Being committed to God's inspired and authoritative Word, it is the mission of Soldotna Bible Chapel to worship God in spirit and in truth, to edify and encourage one another to personal holiness, and to proclaim to a lost world the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Getting to Know Us
We at Soldotna Bible Chapel would like to introduce you to our church fellowship. We are a family of God's people striving to do His will in our lives. The Chapel has been ministering to Soldotna since 1963. It has been a growing vibrant church throughout the years and it seeks always to honor the Lord Jesus above all else.
A Brief History of Soldotna Bible Chapel
The Soldotna Bible Chapel came into being when two groups of believers who had been meeting in the Bob Schmidt and Elmer Gaede homes joined together on August 19, 1963. Abram Snavely, a representative for the Billy Graham Association from Pennsylvania, was called to be the first pastor. Services were held at Solid Rock Bible Camp, then later at the Community Hall in Soldotna until land was acquired on which to build.
The church was officially named the Soldotna Bible Chapel on July 14, 1964. Also in 1964, work was begun on excavating for a 36x72 basement with part of the work being contracted out and the rest being done by members and friends of the church. The first service was held in the basement on Easter Sunday, 1965.
When Pastor Snavely left, Roald Amundsen, a former pastor in Nome who had moved to the community in the fall of 1964 to begin Missionary Aviation & Repair Center, consented to be pastor until a full-time pastor could be found. A search for a full-time pastor began.
In the mean time, plans were drawn up and work began on the upper structure which was completed in September, 1967. Carl Lindman, who at one time pastored a church in Anchorage, accepted the call to become pastor of the Chapel. He arrived in Soldotna with his wife, Florence, and son, Gary, in August of 1968.
For a time the youth work was led by volunteers from the congregation. The congregation grew and ministries expanded to include The King's Ambassadors Youth Group, Boys' Brigade and Pioneer Girls which changed to AWANA in 1976. There came a need for a full time youth pastor and Gary Klodt from Minnesota was called in August of 1981.
During 1971-72, the education unit was added to the church. Again those of the congregation donated much of the labor. A gymnasium was added in 1973-74, and Cook Inlet Academy began using the basement for its classes. In 1979, remodeling was done to enlarge the sanctuary by moving the back wall making more room for a choir as well.
From the beginning, there has been much interest in missions, both at home and abroad. In 1970, Vicki (Biederman) Sharp, a charter member of the Chapel, was the first person from the Chapel to go to the mission field. Many others since then have gone to serve in missions either full-time or as short-term missionaries. In 1971, the first Christmas boxes were sent out to encourage those serving in the more isolated places in Alaska. The Chapel is unique in that several local families are missionaries serving at Missionary Aviation Repair Center, SOAR International, and Solid Rock Ministries and are also actively involved in the ministries of the Chapel.
In 1983, the Lindmans expressed their desire to retire; they returned to Minnesota in June of 1984. Also in 1983, plans for building a new church at a different location were set in motion. Land was purchased and eventually plans were purchased. A search for a senior pastor led to a call to Ted Inabnit from Montana. He and his wife, Elaine, and their four sons arrived the spring of 1985. Soon after their arrival, Gary Klodt was designated to be the associate pastor.
In the fall of 1991, Dan Inabnit was added as youth pastor and served in that capacity until June, l993. During this time, the Chapel proceeded by using available experienced men within the congregation to do the construction as funds were available. Our first worship service was held in this new building on October 17, 1993. This facility was built as funds were given by the congregation and is totally debt free.
Due to Elaine's health, Pastor Ted Inabnit took a Sabbatical beginning in 1994 for several months. During that time, Pastor Gary Klodt led several men from the congregation in ministering to the congregation from the pulpit. Shortly after the Inabnit's return he felt led to resign his pastorate here effective June, 1995.
In May of 1995, Todd Beaudin was called to serve as youth pastor and arrived with his wife, Penny, on July 1995. Pastor Gary Klodt led as senior pastor until John Rysdyk came in October of 1995. Jim Dunn became Pastor of Adult Ministries and Counseling in 1997.
Once again, the Chapel was in need of more room. A gymnasium and class room addition was built. The Chapel built debt free and occupied the much needed addition in February 2002, just two and a half years after ground breaking. Also in 2002, the Chapel hired Gary Lindman as their Director of Music. Gary is the son of our first full time pastor, Carl Lindman.