Rothko Chapel

concept of the divine: jerry woodfill

Tuesday, Apr. 17, 2018 – Tuesday, Apr. 17, 2018

07:00 PM

Conversation with Jerry Woodfill, Former Apollo 11 and 13 Spacecraft Warning System Engineer
Pay What You Can, suggested value $15

Join in conversation with former NASA Houston Engineer Jerry Woodfill, who was monitoring Apollo 13's warning system when the vehicle exploded on April 14, 1970. Woodfill will share several "divine acts" that rescued Apollo 13, convincing him of the Divine.

About the presenter:
Jerry Woodfill has worked as a NASA employee at the Johnson Space Center for more than 52 years. Awarded a Rice Basketball Scholarship as a Hoosier, Jerry arrived in Houston in 1960. Receiving a Rice degree in electrical engineering, he was so impressed by hearing President John Kennedy’s 1962 Rice Stadium Moon Race speech that he joined NASA in 1965 and became the Apollo Moon Program’s Spacecraft Warning System Engineer, the only NASA employee to serve in this role. Jerry contributed to the designs of both Neil Armstrong’s Columbia and Eagle spacecraft warning systems as their warning system engineer.

Monitoring both at the time of the Lunar Landing, Jerry shares the account in programs often presented for the NASA JSC Speakers Bureau. Similarly, at his station the evening of the explosion of Apollo 13, Jerry was among the first to hear the crew’s call for help, “Houston, We’d had a Problem,” for it was Jerry’s warning system’s alarm which was first to alert Mission Control to the grave situation that might have resulted in the death of the crew.

As a result, Jerry was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom as a member of the Apollo 13 Mission Operation’s Team. For sharing the account scores of times yearly for NASA as a volunteer, Jerry was designated as educational outreach volunteer of the year as well as recipient of NASA’s Power of One Award.

About the series:
Concept of the Divine series provides a unique opportunity for speakers to share how their personal concept of the Divine has changed over time and shaped their lives, their service to the community, and views about their place in the cosmos. As an organization committed to interfaith dialogue and engagement, this series offers an excellent opportunity to hear from people representing diverse faith communities and other sectors of society about this important topic.



  • Wednesday-Sunday, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Admission: Free, timed-ticket reservation required. Reserve your ticket.

Directions & Parking

  • Free Parking
  • Street Parking
  • Visitors can use the Menil Collection parking lot located at Mulberry and West Alabama. There is also street parking available on Yupon and Sul Ross. Wheelchair access is located on Sul Ross at the north end of the Chapel.

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