Mission Work in Alaskan Waters

History Book
History Book
History Book

The Spirit’s call to present the Gospel to people in small towns and villages along the inland waters of British Columbia, Canada, and southeastern Alaska, prompted the members of the Apostolic Faith to an outreach ministry in that area. In 1949, a 104-foot motor vessel was purchased. Christened the Lower Light, the boat carried a crew of Gospel workers and a cargo of literature on annual missionary voyages to points as far north as Skagway and west to Sitka, Alaska. Evangelistic services were held in little cities, fishing villages, cannery localities, lumber camps, paper mill towns, and places inaccessible by auto or railroad. The crew found that spiritual darkness still existed in some localities and they took advantage of every opportunity to let the Gospel light shine forth.

The Lower Light made many missionary trips to Alaska and Canada.

When preparing for evangelistic services, the workers went ashore into the towns putting up posters announcing the meetings and giving out invitations. Announcements were also made from the boat’s loudspeaker. Whenever possible, street meetings were held. The crowds gave rapt attention, and much literature was given out at such times. In some places almost everyone from the large fish canneries would turn out for the services; fishermen were known to postpone their boats’ departure in order to stay ashore long enough to attend church services.

The Lower Light tied up at a village in Alaska.

Alaskan trappers, fishermen, and loggers gave rapt attention to the Gospel message brought to them by the Lower Light crew.

Seasonal workers by the hundreds came each year to some of these localities for employment, and they had a wonderful opportunity to hear the Gospel story. Trappers, fishermen, and loggers especially enjoyed the singing of spirituals and other well-loved hymns.

Reuel Green doing repairs on the prop.

In localities where the Lower Light could not stop for an evangelistic campaign, the Gospel was presented at times from the ship’s loudspeaker. On the docks, crowds would gather to listen to the beautiful music and the message from God’s Word, and afterward some would come aboard ship to pray.  

The Lower Light captain was Raymond Crawford.

Shorter cruises were also made each year. Several times the Lower Light entered the Straits of Juan de Fuca and tied up at Port Angeles, Washington. Special meetings were held in the branch church there, and in nearby communities of Neah Bay and Sequim, Washington. From time to time, trips were also made to Vancouver, B.C., Canada, to conduct special meetings.      

Ivon Wilson attends to tasks in the engine room.

After more than ten years of carrying the Gospel to many hundreds of people along the coasts of British Columbia, Canada, and the inland waters of Alaska, it seemed the call in that area had been fulfilled and God directed to other fields of missionary endeavor. In 1960, the organization found a buyer for the Lower Light, and proceeded with plans for other evangelistic ventures.