History Highlights

History Highlights of Christ Lutheran Church, Fairbanks, Alaska


(Updated January 2018)
Sep-75Pastor Thomas L. Auer was called by the DVM to organize a mission congregation of the LCA in Fairbanks.
01-Feb-76The first worship service was held at University Park Elementary School.
21-Mar-76The first Sunday School classes were conducted.
16-May-76The Congregational Charter was opened for signatures.
30-May-76The first Summer Worship Service was held at Alaskaland (Pioneer Park).
05-Dec-76The congregation of Christ Lutheran Church was formally organized and affiliated in the Lutheran Church of America. The first CLC Council was elected.
Aug-77A site was purchased for the construction of the church.
1977-1978Winter services and Sunday School were held at University Park Elementary School. Summer services were held at Alaskaland (currently know as “Pioneer Park”).
Jul-79A ground-breaking ceremony was held on the new church site at 7.6 mile Farmers Loop Road and Moose Way.
23-Dec-79Construction of the church was completed. The first worship service in the new church was conducted.
13-Jan-80CLC conducted a dedication ceremony for the new building.
Oct-81Pastor Auer accepted a call to the congregation in Valdez. Reverend Glen Sachs began serving as Interim Pastor.
14-Feb-82Reverend Thomas Ledbetter was installed as pastor.
20-Nov-83A building fund drive was initiated for the expansion of the education wing of the building.
Aug-84A ground-breaking ceremony was conducted for the new education wing expansion.
Jan-85Construction of the education wing began.
22-Oct-85CLC heralded the new education wing at a dedication ceremony.
29-Nov-86This was 10th Anniversary of Christ Lutheran Church.
01-Jan-88Christ Lutheran Church became a member congregation of the newly formed Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Alaska Synod.
Jan-90Wednesday evening Family Night activities began (confirmation classes, hand bells, choir, etc.).
Mar-93Pastor Ledbetter accepted a call to Soap Lake, Washington. Pastor Ed Balterzen became Interim Pastor for CLC.
Nov-93Pastor Larry Stappler accepted the call to Christ Lutheran Church. Wife, Charmaine, with sons, Jacob and Luke, moved to Fairbanks to join in the ministry.
Summer 1994The first Annual CLC picnic, campout, and worship service was held at Harding Lake.
Mar-97CLC celebrated the completion of the kitchen remodel project with a dedication ceremony.
Autumn 1997Mission Possible: The Free to Grow Campaign pledged $300,000 to debt reduction.
Autumn 1999A well-illuminated welcoming sign was installed to increase visibility of the church to traffic on Farmers Loop Road.
Spring 2000The Millennium Edition Christ Lutheran Cookbook was completed.
15-Jul-01The 25th Anniversary Celebration for CLC was held at the Chena River Convention Center.
Sep-01Pastor Stappler accepted a call to Kalispell, MT. Pastor Lee Boleman (wife, Ricky) became CLC’s Interim Pastor.
Feb-02CLC, along with Fairbanks Lutheran and Lord of Life Lutheran, began sponsoring weekly Lutheran Vespers on local radio station KJNP.
Apr-02A new organ was fully funded but construction of it was delayed, resulting in an offer from the company for a free upgrade.
Aug-02The new organ arrived. It was installed and ready to play at the 9:30 am worship on August 18.
Sep-02The “Faith Buddies” mentoring program began.
Jul-03Pastor Susan Granata accepted the call to CLC.
07-Sep-03Pastor Granata was installed.
Jan-04A new Confirmation Program from Faith Inkubators was started.
Mar-04Our youth began a monthly Praise Service.
Aug-04The CLC Newsletter received a facelift. The front page appeared in color.
Sep-04The first CLC worship service brochure was printed and distributed at weekly services.
11-Sep-04The first Animal Blessing service was conducted on the church deck.
Fall 2004An electronic piano was purchased for Praise Services. A new sound system with hearing assistance was purchased. Large print bulletins were made available for weekly services.
Jan-05CLC began a partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters Amachi Alaska Program.
Feb-05Pastor Granata bought a cabin and moved out of the Parsonage. Preparations began to sell the Parsonage.
May-05CLC’s first Intern was assigned. Preparations for the arrival of Meredith McGrath (and her two cats) began.
04-Sep-05Intern McGrath was installed for a year of internship.
May-06Our next intern, Sarah Pennewell, was assigned to CLC and is expected to arrive in late August.
Jul-06The Sunday School wing was painted. Construction of an improved parking lot was approved. New carpet will be installed in the building.
06-AugIntern McGrath completed her one-year internship and returned to seminary to complete her studies amid goodbyes and well wishes for her future ministry.
13-AugCLC hosted a concert by Dave and Barb Anderson on the 13th anniversary of their miraculous rescue from the Bering Sea.
