Ka’ū Church to Celebrate 200 Years of Christianity in Hawai‘i

February 8, 2020, 1:30 PM HST
* Updated February 8, 12:46 PM
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Henry ‘Opukaha‘ia

The congregation of Kauaha‘ao Congregational Church, UCC, will be commemoration 200 years of Christianity in Hawai‘i  next week.

The Bicentennial celebration will also be a remembrance of Henry ‘Opukaha‘ia, the first Christian from Hawai‘i, who was born in 1792 near Ninole, Ka’ū, and died on Feb. 17, 1818, in Cornwall, Connecticut.

‘Opukaha‘ia died before he had the chance to return to Hawai‘i Island to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ. ‘Opukaha‘ia inspired the American Protestant Mission to come to Hawai‘i to share the Gospel.

On April 4, 1820, the Thaddeus arrived and anchored at Kailua-Kona. The ninth ABCFM company arrived on May 21, 1841 on the Gloucester. On board was Rev. John Davis Paris, who founded Kauaha’ao Congregational Church in Waiohinu, Ka’u in November 1841.

The congregation of Kauaha‘ao Congregational Church invites the public to join them for their Bicentennial Celebration on Feb. 16, 2020 at the Henry ‘Opukaha’ia Memorial Chapel (Hokuloa Church), in Punalu’u, Ka’ū.


The event starts at 10 a.m., and will be followed by pot-luck fellowship at 11:30 a.m. in the large pavilion at Punalu’u Beach Park in Ka’ū.


Guest speaker at this bicentennial celebration will be Pastor Ka’eo Decoite from Maui. Descendant of Henry ‘Opukaha’ia, Deborah L. Lee, who followed the dreams she repeatedly had that Henry wanted to come home to his homeland, and brought Henry back to Hawaii in 1993, will also share in the celebration. Henry was reinterned at Kahikolu Congregational Church in Napoopoo, Kona.

For more information, contact Debbie Wong Yuen, Kahu at Kauaha’ao Congregational Church, and to rsvp with number of people joining in the celebration, call 808-928-8039.

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