Address: 75-5713 Ali'i Drive, Kailua Kona HI 96740
Hours: Open Daily 9am to 3pm, Closed Saturday
Location: Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Parking: Guest Parking
Directions: In the heart of beautiful downtown Kailua-Kona on Alii Drive.
Official Website: Mokuaikaua Church
Additional Resources and Information:
Hawaii Guide - Mokuaikaua Church
Trip Advisor - Mokuaikaua Church
Mokuaikaua Church in Kailua Kona, known as the "First Christian Church of Hawai'i," is a historic representation of the influence and devotion of various individuals and groups during its 200-year existence. For almost 200 years, Mokuaikaua Church has served and supported the greater community. The Mokuaikaua Church structure, dedicated in 1837 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978, welcomes visitors from all over the world for Sunday services at 9 and 11 a.m. The site is open every day and receives 4,000 visitors per month, with history presentations provided by volunteers accessible on Sundays immediately following the second service. The sanctuary is now being restored as part of a preservation effort at the church. Visit the oldest Christian church in Hawai'i to see architecture unlike any other on the islands and to learn about the local religious history. Moku'aikaua Church is an intriguing addition to any Big Island itinerary, regardless of religion.
This wonderful stone edifice is remarkable not just for its architecture, but also for its history. It was the first Christian church to be constructed on any of the Hawaiian Islands. Admire its attractive stone facade before entering for a tranquil time of introspection, surrounded by the interior's distinctive elements. During King Kamehameha II's reign, a small party of missionaries landed in Hawaii for the first time in 1820. They quickly began to construct a Christian house of worship, and temporary churches were established on this Kailua-Kona location beginning in 1820. The construction of what is now Moku'aikaua Church began around 1835. The church's look hasn't changed much. You may still see the same unique stone structure where the early Hawaiian Christians prayed all those years ago if you visit now. Try to identify some of the more unusual materials utilized in its creation. Parts of the structure were composed of local lava rock, using coral and sand mortar. Ballast from sailing ships is used elsewhere.
This unique material mix appears more weirder when coupled with the architecture's typical pioneer design. Take a careful look inside the church at the gorgeous wood beams and posts built from native ohia wood hauled down from the highlands. Take a seat on the unique and distinctive pews fashioned from koa, another Haiwaiian wood that is difficult to obtain and expensive to purchase due to a fall in koa tree populations. Don't miss the lovely Thaddeus model in the back of the chapel. This is the ship on which the first missionaries came, portrayed in stunning detail. Moku'aikaua Church is not just a significant historic monument, but it is also a thriving community center today. Come on a Sunday morning to one of the services, or look at the events calendar ahead of time to see what's going on during the week. The church's doors are open daily from early morning until late afternoon.
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