Eagle River Presbyterian Church sprang from the desire of devoted Christians in 1983 who wanted to form a church in their fast-growing community. They convinced the Yukon Presbytery to bring an organizing pastor, Rev. James Scott and his wife, Lois, to canvass the area. The Scotts came from their retirement home in Sand Point, Idaho, and worked tirelessly, going door to door to determine support.
Support was never in question with the Scotts, nor with the Steering Committee that was formed to work toward organization of a new congregation. Beginning on September 16, 1984, they scheduled Sunday afternoon services at Joy Lutheran Church and each week welcomed a growing number of worshipers. Attendance neared the 100 mark by February 2, 1985, when services were relocated to Eagle River Church of the Nazarene.
A truly ecumenical celebration was held on March 8, 1985, when Eagle River Presbyterian Church received its charter. Yukon Presbytery was meeting in Anchorage at the time and presided at the organizing ceremony held at First Baptist Church of Eagle River. A reception was held at St. Andrew Catholic Church and weekly services continued at the Nazarene church.
Within a year, the young congregation had grown to a point where the church’s own space was warranted. Traditional service hours became possible when space was rented in Eagle River Shopping Center. At the end of 1986, the church moved to a larger space in the Parkgate Building where it remained until March 24, 1991. On that date, members dedicated a building in downtown Eagle River, once the location of a pool hall, purchased by the church and where it continues to meet.
Those who have led our church since it was founded by the Scotts in 1984-85 are Rev. Ben Walters, Interim Pastor, 1985; Co-Pastors Rev. Ed Hamilton and Rev. Myrlene Hamilton, 1986-88; Rev. John K. Wilson, stated supply, 1988-89; Rev. Ken Smith, Pastor, 1989-97; Rev. Arlys Wilbur, Interim Pastor, 1997-98; Rev. Dr. Dean Knapp, Pastor, 1998-2000; and Rev. Robert Palmer, Interim Pastor, 2001-02. The Rev. Piper Bush Cartland served as Pastor from 2002 to 2023. We are now in the process of calling an interim pastor.