New building puts Alaska congregation 'on the map.'
The 4,800-square-foot building is surrounded by spruce trees on a 2.25 acre lot. In addition to the 2,600-square-foot sanctuary, the building has two large religious education rooms, two offices, and a kitchen.
The lay-led fellowship, founded in 1956, met in different locales for over thirty years before buying and renovating a restaurant in downtown Fairbanks in 1990 to be used as church space. With the proceeds from that building’s sale, they bought the lot, which had a house on it.
The group renovated the house in 1995, using the basement as worship space and the upper floor for religious education classrooms. After raising $80,000 in a capital campaign, the fellowship commissioned an architect to design a church incorporating the house.
Having the new building has increased the fellowship’s visibility in the community exponentially, says Susan Johnson, music director and former fellowship president. “Before, we’d been like a secret society,” she said. “But the new building has really put us on the map.”
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Jane Greer is a former senior editor of UU World magazine.