Reverend Alban (Al) Fry retires on January 2, 2017 from the First Presbyterian Church in Virginia City. Rev. Al has served this church and community for the past five years, first as interim and then as the permanent pastor.
One of his favorite activities is meeting with the Good News Club at the Gallagher Elementary School. The kids are always so open and straight forward about what they think.
Ordained in 1963, Al first served the Elko area churches (Elko, Lamoille and Wells) as their mobile minister. He loved the beauty in that part of Nevada and continues friendships begun there.
He moved to the newly established Presbyterian Church at Incline Village next and served there for three years during which he formed the church Christian education program. Incline holds a special place in Al’s heart as both his children were born during this time.
In 1971, Al went to prison. He began a career of service as the first chaplain in the Nevada Prison System. A lot of his work there was recruiting and equipping volunteers to minister to the inmates throughout Nevada’s prison system. He is really proud of the Native American ministry program which has proven effective at reducing relapse. The program includes a sweat lodge which continues actively today.
Following his retirement in 1999, Al served in Gardnerville and Elko (repeat performance) Nevada, Twin Falls and Burley, Idaho as well as Baker City, Oregon. He specialized in churches in transition helping them find peace in conflict. Al’s hostage negotiation training from the FBI has served his communities well to navigate tough situations.
When asked what he hopes for Virginia City, he said, “I hope the community warmly receives the new pastor (whoever that may be). This will have a positive impact both on the church and on Virginia City.”
Al will preach his last sermon on Sunday, January 1, 2017 with the service beginning at 9:30 am. The community is welcome. The service will be followed by a potluck in his honor. Again, the community is welcome to join in.
Al has retired six previous times. Maybe this time it will stick. We doubt it though. He’ll find some volunteer activity or three and be as busy as he wants to be. We hope he finds some quiet time to just enjoy life and maybe scare a fish or two!
- – by Cheryl Blomstrom