Kasilof church set to open

Posted: Friday, August 01, 2003

In just over a year, three Kasilof families aided by local and out-of-state volunteers have realized their dream of having a new log church in which to worship.

The Charley Gilliam, Bobby Mustain and David McElwain families moved to Alaska from Orlando, Fla., in June 2002 with the hope of establishing the family-oriented Blessed Hope Baptist Church.

A dedication of the house of worship at Mile 111.5 of the Sterling Highway is scheduled for Sunday with a 10:30 a.m. service presided over by Vince Button, pastor of First Baptist Church of Pinch, W.Va., the sending organization.

The public is invited to the dedication service and a barbecue following.

Volunteers came from Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Florida, as well as local communities to help build the Kasilof church, according to Roxanna McElwain, wife of Kasilof pastor David McElwain.

She said the new church and adjacent parsonage occupy 5,000- square feet and the church will seat approximately 75 people. Curren-tly Blessed Hope Baptist has 30 members.

The two-story log structure is easily recognizable with its green metal roof, and people heading there for the dedication are instructed to look for the cross about one-half mile past North Cohoe Loop, on the right side of the Sterling Highway.

The church has a log interior with wooden floors and cloth pew chairs, according to Roxanna McElwain, who also said it has a "country" and "homey feel."

Asked if it also has a spiritual feel, she said, "My husband calls it 'preachin', prayin', singin' and shoutin'.'"

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