Alaska Village Missions began in the early 1960’s as the vision of our founder and General Director Ray Arno and his wife Petrea. When they arrived in Alaska, they quickly realized that in order to reach this state with the Gospel it meant leaving the road system and heading into the skies. The majority of land in Alaska is completely inaccessible by roads and most villages are only accessible by small aircraft. With this in mind, Ray sold his car and purchased a small plane, and the legacy of AVM began.
Since that time the vision of AVM has remained clear and steadfast. Everyone from our Board of Directors to our field staff are completely committed to ministering in Alaska, discipling followers of Christ, broadcasting Christian radio and to reaching the native people of Alaska.
The purpose of Alaska Village Missions has always been to glorify Christ, serve Him and to further the Kingdom of God through Bible based ministry and Christian Training. These broad goals have been narrowed into focus by our Board of Directors.
Alaska Village Missions has been organized to:
• Evangelize Alaskan Native Villages
• Establish Indigenous Churches in these Villages
• Conduct Alaska Bible Institute
• Send Forth Trained Pastors and Christian Workers
• Broadcast Christian Radio
AVM IS A NON-DENOMINATIONAL, EVANGELICAL, FAITH-BASED, MISSION ORGANIZATION.
We stand firmly on the foundation of Scripture (the Bible) and hold it as our ultimate authority. While our staff and faculty may come from different church backgrounds and affiliations this is sure – we are all followers of Jesus Christ and saved by His glorious grace. For further inquiries regarding the doctrinal position of AVM, please feel free to CONTACT US. Missionary applicants having strong opinions on doctrines that have historically been controversial (i.e. having caused division in the Church) need to be sure that they can “agree to disagree”.
- The plenary inspiration and infallibility of the Word of God
- The eternal existence of one infinite God in three persons; Father, Son and Holy Spirit
- The deity, virgin birth, sinless life, vicarious atonement, physical resurrection, and pre-millennial return of Jesus Christ
- The universal depravity of man and necessity of salvation through the atoning blood of the Redeemer at Calvary
- God established marriage as a lifelong, exclusive relationship between one man and one woman
- The regenerating and indwelling ministry of the Holy Spirit producing the fruit of a transformed life and imparting spiritual gifts
- The physical resurrection of all men–The Saints to everlasting joy and the lost to everlasting conscious torment
- The commission to the church to live in purity and to spread the Gospel throughout the world while awaiting the return of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ
Under the parent organization of AVM, three ministries exist with a like minded focus. Our Bible Institute has been operating since 1965 and is an excellent way for us to train pastors and Christian workers. Alaska Bible Institute is not just a school, but it is a place of whole-life discipleship where people of all ages can dive into the Word of God. The Village Ministry and church planting arm of AVM work diligently to establish Bible based churches in the native villages of Alaska. The third aspect of our ministry broadcasts Christian Radio across Alaska. These radio stations reach urban Alaska as well as many remote Alaskan villages.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
PASTOR RAY ARNO
FOUNDER | Member Since 1965
CHAIRMAN | Member since 2005
Member since 2001
Member since 1974
Member since 1968
JAMIN & CATE MORRIS
Member since 2014
Member since 2013
Alaska Village Missions is located in Homer, Alaska on the beautiful and rugged Kenai Peninsula. Homer is a sea-side fishing community and is home to many commercial fishermen and their boats. Our community is also known for the “famous” Homer spit that juts out majestically into the Kachemak Bay. Homer is world renowned for its trophy halibut and, in summer, fishing charters depart the docks daily.
Homer has a full service airport with several daily flights to and from Anchorage. If you are driving, Homer is 230 miles south of Anchorage and 75 miles south of the cities of Kenai and Soldotna. The town has a population of around 5,500 and this number is steadily growing each year. In the summers, the population swells as tourists flood into Homer to fish, hike and enjoy the great outdoors. Cruise ships are also welcomed into the Homer harbor throughout the summer months.
Our beautiful 14 acre campus located on East Hill contains our administrative offices, classrooms, student dorms and married housing. Many of our staff also live on campus adding to our family feel and friendly atmosphere.
There is a common bond between all the missionaries serving with Alaska Village Missions. We all have a passion for missions, a love of discipleship, a genuine team spirit and a passionate interest in Alaska.
All AVM missionaries are independent and are not affiliated with any one denomination. Therefore, they are dependent on churches and individuals to partner with them as they reach Alaska for Christ. Financial and prayer support are vital to the missionaries of AVM. Please consider partnering with one of our missionaries through your prayer and financial support.
Missionary & Pastor in Port Graham, Alaska
Since the spring of 2015, the Ristow family has served and pastored the people of Port Graham, AK. Steve and Audrey have been happily married since 1997 and have 3 children: Brandon, Klaira, and Maddie. For the last two decades, Steve founded and led a non-profit ministry serving people with developmental disabilities and their families in Oregon. He received his BA in Child Psychology at Pepperdine University and received a Masters in Christian Studies at George Fox University. Audrey homeschools their daughters. They love family time, laughter, serving others, and experiencing God.
Activities & Events Coordinator – ABI
I was born and raised in Wasilla, Alaska. It was there that I started to pursue God and loving people. I am currently serving at Alaska Bible Institute in Homer, Alaska as a full time missionary after spending three years there as a student! I graduated in the spring of 2016 with the a diploma in Biblical Studies and again in the spring of 2017 with a diploma in Church Ministry. I am so excited to have joined the staff that had poured so much into my life and to be able to train and equip christians with them!
General Director of Alaska Village Missions
Randy, moved to Homer from Kodiak in 1972 to attend ABI. After accepting the Lord during his first month at ABI in 1973 Randy married during the summer of his first and second year. They both worked at ABI until 1985 until they became full-time missionaries and moved to the Philippines in 1989. As the former Executive Director for Resources for the Blind since 1990 Randy now serves as the Executive Director for Alaska Village Missions. Randy and Marla have 13 children.