St. John's, Eagle, AK

08.20.15 | by The Right Rev. Mark Lattime

    In 2014 Bishop Suffragan Paul Lambert and a team of missioners traveled to Eagle, Alaska to rebuild St. John's Episcopal Church that had been demolished years earlier during a devastating flood on the Yukon River. The church still needs some major work, but local volunteers and missioners from North Carolina have made significant headway.

    Last June, when Bishop Lambert and the mission team from the Diocese of Dallas left the village of Eagle, Ak, they had certainly laid a foundation for  St. John’s Episcopal Church—a perfectly square and level foundation.  That is no small task when working with rough-cut logs placed on a gravel pad.  But the Dallas team didn’t stop at the foundation, they also installed the insulated floor and placed and spiked nearly a dozen courses of logs that form the building’s walls.   By the time the missioners departed, the dream of new Episcopal Church building in Eagle, AK had taken shape like Noah’s ark, in beams, logs, and cubits.  The foundation for the church was set, others, however, would have to build upon what the Dallas team had started. 

    A solid foundation was just the inspiration the village of Eagle needed.  By the end of that same summer, with assistance from local volunteers, the final courses of logs had been set in place and a tin roof structure was constructed to protect the interior from the winter snow and spring melt.  This season, again with the help of friends from the near-by city of Eagle, and a visiting mission team to the Diocese of Alaska from North Carolina, measured and cut openings for widows and doors.  A stained-glass window has been installed above the place where the Holy Table will sit.  A bell tower has been erected and the bell hung. 

    However, there remains work to be done such as the insulation of the roof and construction of the ceiling. Windows and a door need to be purchased and hung.  A wood stove and electrical service must be installed.  And, finally, the church will need to be appropriately furnished.  But today, thanks be to God, St. John’s Episcopal Church in Eagle is a living and growing house of prayer, built on the Good News of the resurrected Lord Jesus and on a solid foundation laid by the faithful work of the Diocese of Dallas.