Glacier Valley Baptist Church in 1968
among the Sitka spruce in Glacier Valley some twelve miles
north of Juneau, the Capital City of Alaska, surrounded by
snow-capped mountains and in sight of beautiful Mendenhall
Glacier, sits Glacier Valley Baptist Church. The story of the
beginning and growth of this church will warm even the coldest
heart and kindle flames of missionary zeal as nothing else can
Faith and determination continues---
GVBC in 1972
story of Glacier Valley began in early July, 1963, in a room
of the Baranof Hotel in Juneau. There two families (Clay and
Daisy McDole of Douglas, Alaska and Frank and Grace
Lescallette of Greeley, Colorado) met, discussed and prayed
for God's Will concerning a mission in the fast-developing
community surrounding the airport. A mission seemed necessary
to these families and yet, for them alone, an impossibility.
Valley Baptist Academy building is started in 1983.
As they talked
through the long hours, something deep within them seemed to
say: "It should be done—do it now!" The more they
discussed the work, the more enthused they became.
little after midnight, they had prayer before returning home.
They were so filled with enthusiasm by this time that they
started to call their pastor; but somehow it all seemed like a
dream and not wanting to appear foolish, the call was not
made.Needless to say,
they did not rest well that night. Most of the group were
young Christians and yearned to do more for their Savior. We
could call them "babes in Christ."
following days these people prayed more than they had ever
prayed before. They felt God's leadership but wanted to be
certain. They knew God's guidance had to be the foundation of
this all-important venture.
While meeting again to
discuss a new work, I think we could say of them: "If they had
just known what lay ahead they would have tried to put it off, or
maybe would have said, as we so often do, 'We are not qualified;
someone else will have to do it.' However, God had convinced them
through His Holy Spirit that they had a job to do regardless of
"...Now a little
over a year has passed since the first meeting on their own land.
Some of the members continued to drive as much as eight miles each
Sunday and each Wednesday to join together in worship and in prayer
that someday God's Will can be fulfilled to the highest in Glacier
Valley. Other families now in their membership and in the vicinity
of the church are working side-by-side with them for Jesus' sake.
They have had many
hardships and many blessings. They have been on mountain tops with
joy and light hearts and they have walked through the shadowed
valleys in defeat, but the Spirit of God has been and continues to
be, in their services and in their hearts as they lean on Him and
seek to follow His leadership.
This small band of
Christians has come a long way from that first meeting in a small
living room in Thane to a good location with almost three acres of
land, a small building and a pastor to head them forward for
"When the final
pages of Glacier Valley Baptist Church are written, a fitting
epitaph for these people should be given by paraphrasing the great
Winston Churchill — "NEVER HAVE SO FEW ACCOMPLISHED SO MUCH
WITH SO LITTLE."
—Excerpts from the
writings of Dr. W. "Frank" Lescallette, circa 1963
to holding their dedication service on September 1, 1963, twenty-two
persons had asked to unite with the church by transfer of membership
and are listed below:
||Bruce Wayne McDole
||Charles Glynn Estes, Sr.
|Daisy L. McDole
||Charles Glynn Estes, Jr.
||Phyllis A. McDole
||Melvin B. Gaines
||Grace Marie Lescallette
||Kathleen Ann Shelfer
|Rev. Richard Moore
||William F. Lescallette
||Ammon C. McDole
One had asked for baptism
and membership on profession of faith. He was John Lancaster.