbytery for The Rev. Fred Rogers to
minister to children and their families through the medium of television.  He
graduated from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in 1963.  Fred Rogers has
served as a media advisor to Presbyterian Media Mission (PMM) for the last 12

The "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" PBS television show made its national debut
on February 19, 1968.  "He not only served as a neighbor and friend to
viewers but was held in great esteem by many members of the Presbyterian
Church and a variety of folks in the television industry," said The Rev. Jim
Mead, Pastor to Pittsburgh Presbytery and PMM Board member.

In 1987, on Fred's anniversary of being ordained for 25 years, Pittsburgh
Presbytery honored him at their spring meeting with a certificate of
appreciation for his outstanding ministry to children and families.

Rogers received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Emmys in 1998.  This was
soon followed up by Fred being inducted into the Television Hall of Fame by
the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

In 2000 Rogers was honored by the Religion Communicators Council who
presented Rogers a Lifetime Wilbur Award in supporting religious values in
the public media.
The Rev. Dennis C. Benson accepted on Fred's behalf the Wilbur Award with
these words that capture the essence of Mr. Roger's ministry . . .

"A friend was recently walking down the street in Pittsburgh with Fred
Rogers.  Fred suddenly stopped and picked up an infants pacifier on the
sidewalk.  He said, 'Someone lost something very important.'

He walked up to a nearby house and knocked on the door.  When a woman
answered the door, Fred asked, 'Did someone here lose this?'  She said, 'Why
yes. Thank you.'  So on behalf of the children of America, and the child in
each of us, thank you for honoring Fred Rogers."

Benson is host of the PASSAGES Radio Program which will feature an interview
with Fred Rogers on over 200 radio stations this weekend of March 2nd, 2003.

Executive Director of Presbyterian Media Mission and friend of Mr. Rogers,
Gregg Hartung, said, "Fred would probably frown on the attention being given
to his farewell from this life to life eternal.  This is not keeping with
Fred's quiet, understated, sincere style of life and ministry."  

Our prayers are with Fred's wife Joanne, their two sons, and the
grandchildren during this time of grief.  We celebrate Fred's life and
ministry that has been greatly appreciated by all of us at Pittsburgh
Presbytery/Presbyterian Media Mission and across the Presbyterian Church

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