Cross Road Health Ministries

In 1936, a young couple obeyed God’s call to go to the Copper River Valley and start a church. In the process of learning about the needs of the people who lived there, Vince & Becky Joy started to realize there were many more needs than they were able to fill. There were physical needs as well as spiritual and they needed others to help. In 1950, their first doctor arrived to help with the medical needs there. Dr. Chet Schneider obeyed the call and 4 years later, a second doctor named Jim Pinneo joined to build a small staff. In 1956, they called their clinic “Faith Hospital” where they moved from an improvised cabin to a modest hospital building. Later the clinic was called, “Cross Road Medical Center” under SEND of Alaska in Glennallen. You can read a more detailed account of their history on their webpage by clicking on their logo here.

LightShine Alaska founder, Tom & Ruth Denlinger and young son, Alex made their first trip to serve under SEND in 1995. Tom learned that building maintenance is very important for those who serve in Glennallen. Foundations are constantly shifting over melting permafrost as the temperature varies from in the -40sF in the winter to 80 degrees on hot summer days. Among other things, Tom spent his first missions trip helping Don Ressler get under homes and use hydraulic jacks to lift and shim corners of homes in order to level homes. Don’s wife, Millie, was one of the head nurses at the medical center for several decades.

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Cross Road Health Ministries began as Faith Hospital in 1956 as the medical ministry of Central Alaskan Mission, later to become the SEND North branch of SEND International. It became Cross Road Medical Center in 1988, later to become Cross Road Health Ministries, Inc. in 2016 as the organization expanded.

Cross Road is now organized as an independent, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation and is recognized as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Bureau of Primary Health Care. Cross Road Health Ministries is overseen by a Board of Directors comprised of Christians representing Cross Road’s service areas.

Why does a medical clinic need our help?

The temperature in the winter can reach into the -40 F degrees and living in this remote location has many challenges. There are many different physical needs that the individual members of their staff have. Over the years we have painted buildings, leveled homes due to melting permafrost under the homes, etc. Because they view their work as a ministry for helping people in the Copper River Valley with their physical and spiritual needs, we feel it is important to come alongside them and help them in whatever needs they have.

On your 150 trip from the LightShine Alaska Missions Base to Glennallen, you will see some spectacular scenery and be amazed at God’s handiwork. Be ready to serve in whatever capacity we are asked.

Our goal is to offer assistance to whatever they need – to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ!

Team Leaders – Jeff & Yolanda Leer served with LightShine Alaska at Cross Road Medical Center since 2023. Feel free to call them with your questions if you want to serve with them in the future: 717-884-2088 or email them at: