Mokuaikaua is said to be Hawaii’s first Christian Church. The origin of the church’s name is somewhat unclear; the literal translations are ‘the trees are cut, let us eat’ or ‘the land the devours warfare’. It is believed that the name was given for the place where the timber material that the church is made of was obtained, which was part of the crown properties known as Mokuaikaua, located on the western slopes of Mount Hualalai.
The first missionaries, sent by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, arrived in Hawaii in 1819. They soon learned that King Kamehameha I was dead and that the kapu had been broken, meaning that the old religion was in turmoil. It was agreed that the missionaries could stay in Hawaii with certain conditions on where they could stay. One of the ministers, along with a physician, was assigned to stay in Kailua. This established the groundwork for the building of the church and the original building was completed in 1820.
Photography inside the church is not allowed.