In Angoon, Alaska, there’s only one place to stay
Most afternoons, Angoon, Alaska, Corps Officers Majors John and Cathy Quinn can be found in their home office, inside the bed-and-breakfast (B&B) that supports the Army’s ministry there.
“It’s an odd, but fortunate, twist on how an Army ministry typically supports itself,” John Quinn said. “Instead of the community providing financial support, often through thrift store proceeds, it’s the outsiders who do so. The people who stay at the B&B—mostly professionals who bring medical and educational services to the villagers—they pay to stay, keeping The Salvation Army viable.”
Located in Southeast Alaska on Admiralty Island, Angoon is a small village of about 450 people. Its residents depend on the services of doctors, dentists and educators who regularly visit the town. These visitors need a place to stay, and the B&B is it.
“Crews that come in to augment the village emergency clinic do a tremendous service for the people,” Quinn said. “It’s difficult for most villagers to come up with the money for a ferry ride to Juneau, and they can’t be flying to Anchorage for medical care.”
The previous owners closed the B&B in the winter, leaving the professionals with nowhere to stay. During those months, residents did not receive medical check-ups, vaccinations and other services.
“Last winter, Mandy, the dentist, couldn’t come in because the B&B was closed,” Quinn said. “She and her team just got back on the plane and left. The residents ended up missing two rotations of care.”
The Salvation Army came to the rescue in 2013, with a win-win solution for all. The Quinns needed officer quarters after the reopening of the Angoon Corps. It closed in 2004, but faithful soldiers continued to meet, praying that the Army would return someday. In 2012, during the Living Water Evangelistic Boat Tour, the soldiers received that promise of return.
Alaska Divisional Headquarters (DHQ) purchased the B&B, which provided living quarters and office space for the Quinns, an income source to support the Army’s ministry, and improved professional services for village residents.
Currently, the B&B’s name is “Favorite Bay Inn,” but a summer establishment just 200 yards away called “Favorite Bay Lodge” causes confusion. The Quinns plan to change the name to Eagles Wing Inn, with a design including Psalm 91:4: …under his wings you will find refuge (NIV).
The Quinns handle all the daily chores, including preparing food, changing linens and general cleaning.
“If we are completely full it averages between two and three hours a day,” Cathy Quinn said. “I can honestly say that running a B&B is one of the best surprise gifts that the Lord has given me…I am blessed in so many ways by our guests and the ministry of just taking care of them, in Jesus’ name. It seems like such a natural fit for who I am at this time in my life.”
The potential impact of the B&B, however, reaches beyond the village borders.
“Along with being a smart business move for the Army, the B&B provides ministry outreach opportunities that extend beyond Angoon,” John Quinn said. “Visitors here learn about The Salvation Army and how we make a difference in people’s lives. They can go back to their own community and contribute time or finances to their local Army unit.”