Brevig Memorial Lutheran Church, Brevig Mission (Teller), Alaska, Records, 1894-2012

Overview of the Collection

Brevig Memorial Lutheran Church (Brevig Mission, Alaska)
Brevig Memorial Lutheran Church, Brevig Mission (Teller), Alaska, Records
1894-2012 (inclusive)
1 file, ( )
Collection Number
OPVELCA 7a1_7 (collection)
Collection contains the records of Brevig Memorial Lutheran Church Brevig Mission, Teller, Alaska
Pacific Lutheran University, Archives and Special Collections
Archives and Special Collections
Pacific Lutheran University
12180 Park Avenue South
Tacoma, Washington 98447
Telephone: (253) 535-7586
Fax: (253) 535-7315
Access Restrictions

Collection is available for research

Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.Processing funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission

Historical NoteReturn to Top

On August 1, 1894, Rev. Tollef L. Brevig and his wife Julia and child Carl arrived at what was known as the Reindeer Station, later known as Teller Mission prior to its official naming as Brevig Mission. What his job was is best told by a quote from his printed diary, “Apaurak in Alaska”: ‘An inquiry came from the Rev. H. A. Preus, president of the Norwegian Lutheran Synod, whether my wife and I would be willing that I go as pastor of Norwegian Lapps, whom the government was importing to northern Alaska for the purpose of teaching the Eskimos the art of reindeer raising. It was also understood that I should teach function as teacher in the government school which would be organized among the natives. Permission was likewise granted that I should be privileged to preach the Gospel of Christianity to them.’ Of the time of his wife’s passing, Rev. Brevig wrote, “As there was no other Protestant minister available, I had to preach the funeral sermon and perform the committal. In spite of the bitter cold, virtually all the people from Teller attended. Thus the mission’s kindly ministering spirit passed on. She rests in the land of the people whom she loved so much, for whom she died. There sleep my son, my daughter, and my wife in the frozen Northland.” This was the beginning of all present day Lutheran work among the Eskimos on the Seward Peninsula. Pastor Brevig served here from 1894 – 1917, being absent 1908 – 1913. March 10, 1908 his wife died, earlier their small son Carl and daughter Borghild also had died. All three are buried at Brevig Mission. The saga of Lutheran Eskimo Mission beginning is fascinatingly told in the translation of Brevig’s journal out of Norwegian “Apaurak in Alaska” by the late Dr. J. Walter Johnshoy (Dorrance & Co., Philadelphia). Presently out of print, it is available in some libraries. Historical information from New Partners Old Roots by Emerson, Nesvig, Nordquist, and Swanson. 1986. Published by the ALC, LCA, and ELC.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Folder includes a brief historical note and congregational statistical record.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Property rights reside with Archives and Special Collections Department at Pacific Lutheran University. Copyright resides with the creator of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to the University Archivist. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder

Preferred Citation

From the Brevig Memorial Lutheran Church, Brevig Mission, Alaska, Records, OPVELCA7a1_7, Archives and Special Collections, ELCA Region I Archives, Pacific Lutheran University, 12180 Park Avenue South, Tacoma (Wash.) 98447

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Location of Collection

Box 1 File 7

Acquisition Information

Transferred to ELCA Region I Archives.

Related Materials

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Nesvig, Swanson, Nordquist, Emerson New Partners. Old Roots. Tacoma (Wash.) ALC, LCA, and ELC 1986

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Eskimos
  • Lutherans--Alaska--History
  • Norwegian language

Personal Names

  • Brevig, T. L., 1894-1908, 1913-1916
  • Crockett, Brian
  • Dahle, Elmer, 1921-1924
  • Engebretson, Bruce, 1967-1968
  • Forrester, Keith, 1971-1972
  • Fosso, Oluf, 1917-1920
  • Frock, Steve, 1982-1983
  • Frost, Helen, 1928-1929
  • Gulhaugen, Theodore, 1916-1917
  • Hedman, David, 1968-1969
  • Hegland, Norval, 1958-1960
  • Huseth, Anna M, 1924-1928
  • Jesperson, Joan, 1978-1979
  • Jorgensen, Larry
  • Klyve, S. S., 1938-1944
  • Koester, Roger, 1969-1971
  • Lee, Otis, 1949-1952
  • Lien, Mabel, 1929-1930
  • Luebke, Lee H., 1965-1967
  • Malmin, Cornelius, 1920-1921
  • Noeldner, Rich, 1979-1982
  • Olson, Jesse B., 1930-1934
  • Picnalook, James, 1973-1977
  • Renslo, N. C., 1961-1962
  • Rorem, Larry, 1972-1973
  • Skavlan, O. E., 1934-1938
  • Stedje, Bertha, 1945-1950; 1956-1958; 1962-1965
  • Tastad, Albert O., 1955-1956
  • Tjernagal, H. M., 1910-1913
  • Tjorneho, Susan, 1983-?
  • Wangaard, Sue
  • Wangaard, David, 1983-?

Corporate Names

  • Brevig Memorial Lutheran Church (Brevig Mission, Alaska) (creator)
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church in America - Alaska Synod
  • Lutheran Eskimo Mission
  • Norwegian Lutheran Mission
  • Teller Mission

Geographical Names

  • Brevig Mission (Alaska)
  • Seward Peninsula (Alaska)
  • Teller (Alaska)


  • Clergy

Other Creators

  • Personal Names
    • Turnoe, D. W., 1908-1910 (creator)