Unalaska UMC is unique in its setting as well as its congregation. It is located on a small island in the Aleutian archipelago, almost 800 miles and a three hour plane ride from the nearest hospital, shopping center and recreational options. Unalaska is the western most UMC in the U.S. and the only mainline denomination on the island.
Most of the economic basis for the community is the fishing industry, therefore much of Dan’s ministry is to a heavily industrial community that includes populations of Hispanic, African and many Pacific Rim people groups, including the Philippines, Samoa, Korea and Japan. At this point the congregational membership consists mostly of support professionals – teachers, public safety officers and persons in the service industry. Dan, along with wife Kris-Ann, also ordained clergy and a BGM missionary, are focusing on getting to know the congregation and community and discerning God’s vision and desire for Unalaska.
Each Wednesday the church has 25-40 kids participating in the ‘Kids Night Out’ Program. They are fed and then learn about a Biblical character through storytelling, drama, games, crafts and other activities. This ministry reaches beyond the church membership and into various parts of the community. ”It has become a highlight of the week as we see God working in the lives of the children, many of whom do not attend a church regularly.”
The church also sponsors a quarterly rummage sale, Second Blessings, a ministry as well as a fund-raiser. Items are not priced so donations are accepted as people are able. It is a major opportunity to meet people from every part of the island’s population and connect with them in ways that wouldn’t be available otherwise.
Born in Jersey Shore, PA, Dan graduated from Eastern University in PA with a BA in Biblical Studies and Theology. He earned his Master of Divinity from Asbury Seminary in KY and received his ordination in 2003. Dan served in churches in his home conference of Central Pennsylvania and in various ministries while attending seminary before his appointment to Unalaska.
Dan and Kris-Ann are the parents of three young children.
If you’re curious or feeling called to get become more deeply involved in reaching the ends of the earth for Christ, learn more by visiting the General Board of Global Ministries.
To see what our the Wilcoxes of Unalaska, AK are involved in, please click on their newsletters below: