Atqasuk Chapel


In January of 1989, the session of the Utkeagvik Presbyterian Church petitioned the Presbytery of Yukon to establish the Atqasuk Chapel as a separate congregation. Thirteen adult members of the Atqasuk group had met December 4, 1988 voting 12 to 1 to organize separately from Utkeavgik.

The idea was not new. The letter referenced a 1986 petition which contained the signatures of 84 persons in favor of the concept at that time.

The letter also requested that the presbytery petition the Synod of Alaska-Northwest to consider Atqasuk an exception or an unusual circumstance to the rule that there be no new work started. Atqasuk was not new work. The chapel there had been dedicated May 3, 1981 and services had been conducted at the old school for at least a year prior to that.

The chapel was officially organized August 26, 1990.

Those elders and ministers participating in the service included:

Elder Isaac Akootchook, Kaktovik;

Elder Elizabeth Hollingsworth, Atqasuk Mayor;

Elder Moses Nayakik, Olgonik;

Elder Kate Aiken, Utkeagvik (Atqasuk);

Rev. Elizabeth Knott, synod executive;

Rev. Willa Roghair, Utkeagvik;

Rev. James Roghair, Utkeagvik;

Rev. Neil Munro, Presbytery executive;

Rev. Nelson Ahvakana, Nuiqsut; and

Rev. Samuel Simmonds, Utkeagvik.

Those persons transferring membership from Utkeagvik to Atqasuk were:

James Aiken, Sr.

Kate Aiken

Lucy Aiken

Carrie Akpik

Joe Akpik

Marjorie Akpik

Nancy Akpik

Simeon Akpik, Sr.

Thomas Brower, Jr.

Virginia Brower

Ruth Burnell

Jenny Felder

Mary Gunderson

Elizabeth Holingsworth

Joann C. Hopson

Sam Hopson

Candace Marie Itta

Flossie Itta

Lucy Itta

Flossie Kanayurak

Betty Kignak

James Kignak, Sr.

Caleb Nayakok

Daisy Shugluk

Cora Simmonds

David Simmonds

Roberta Simmonds

Bernadine Tagarook

Mattie Tunik

Marilyn Harmon was received by profession of faith and baptism.

Joe and Alvia Pruitt were received as affiliate members of the chapel. They were members of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church of Portland, OR.

Elected as first elders were Marjorie Akpik, Kate Aiken and Flossie Itta. Deacons were Joann Hopson, James Aiken and Mary Gunderson. Trustees were Candace Itta, Julie Kignak and Virginia Brower.

Deborah DeBoer approved as intern for Atqasuk and Utkeagvik August 1993.

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