Mokuaikaua Church was built in 1837 by Hawaii's first Christian missionaries.
The ohia wood rafters in the sanctuary of the Mokauikaua Church in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, have been sheltering worshipers since 1837, when King Kamehameha II gave Hawaii's first Christian missionaries his blessing to build the structure just a stone's throw from the ocean.
Mokauikaua -- 177 years later -- has become immeasurably valuable in not only giving residents of Kailua-Kona on Hawaii’s Big Island a beautiful place to meet and worship, but also in helping to tell the state’s unique story. Pastor David de Carvalho, the 31st to serve at the church, estimates that it welcomes about 400 people every Sunday, an even split of regulars and tourists eager to experience a service in the Aloha State's oldest house of worship.
That’s why, in light of structural damage from a 6.6 magnitude earthquake in 2006 and a slew of problems due to typical wear-and-tear in Hawaii's tropical climate, the National Trust decided to grant the church a place on its 2014 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.... Read More →
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Katherine Flynn is an assistant editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys coffee, record stores and uncovering the stories behind historic places. Follow her on Twitter at @kateallthetime.