By Tessa Jones
Tyler Preston St.Clair - who is he? You may know him as a friend, an acquaintance, or a lover, but Tyler does not yet know who HE is: a pilot or a preacher? As college season is coming up, Mr. St.Clair finds himself at a crossroad of which to pick for a career. During this difficult time, I came bearing questions to find out who he truly is, and who he will become. But to do this, I had to start at the beginning.
Tyler St.Clair was born to Tim and Jennifer St.Clair on November 4th, 2000 in Roanoke, Virginia. Tyler is actually one of five siblings, all of them boys. Tyler’s brothers are Zachary Shane St.Clair (20), Nathan Louis St.Clair (13), Andrew Charles St.Clair (12), and Lucas Williams St.Clair (12). With all of these boys at home causing chaos and getting into trouble, Tyler had an eventful childhood full of fun.
He attended Greenfield Elementary School where he excelled in his classes. Tyler even became enrolled in the Journey program! This program was also part of the cirriculum at Central Academy Middle School (CAMS) where Tyler continued to be challenged in an academic environment. As a student athlete in middle school, Tyler was able to successfully balance schoolwork and his athletics with ease, making him one of the smartest kids in his class. No wonder he’s in a pickle with two excellent career choices - he’s just making another smart decision!
Tyler kept up the academic rigor into James River High School, enrolling in AP and advanced studies courses. When I asked him if he was smart, Tyler said “sure.” He’s smart AND humble! But at the end of his junior year, Tyler began to think about his next move in life. Sure he wants to be a pilot, but is something else calling his name?
As a child, Tyler didn’t want to be an astronaut or a rockstar; he actually didn’t have a plan at all. “I was just living my life,” he says. He first became interested in piloting when his older brother considered it. “My brother actually looked into it before I did (Zachary). And so, as he was looking at it, I also started looking at it as a possible career path. I decided engineering wasn’t for me, that’s what I had been doing, so I was like hey, might try something new,” Tyler says. Soon after, Tyler flew his first plane at Smith Mountain Lake. “I went up with an instructor because I had never even been in a plane before, and we got up into the air, and he let me fly for like 15 minutes.” After that experience, he knew a pilot was what he wanted to be. Tyler even says this first flight “flew” him towards his dream.
Even though Tyler was very much set on piloting planes across the world, a very recent gathering of friends put a slight damper in his perfect plan. At a get together hosted at a friend’s house, Mr. St.Clair found himself preaching the night away to his friends. Luke, Matthew, Genesis: he preached it all. Because I was at this get together, I saw the pure joy on his face as he preached the good words of Jesus to his friends. I later asked him what came over him to do such a thing, and he replied with “The Lord just came to me, and I just couldn’t help myself.” Now, with two different passions for two very different career paths, what was Tyler going to do?
“Well, they both have their pros” Tyler said. “I think preaching was more fun, but as a practical career, probably flying.” I could see the heartbreak on Tyler’s face as he had to choose between his two loves, so I jumped in with a resolution so that he wouldn’t have to lose either one. “Have you ever considered delivering sermons while piloting? For example, a Christian-only airline?” I asked. Immediately excited, Tyler exclaimed “I could be a preaching pilot!” As he sat there beaming, I realized that he already had a job at the local Kroger. I asked him if he’d be willing to make such a sacrifice, but for his dream, Tyler said “I would fly right out of there.”
Anticipating a very successful career as a preaching pilot, keep an eye out for Tyler Preston St.Clair as he makes history doing what he loves. But also be inspired at such a story. Knowing that Tyler can do what he loves for the rest of his life should motivate others just like him. So whenever you find yourself at a crossroad, not sure of which road to take, just think: what would Tyler do?