Naming the Starr Center

Tags: Alaska, SEND North

Eileen Starr was born in Flint, MI in 1944. At just 13 years of age, she felt God calling her to be a missionary. She graduated from Taylor University in Indiana, with a B.A. in zoology and medical technology, with the goal of going to the mission field. As she desired more Bible training, she next attended Asbury Seminary in Wilmore, KY, where she earned a master's degree in Religious Education.

Following seminary, Eileen was planning to go to Africa. Instead, she joined SEND International and traveled to Alaska, on what was to be a "temporary assignment." She ended up staying for the remaining 47 years of her life.

Eileen worked as a medical technologist at Faith Hospital as well as a Professor of Christian Education at Alaska Bible College, both in Glennallen, AK. She was "adopted" into a local Ahtna native family, and they became extremely important to her. In 1981, Eileen founded Alaska Christian Ministries, which conducted resourcing events for Sunday school teachers and pastors across the cities of Alaska.

In 1989, she earned a Ph.D. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. A few years later she began annual, month-long trips to Far East Russia, conducting teacher-training seminars. In the final years of her life, she coordinated parenting seminars in the community and in the local prisons of Anchorage. She passed away suddenly from pancreatic cancer on September 20, 2018.

The Starr Center is named for Eileen - for her love for Jesus, her passion to connect Christian leaders together across denominational lines, and her dedication to marginalized and least-reached people of the North.