With a population under 4,000 and an average temperature well below zero degrees in the winter, the city of Nome stands on the far reaches of Alaska’s frontier.
Nome Covenant Church, led by Pastor Harvey Fiskeaux, was faced with a house of worship that was too small and failing apart. The building was being held together by cables and the roof had sagged, says Fiskeaux.
“Our old church was 75 years old, it was built with available materials at that time,” Fiskeaux told Fox News’ Lauren Green. “I was actually fearful it was going to fall in.”
Fiskeaux believes the church has an important role in the community.
“Nome is like a wild west. There are saloons and bars,” explained Fiskeaux. “The community battles a lot of alcoholism, drunkenness, violent and sexual abuse.”
Fiskeaux’s church found help from Samaritan’s Purse, an evangelical Christian humanitarian organization founded by Franklin Graham. They were willing to purchase both the land and the house next door for the church, along with funding the construction of a new building for the congregants.
“Samaritan’s Purse really wanted to help us with the younger generation when they saw our church they said we needed [a new one] … it needed to be larger [to meet this goal],” said Fiskeaux.
The church saw over 140 volunteers from across the country fly in to help build the new space. Fiskeaux is hopeful for the future of his church and its congregation.
“As a church we are there to help the infrastructure of family, children, and youth,” said Fiskeaux. “We are trying to help people’s lives.”
Chris Snyder is a producer for Fox News based in New York. Follow him on twitter: @ChrisSnyderFox.