Churches, Island of Hawaii, HI County HIGenWeb

Hawaii County



and Temples

Hawaii County


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Trish Elliott-Kashima,

County Coordinator

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Haili Congregational Church of Hilo  Founded in 1824 near the present Hilo Irons Works. Present church structure was begun in 1854and a fire in 1972 partially destroyed the building.  The building was restored.  Haili Church choir was begun in 1902 and is/was widely acclaimed for singing Hawaiian songs a capella. Harry K Naope Sr. and Albert Nahale-a Sr.  were in charge of the choir.   In 1902 Rev S L Desha. Capt Berger played the organ in 1902.  Source: Hilo Tribune Jan 2, 1902;  Older photo and current photo.

Hamakua Jodo Mission, Honokaa The oldest Budhist Mission on the Big Island, built in 1896 with no nails.  Enshrined "DaiNihon-Denrai-Amidanyorai" which was delivered by the founder Rev.Gakuo Okabe from Japan. Built Konpondo in 1916.

Imiola Church,

HI 19, Waimea

Original Church was a grass hut which was dedicated to King Kamehameha before 1832.  By 1843 a new building was constructed with stone walls and thatch roof. The stones were brought by natives - sometime from miles away.   By 1855 the church was in ruins, and the present building was started.  It was designed by first Pastor who was Lorenzo Lyons and was built using the nearby forests of koa wood.  The interior was restored in the 1950's and the church is still in use today.  Reverend Lyons built 14 Churches in the Waimea area.  Some of the old stone walls (built with field stone and coral lime mortar) still stand near the graves of Rev Lyons, his wife and their son.  The church is on the National Register of Historic Places.  Photo: "Imiola Church, Waimea, Hawaii" by W Nowicki - Own work.

Kahikolu Church,

Napoopoo/Middle Kee Rd.

Captain Cook


52' x 62' lava rock building which stands on a level area of lava.  It has 35" thick walls. The church was abandoned in 1953 following a series of earthquakes, but is still in occasional use.  The roof was originally koa shingles but were replaced by corrugated metal roofing.  Originally built between 1852-1853 by John D Paris.  It represents one of the earliest Protestant Missions on the Island and was started by Rev Paris who built a total of eight churches in the Hawaiian Kingdom. 

Kawaihoe Uka Chapel Built in the 1840's, restored and relocated to the Kahua Ranch in the 1950's.

Laupahoehoe Jodo Temple Originally established in 1899 as a Jodo Temple.   Rev. Daijo Yasuda was the first Reverend at the Laupahoehoe Jodo Temple.  Built on land which was owned by the Laupahoehoe Sugar Company. The temple was officially closed in 1999.  It is now a private residence.

Malia Puka O Kalani Catholic Church, Hilo Built on part of the original Crown Hawaiian lands which were set aside for the use of native Hawaiians (Hawaiian Homes Act).  In 1928 a Roman Catholic Church was authorized by the Hawaiian Homes Commission, and built in 1934-1940. 


Ali'i Drive, Kailua Kona

Hawaii's first Christian Church.  The present church was started in 1835 and completed in 1837 with King Kamehameha II's permission.  It was likely built from stone of a nearby Hawaiian temple.  In some disrepair now, a Historic Site needing funds for restoration.  Source:

St Joseph Catholic Church, Hilo The building was begun in 1849.  The bell was added in 1850 by sailors on the American Man-of-war Independence.  In 1852 the chapel was enlarged from generosity by another group of sailors.  In the 1880s the influx of Portuguese immigrants from the island of Maderia more than doubled the Catholic population in Hilo.  Father Puozot served the parish until 1895. New building was begun in 1917 and completed in 1919.    Source:


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This page was last updated on -01/11/2018