Bethel lies about 500 miles west-northwest of Anchorage. There are no roads to Bethel, only flights. With a population of over 6,000 people, the City of Bethel is the main port of the Kuskokwim River in the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta. Bethel serves as the regional hub for 56 surrounding native villages. Bethel was first established by Yup'ik Eskimos who called the village "Mamteriilleq," meaning "Smokehouse People," named for the nearby fish smokehouse. There were 41 people in Bethel during the 1880 U.S. Census. The Bethel Church has been in existence for a number of years. In 1977, two student missionaries came to the village for outreach. In the early 80's, Pastor Dave Brown served the community and a multi-purpose building was constructed. Since then, many others have served the Bethel district to grow God's work in the region. Today, AMA volunteers Vecous and Loretta are serving the community.