A Brief History of Fairhill Community Church of God

101 City Lights Boulevard, Fairbanks, Alaska

 From it’s beginning in 1950, the Church of God in Fairbanks has truly fostered the “Community” in it’s present name, Fairhill Community Church of God.  Sanford and Clara Davis and their three children established the Children’s Home on Eiderdown Street in Fairbanks that year.  In 1951, the church was listed in the Church of God yearbook as consisting of four members with a Sunday school of 12.

 A new church building was begun at 25th and Gillam Way in 1952 and was blessed by numerous military personnel during those years, as we are yet today.  The first unit was completed in 1953, a second unit added in 1954, and a basement for a new sanctuary was constructed in 1957.

 Russell Wilson assumed the pastorate of the little group in 1957 and served until 1963.  The Children’s Home, which served as many as 35 children, was phased out in 1960 after the passing of former Pastor Davis.  Many of the children left for the adult world, having grown up at the Home.  Others entered the Hospitality House, another Children’s Home sponsored by the Presbyterian Church.

 From 1966 until 1969, Fred Mamalof pastored the church.  He had pastured in Juneau prior to accepting the call to Fairbanks .  He was succeeded by Pastor Ramsey, a retired minister, who served as interim pastor for several months.

 In 1967, the Chena River overflowed it’s banks and the church was badly damaged.  It was decided to move to higher ground, and two acres on Fairhill, over looking Fairbanks , were purchased in 1973. 

 Pastor George Majors had arrived in Fairbanks in 1969.  At the time of his arrival, the church numbered around 30, including the children.  One week later there were only ten, as many had waited for the Majors to arrive before heading “Outside” for the winter.  It was almost like starting over!  Pastor Majors was instrumental in the securing of the property and construction of the new building at it’s present location so that the church was able to meet for the first time in November of 1973 at the new location.

 In 1977, an educational wing to the building was added.  This included 6 classrooms, and a one bedroom apartment. 

 In 1980, the church had faith to begin a Christian school.  That Fall, Marilyn (Majors) Buchanan served as the first teacher and principal of a kindergarten class of 10 students.  Since that time, Fairhill Christian School has grown to include students in grades K through 12, with a student population as high as 225. 

 In 1985, Pastor Majors resigned after pastoring at Fairhill Community Church of God for 16 years.  He was followed by Pastor Wayne McDonell and his wife Ruth, former Alaskans.

 In 1992, Pastor Dale Shillington, his wife Frankie and their three children came to Fairhill.  Under their leadership, the congregation grew to just over 100 parishioners.

 Our most recent pastor, Ronald Payne and his wife Esther came to Fairhill in 1998.  Under his ministry, the church has seen as many as 300 in attendance, with a regular attendance of around 240 worshipers.  Under Pastor Payne’s ministry, two services were established on Sunday mornings to accommodate the growth in worshipers.  He resigned in August of 2006, accepting a call to a church in upstate New York , near the area he grew up.