An American Airlines pilot, preacher and businessman said someone died in his place — not once but twice.
Steve Scheibner told an audience of about 1,400 people Wednesday that he was originally set to co-pilot the first hijacked plane to hit the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, but another pilot requested the flight instead.
Scheibner, of Maine, was the keynote speaker for the 29th annual Christian Business Men's Connection Metro Prayer Breakfast in the Cox Convention Center in downtown Oklahoma City.
Scheibner said the man who co-piloted the ill-fated American Airlines Flight 11 was Tom McGuinness Jr. Scheibner said the other man who saved his life was Christ, when He died on the cross for the sins of mankind.
“I saw where I should have died but I didn't,” Scheibner said.
“What I know is that someone died in my place, not once but twice. Jesus was the one who died for my sins. He hung and He bled and He died on the cross.”
Scheibner's remarks were preceded by prayers and presentations led by several city, state and national leaders.
U.S. Rep James Lankford, R-
“We pray that the righteous would be in leadership forever so that the people would rejoice,” Broome said.
Oklahoma City Councilman Larry McAtee spoke on behalf of Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett. “When you build a city on the rock of faith, as it has in the past, our city will stand,” he said.
Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb spoke on behalf of Gov. Mary Fallin.
Scheibner, a first officer for American Airlines and a commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve, described himself as a “someday saint” before 9/11. He said “someday saints” keep God at arm's length and procrastinate on serving God to the
Scheibner said he was a “someday saint” even though he was pastor of a church at the time.
The pilot said he and his wife, Megan, made preparations for him to serve as co-pilot on the doomed flight, but McGuinness requested it. Scheibner said he and his wife did not know about the plane's final destination until they began hearing from friends and watching the tragic
He said he became a “borrowed time believer” after 9/11 and urged those attending to become the same.
“Borrowed time believers” live every day as a precious gift from God and live with a sense of urgency, he said.
“They get the most out of every day, not for self but for God,” he said.
Scheibner said the “silver lining to a dark story” is that the co-pilot who took his place on 9/11 had his own faith testimony and knew the Lord.
“This is not to trivialize what happened to Tom; it's to elevate what God did for mankind and me on the cross,” he said.
Megan Scheibner described her husband's journey after 9/11 in the new book “In My Seat.”
People gathered after the breakfast to have Steve Scheibner sign copies of the book.