Mokuaikaua Church Celebrates 200 Years

February 23, 2020, 12:36 PM HST (Updated February 23, 2020, 12:36 PM)
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Mokuaikaua Church in Kona, photo courtesy of Wikimedia commons.

Hawai’i’s first Christian church, Mokuaikaua Church in Kailua-Kona on Hawai‘i Island, will celebrate its 200th birthday with a series of events from March 30 through April 4, 2020.

Mokuaikaua Church was established in 1820 after Christian missionaries from New England arrived in Kailua-Kona to share the Gospel with the Hawaiian people.

The planned festivities will include:

Monday, March 30, 2020

  • 10 a.m. – Kawaihae service at Kawaihae Pier
  • 6 p.m. – Youth service at Mokuaikaua Church
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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

  • 9 a.m. – Prayer meeting at Mokuaikaua Church
  • 7 p.m. – Chris Cook book signing and church history presentation at Mokuaikaua Church

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

  • 9 a.m. – Prayer meeting at Mokuaikaua Church
  • 7 p.m. – Thanksgiving Service at Mokuaikaua Church

Thursday, April 2, 2020

  • 9 a.m. – Prayer meeting at Mokuaikaua Church
  • 7 pm – Chris Cook book signing and artifacts presentation at Mokuaikaua Church

Friday, April 3, 2020

  • 9 a.m. – Prayer meeting at Mokuaikaua Church

Saturday, April 4, 2020 – 200th Anniversary Celebration

  • 8 a.m. – Music by Bryan Boshard and Chauncey; road closes
  • 9 a.m. – Church bells ring (200 times); Prayer meeting at Mokuaikaua Church*
  • 9:20 a.m. – Re-enactment of missionary arrival and welcome from Hawaiian Royalty
  • 10:30 a.m. – Parade procession from Kailua-Kona Pier to Mokuaikaua Church
  • 11 a.m. – Historical talks, plays and entertainment at Hulihe‘e Palace and Mokuaikaua Church to include Bryan Boshard Kamehameha Choir, county band, mission house play
  • 3 p.m. – Bicentennial Luau
  • 8 p.m. – Fireworks Show

Different churches will lead morning prayer meetings.

All of the events are free and open to the public, with the exception of the Bicentennial Luau dinner show, which will take place from 3 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, April 4, 2020, at Kailua-Kona Pier. The Bicentennial Luau will feature Hawaiian food, special remarks and live entertainment by John Keawe, LT Smooth and Hawaiian Breeze. It will conclude with a fireworks display over Kailua Bay. Tickets are priced at $60 per person and seating is limited. For tickets, visit www.Kona2020.org.

Named one of America’s 11th Most Endangered Historic Sites, Mokuaikaua Church is the birthplace of Christianity in Hawai‘i as Hawai‘i’s first Christian church. Mokuaikaua Church was founded by Reverend Asa Thurston with the support of Royal Governor Kuakini. Built in 1837, its stone structure is anchored with massive cornerstones repurposed from ancient heiau on land provided by Kamehameha II.

The Church is in the midst of a preservation project. Work was recently completed to strengthen the entire structural system to reduces stresses in the original stone masonry walls, install large steel beams for stability, replace ohia posts and beams damaged by rot or termites, conserve plaster walls and replace electrical wiring. Work is ongoing to preserve the iconic steeple designed by renowned Honolulu architect Charles W. Dickey.

For more information on Mokuaikaua Church, call 808-329-0655 or visit www.Mokuaikaua.com.

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