Missionary Aviation Repair Center is a mission service organization based in Soldotna, Alaska. MARC was founded in 1964, but the story of Missionary Aviation Repair Center began long before that.
MARC's founder Hans Roald Amundsen was born in Crookston, Minnesota, on Oct. 7, 1914, to Jonas and Thora Amundsen. Young Roald's life of adventure began at age 4 after shaking the hand of his namesake, the famous Norwegian polar explorer, and he first visited Alaska in 1936 when his father, a traveling evangelist, traveled to Anchorage to preach. Once college age, Roald pursued an education degree, but later entered chaplaincy training during World War II. His natural bent toward mechanics and working with his hands eventually led him to become interested in missionary flying.
After learning to fly in his hometown of Beloit, Wisconsin, and completing seminary training, Roald married his wife Harriett on July 26, 1944, and together they moved to Nome, Alaska, in August 1945 to serve with the Evangelical Covenant Mission as a pastor, mechanic, and missionary pilot. They lived in Nome and Unalakleet for 20 years, during which time Roald saw the need for consistent maintenance for the safety of the numerous missionary aircraft beginning to be used across Alaska. They also envisioned the need to operate out of a more central location to be able to provide more efficient and effective missionary service to reach more people.
Eventually, God instilled in Roald's and Harriett’s hearts the vision to begin MARC as an organized aviation maintenance facility for Alaskan missions. In 1964, the Amundsen family moved to the Kenai Peninsula and began operations at the Soldotna airport with the help of J.W. Thompson and Bud Lofstedt. The Soldotna airport offered easy accessibility to fuel and parts, and so Missionary Aviation Repair Center was born there, beginning with a small wooden hangar. Within a year, God provided a Cessna 180 and led them to provide not only quality maintenance, but also safe, efficient, and economical transportation for missionaries who did not have their own aircraft.
In 1982 MARC was challenged significantly when a fire destroyed the Soldotna hangar and office. Thankfully, God provided a replacement facility through volunteer labor and many generous donations, and to this day, volunteers continue to be a valuable asset to our operations through the form of work teams, missionary internships, or people simply giving their available time to the Lord. Recently we were blessed by the gifts of a second new hangar and a King Air A-90 aircraft from our mission partners Samaritan's Purse who have been faithful supporters of our missionary efforts here in Alaska since 1993.