In 1935, the Board of Church Extension and Home Missions of the Church of God made arrangements for D.W. Patterson to leave Seattle Washington and sail to Alaska to establish congregations of the Church of God in Alaska.
On October 17, 1935 property was purchased at the corner of 6th Avenue and G Street. At the time, Anchorage was a small town of about 2,500 people, and in 1936 approximately six familes attended the church in a small two-story, two-bedroom parsonage. Building began in June 1938 on the back part of the lot so a larger church could be built on the corner at a later date. On the last Sunday of October 1938, the first services were held in a room of the just completed church basement. This room was used until Thanksgiving when a union service was held in the regular meeting room on the first floor. It was not until the 22nd of January 1939 that the building was ready for dedication. On that day, at 9:30am, Dr. P.L. Heitemeyer brought the dedication sermon. There were 75 individuals in attendance. A.B. Martin preached the evening service.
After D.W. Patterson left Alaska in September of 1947, James E. Austin served the Anchorage congregation.
In 1954 the old parsonage was moved to Potter Road and remodeled for a Community Chapel and living quarters for the Ervin Cultice family. Plans for construction of a modern church on the old parsonage site were made. A new parsonage was purchased on 10th Avenue. The church catered to the military personnel from nearby Ft. Richardson and Elmendorf Airforce Base. The church was involved in the King’s Lake Camp and the Church of God Children’s Home in the Matanuska Valley.
Expansion needs were beginning to be felt by 1955. Plans were drawn up for the new structure to supplement the church followed by a ground breaking ceremony in 1957. However, these plans were eventually abandoned due to population centers moving to suburban areas of the city. The church felt the need to relocate. After careful study, property was purchased.
During the mid '50s Jerry Frazee was the pastor and in the late '50s, early '60s, Pastor Arley Skinner served the church.
Building plans and financing were not yet finalized when the 1964 Good Friday Earthquake hit, causing considerable damage to the small church. The building was condemned and the city of Anchorage wanted to purchase the property to use as a parking lot. After extensive negotiations and legal proceedings, the City offered a reasonable price and the property on the corner of 6th Avenue and G Street was sold in 1966.
Under the leadership of Pastor Paul Kendall, the congregation started building a facility in a new development where more than five hundred homes had been built and at the time, the Church of God was the only evangelical church in the area.
First Church of God (1967 – Present)
During the building of First Church, at the corner of Tudor Road and MacInnes Street, services were held at Wendler Jr. High School. The congregation found this time to be a time of blessing for themselves and to those whom they ministered. Even before the building was finished, Pastor Kendall anticipated that it would be necessary to add a first addition to the church and probably a second in a very short time. The Sunday School was averaging 125 people and an average of 180 individuals attended Sunday Worship Services.
Dwight “Jack” Nelson was the pastor of First Church from 1974 through 1976. A dedication service for the Christian Education Wing of First Church was held on April 21, 1974. The wing added a large fellowship hall, a kitchen, caretakers’ apartment and several large classrooms and a new nursery to the building.
William L. Cobb was pastor from 1979 through 1981 with Ken Colllier as the associate pastor. David C. Middleton pastored from 1981 through 1983. Wes Lancaster served as interim pastor until Bill Marshall arrived in 1984. In early 1985, Eddie Hushfield served as associate pastor to work with youth and music. Hushfield left in 1987 and in March of 1988 Bill Marshall also resigned. Dale Steele was pastor of the church from July 1988 through March 1998 and Pastor Steven Myers began his pastorate in November of 1999.
The continuation of our rich history, brings excitement and anticipation as we know God certainly has big plans for the little church located on the corner of Tudor and MacInnes.