International Space Station Exec to Speak at St. Philip’s Church

Lt. General James A. Abrahamson, USAF(Ret.) to speak at Independence Day celebration on Sunday, July 2


Palestine, TX., June 26, 2017 – The traditional St. Philip’s Episcopal Church Independence Day celebration this year will be on Sunday, July 2 at 10:00 AM. The service will include patriotic hymns and much needed prayers for our country and for our Armed Forces. The Colors will be posted by a cadet color guard from the U.S. Air Force Civil Air Patrol. A catered buffet picnic in the Parish Hall will follow the service. The speaker this year is Lt. Gen. James A. Abrahamson, USAF (Ret.). General Abrahamson is Chairman of the Board of the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS).

In 2011, NASA chose CASIS to be the sole manager of the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory. The mission of CASIS is to maximize use of this unparalleled platform for innovation, which can benefit all humankind and inspire a new generation to look to the stars.The organization has been awarded by NASA the responsibility of inciting the imagination of entrepreneurs and scientists alike, accelerating and facilitating space-based research as well as creating public awareness of National Lab research and making space science more accessible to the world.

Lt. General James A. Abrahamson is considered one of the most broadly experienced and successful military program managers during his military career. General Abrahamson began his military career as a fighter pilot in Vietnam and was selected to be an astronaut on the Air Force Manned Orbiting Laboratory (program was ultimately cancelled), then ascended to multiple key Air Force staff positions and also served within the Executive Office of the President of the United States.

In 1981, NASA requested that Lt. General Abrahamson be assigned Associate Administrator for Space Fight, making him responsible for the continued development of programs such as the Space Shuttle and other conventional rockets. Then in 1984, President Reagan asked Abrahamson to be his first Director for Strategic Defense Initiative (“Star Wars Program”), which he did until his retirement from the Air Force in 1989.

Upon retirement from the Air Force, Lt. General Abrahamson held several leadership positions within the aviation industry, and formerly served as the Chairman of the Board for Oracle Corporation, GeoEye Corporation, and Global Relief Technologies. General Abrahamson is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a B.S. in aeronautical engineering and obtained his M.S. in aeronautical engineering from the University of Oklahoma. General Abrahamson has received honorary doctorate degrees in engineering from New York University, Utah State University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. In 1984 he received the General Bernard A. Schriever Award for outstanding achievement in support of Air Force missile and space programs. In 1986 he received the Dr. Robert H. Goddard Trophy for leadership and excellence in advancing space flight programs contributing to United States leadership in astronautics. In 1987 he was honored as Man of the Year in Science and Technology from the Achievement Rewards for College Scientists Foundation, Metropolitan Chapter, Washington, D.C.

According to Father Ted Welty, St. Philip’s rector, all are invited to join in this celebration of God and country on Sunday, July 2. St. Philip’s Episcopal Church is located at 106 E. Crawford Street, Palestine, Texas.