Presbyterian Church of the United States of America
|| First Presbyterian Church of Craig and
A Brief Account of the Early Years of First Presbyterian Church of Craig and Klawock
The two churches which merged into FPCCK were the Presbyterian Church of Craig and the Presbyterian Church of Klawock. The Hyda village of Fish Egg Island just west of Craig was a spring gathering place for folk who came to fish the herring at spawning time and to plant gardens. In March, 1907 the Rev. David Waggoner of Klawock visited the Hydas and held a communion service in the home of Thomas Skowel. Mrs. Skowel interpreted the service, which is the first recorded Christian worship service in Craig.
On April 5, 1909 the entire Presbytery came to Klawock for its then annual meeting. In 1916 the Rev. E.E. Bromley came to be the missionary at Klawock. By 1916 Craig had about 250 inhabitants and the Presbyterian Mission Board of New York granted about $4000 for materials to put up a church building. From 1917 through 1923 Rev. Bromley came to Craig to minister there as well as at Klawock. Next, Rev. Russell F. Pederson came to Klawock and also had regular services in Craig, sometimes monthly and at other times twice a month. Work at the mission in Klawock was taken up in 1926 by Mr. Andrew Wanamaker, a native lay missionary. The southern town of Hydaburg already had a church and service to the Craig mission sometimes came from Hydaburg. When Craig incorporated into a town, the land titles previously granted by the Forestry became void, so the earliest building was lost to the mission. In 1927 a delegation of Craig young people asked Rev. Waggoner for help in organizing a Presbyterian Church. Trustees and Deacons were elected. Repeated requests from the Craig folks resulted in a matching grant from the Board of Missions to help build a new church in Craig. It was completed in May, 1929. In October 27 of that year elders George Edenso, Peter Nathan, James George and Eddie Cogo were elected, as were Deacons Paul Gunyah, George Hamilton and George Vandal at the morning service. At the evening service on the same day the church building was formally dedicated. The building project was under budget and there was a small sum of money remaining which the church hoped to use for purchase of an organ. Rev. Waggoner, whose own historical account is the basis for some of this 21st century summary, was the first moderator of the session of the Craig Presbyterian Church.
In 1931 the session met on board the MV Princeton. In January, 1932 Rev. F. R. Falconer, a new pastor, was received. Peter Johns was appointed as Janitor and George Haldane was appointed as choir director. Peter Nathan was the first clerk of the session, which often met at the home of George Edenso. In 1932, the session asked to have the vessel A. L. Lindsey stationed in Craig so that seven smaller villages on the west coast of Prince ofWales might be cared for. They urged the minister to help lobby to abolish fish traps. When additional wood was needed for some church improvements, George Hamilton’s boat was requested to bring in a log. The Women’s Missionary Society of Craig met with that of the Klawock Church for the World Day of Prayer Service. In 1933, the church membership number had grown to 55. As a result of a session discussion lamenting the shortage of trained native workers, they voted to assist Nat Edenso in his preparation for ministry and asked the Presbytery to take him under care.