HISTORY 

Rev. Vince Joy initiated ministry in the Kenny Lake area in the late 40's.  He would park his car on the Richardson Hwy, at the head of the Old Edgerton Hwy, and ski down to Gramma George's cabin for meetings with a few of her neighbors.  Her two daughters, Ina Lincoln and Emma Bell still live in the area.  Later, meetings were held at the Joe Goodlataw cabin down in Lower Tonsina.  Chuck Parmenter took over these meetings in about 1960.  In 1963, Tom Ross donated five acres of land at the present site of the chapel.  Later five more acres were added.  That year, Merritt Tegeler and Joe Virgin cleared the land for the building, securing logs for the pilings from Glenn Helkenn.  By October the building was under roof.  The first service was held on December 1, with some 80 people in attendance.  The Mission ordered 80 folding chairs which arrived in time for the '64 earthquake, and were offloaded onto the beach in Cordova and later brought to Valdez by barge some 3 months later.  A trailer was moved onto the property that fall for the Virgin family.

With the death of Vince Joy in 1966, Joe was called to Glennallen as the Director of the mission.  Clarence Boehm served one year until Dan Kees arrived in the late 60's.  A basement was dug and the building moved over the new foundation.  Again Clarence Boehm served while the Kees were on furlough.  A basement was dug and the Kees moved into it.  The former log chapel from Lower Tonsina was moved up and became a garage.  When the Kees left for their next furlough in 1971, Wayne and Doris Eames came to minister to the group of 35 children, 5 ladies and 1 man.  The next year logs were secured locally and the present residence was constructed.  Strong prayer backing brought in families, and the first Chapel Board was organized with four men.  A Sunday school contest brought a peak group of 119, making it necessary to remove two classrooms on the south side and the main door put in the west side.  After the loss of the garage and shop in a fire, a new garage was built in 74.  In early 75 the Chapel was incorporated and became independent of the Mission when the Eames left for Home Service. 

Herb Tyler came in 76 as the first called pastor and remained for two years.  He was followed by Bob Clawson in 79, who left to become a Shantyman in SE Alaska for several years.  Earl McClanahan then spent two years and was followed by Bob Clawson again until 1988.  At this point, Scott Davis, a student at ABC became the student pastor.  In July of 91 the chapel ordained Scott and he remained here until 94.  The next two years, as the chapel looked for a shepherd, Johnny Reimer, an instructor at ABC came as a fill-in pastor until the chapel called Johan Knies in July of 96.  The Knies left in August of 04.  After searching for 1 year, Pastor Len Richison was called by the chapel and accepted the position of KLCC. 

The new enlarged building was begun in 98, with families giving part of their PFD to jump start the project.  Milt Peters was the contractor with much help from the members.  Millwork, windows and siding were donated by a local businesses; Wilder Contractors donated equipment for digging the hole, and Swan's Well Drilling provided the crane for setting the trusses.  The building was finished in 2000, debt free.  No loans were needed. 

Submitted by Wayne Eames

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    Kenny Lake Community Chapel
    Pastor Len Richison
    HC 60 Box 247 | Copper Center, Alaska 99573 | PH: 907-822-3387