At the 1842 church known as the Westminster Abbey of Hawaii last month, workers broke ground for a new building beside the National Register-listed church in Oahu.
Kawaiaha'o Church, the first Christian church in Hawaii, will use the new facility in part to expand its homeless outreach program.
"Our membership is largely Hawaiian, and we recognize the needs [for greater homeless services] in some Hawaiian communities," Valerie Lota Trotter, Kawaiaha'o Church treasurer, told the Honolulu Star Bulletin.
Established by New England Protestant missionairies, Kawaiaha'o Church's "bricks" are actually giant slabs of coral hewn from Hawaii's reefs. The church is famous for hosting many Hawaiian alii, or royalty, throughout the 19th century and for holding services in the Hawaiian language.
The $12.7 million project
won a $500,000 grant from Save America's Treasures, a public-private partnership between the National Park Service and the National Trust. is scheduled to be completed in October 2008. The two-story building will serve as a house a bookstore, church archives, meeting rooms, a kitchen, and a mini-museum for the church's historical artifacts.
- Krista Walton
(Updated April 16, 2008 to delete incorrect Save America's Treasures grant information, remove Save America's Treasures tag, and revise planned site use details.)