In 1885, the Moravian Church established a mission in the area under the leadership of Rev. John Henry Kilbuck, Jr., a Lenape, and his wife Edith, a daughter and granddaughter of Moravian missionaries in Kansas. They both learned Yup’ik, which greatly enhanced their effectiveness as missionaries. He made Yup’ik the language of the Moravian Church in the community and region, and helped translate scripture into the people’s language. The missionaries moved Bethel from Mamterillermiut to its present location on the west side of the Kuskokwim River.
The name and title of this province of the World Wide Moravian Church, known as the Unitas Fratrum, shall be 1’The Alaska Moravian Church.
All Moravian congregations in the State of Alaska shall constitute the Alaska Moravian Church. -Chapter II; Section 1; Book of Order
The Synod of the Alaska Moravian Church declares that we maintain our position among the Christian churches of the land by virtue of our vital union with the ancient and historic Unitas Fratrum in constitution, doctrine and rital, and in the work of mission and education. We are one and indivisible. As an American church, we long maintained, and will maintain our integrity and cherish the bond of a common faith in Jesus Christ our Savior that unites us with Christians of every name, and with our brethren everywhere.