Fred Rogers, host of TV 'Mister Rogers' Neighborhood,' smiles for the camera circa 1980s.. Fotos International/Getty ImagesTV personality and all-round nice guy Fred Rogers is the subject of a popular documentary and new movie starring Tom Hanks. He Was an Ordained MinisterWhile studying at seminary, Rogers also started developing a show that was a precursor to "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood." He saw "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" as his ministry. During the week that "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" first aired in 1968, he shared his antiwar beliefs on TV. Now That's Cool In 1969, Fred Rogers testified before the U.S. Senate to defend government funding for PBS, which aired "Mister Rogers Neighborhood."