03-SepCLC installed the new intern, Sarah Pennewell. She arrived in Fairbanks with husband Boyd and their dog and cat.
02-OctThe new, paved and well-lit parking lot was completed thanks to David Soderlund who oversaw the project.
January 28 - March 4, 2007The “Gather Us In” pledge drive raised $150,000 to pay for the fantastic, new parking lot over the next 3 years. Landscaping will take place this spring.
31-MarBishop Keys met with the congregation for a 1-day workshop to begin work on a mission statement for CLC.
May-07Holly Phillips was assigned to CLC as the next intern and she is expected to arrive in the first week of August.
30-Jun-07CLC’s first Youth Mission Team (9 youth and 2 adults) departed Fairbanks International Airport for San Diego California to spend one week working through a mission planning organization called Youth Works.
Summer 2007CLC participated in the Habitat for Humanity Apostle Build Project in which we helped fund and build a home for a local family.
12-Aug-07CLC installed Holly Phillips as our new intern.
Nov-07Thanks to the Bergeson family, and other donations, a new grand piano was placed in the sanctuary and played for the first time at the All Saints Remembrance Service on November 4th.
27-Jan-08The Mission Statement to guide our ministry was approved.
16-Mar-08The new grand piano was dedicated in memory of Will Bergeson with the help of visiting pianist Bob Leon, the composer of the “Call Us Home” liturgy.
May-08Matthew Kamprath will be CLC’s next intern and he will arrive in early August.
Jun-08Landscaping of the CLC grounds was initiated.
22-Jul-08Holly Slater finished her internship and departed Fairbanks with her husband Nick for Texas where he will begin his internship.
10-Aug-08Matthew Kamprath was installed as the new intern.
19-Oct-08Today was the American Guild of Organists “Organ Spectacular,” an international organ celebration. The CLC organ was dedicated with the help of visiting organist John Bodinger.
Apr-09There were three baby girls born to first-time parents, who are members of our congregation, in the first week of April. How often does that happen! Congratulations to them all!
26-Apr-09CLC’s next intern will be Kim Carlson who is expected to arrive in early August.
26-Jul-09CLC bid goodbye to Intern Kamprath who is returning to Chicago to finish his last semester at seminary.
Aug-09Intern Carlson arrived in Fairbanks (with her cat) to begin her one-year internship.
Apr-10CLC’s next intern for 2010-2011 will be Dan Kuckuck who is expected to arrive in early August.
18-Jul-10Intern Carlson completed her year of internship, and she is returning to North Carolina where she will wait for a call.
08-Aug-10CLC installed Dan Kuckuck as the new CLC intern.
29-Aug-10CLC wished longtime members, the Robbe family, farewell and Godspeed as they prepared to move to Washington. Greg was one of our pianists for many years. The whole family will be missed.
30-Jan-11Pastor Granata announced her retirement. July 31 will be her last day with CLC.
26-Jun-11Amid CLC blessings for his future ministry, Intern Kuckuck completed his internship and prepared to depart Fairbanks.
31-Jul-11CLC said goodbye and wished a happy retirement to Pastor Granata with a retirement potluck lunch and party.
11-Sep-11CLC welcomed Interim Pastor Kristi Bummer to the congregation.
09-Oct-11CLC installed Luke Stappler as the Director of Youth and Family Ministries.
24-Jun-12CLC said farewell to Interim Pastor Kristi Bummer with a “Country Fair” celebration. The party included Luke Stappler because he leaves with the ELCA Young Adults on mission to Madagascar at the end of July.
08-Jul-12CLC welcomed Reverend Randall Young and his family. Pastor Randy arrived and preached on July 1st. He will be officially installed later this summer.
26-Aug-12Bishop Elect of the Alaska Synod, Reverend Shelley Wickstrom, installed Pastor Randy Young as the new pastor of CLC. Bishop Elect Wickstrom will be installed on September 1st.
Sep-13CLC welcomed Rachel Kristenson to the position of Congregational Life Coordinator.
Aug-15CLC said goodbye to Rachel Kristenson and her family. Her husband’s job will relocate them to Kamloops, Canada.
Aug-15CLC welcomed Sally Endestad as the new Congregational Life Coordinator.
August 27-28, 2016CLC’s celebrated our 40th Anniversary with many charter members and former pastors and interim pastors present for the festivities.
Aug-17Pastor Randy Young went on medical leave for the months of September and October.
Sep-17Sally Endestad resigned from the Congregational Life Coordinator position to accept an offer for her dream job.
31-Oct-17It was determined that Pastor Randy Young will not be able to return to CLC. Godspeed, Randy, our prayers will always be with you and your family.
26-Nov-17Father Steve Reed became the Interim Pastor for CLC.
17-Feb-19Reverend Dustin Lenz was installed as Pastor.