But the missionary plane missed the beach and five died.

Developing leadership in others is by its nature a self-giving kind of task. Last month, for Philip E. Armstrong and Paul C. Mortenson, along with three colleagues, it proved to be starkly so: they went down in a small airplane along Alaska’s rugged southern coast.

Armstrong, 61, was chief executive of the Far Eastern Gospel Crusade (FEGC) for 31 years until he handed the general directorship over to Frank Severn at the beginning of 1980. Since then, as minister of missions, he had served as a kind of ambassador at large for the Farmington Hills, Michigan-based mission.

Mortenson, 63, consultant to FEGC and a former board member, was a retired vice-president of Sperry Rand, Vickers Division, in Troy, Michigan, and the former director of marketing and engineering for Sunstrand Corporation of Ames, Iowa.

The two had devoted the second week in September to conducting a leadership seminar for the Alaska field council of the mission, known locally as Central Alaskan Missions, at its headquarters in Glennallen, 75 miles north of the oil pipeline terminal at Valdez. Armstrong brought a series of messages on Moses as a model of leadership, and Mortenson led a workshop on administration techniques.

The mission was a pioneer in Christian radio in the irreligious climate of America’s last frontier, beginning with station KCAM in Glennallen. It recently applied for a new station in the panhandle city of Petersburg. In July, despite vocal minority opposition, it was granted a license by the Federal Communications Commission. Jim Andrews was designated station manager, and he moved to Petersburg to negotiate acquisition of the antenna site and to prepare to go on the air.

Andrews was ...

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