Steeple of Church visible amongst the trees

photo by: Steve Conger

11 Most Endangered Historic Places

Mokuaikaua Church

  • Constructed: 1837
  • Location: Kailua-Kona, Hawai'i

Mokuaikaua Church, Hawai'i’s first Christian Church, is a large stone building located in the center of Historic Kailua Village in Kona, Hawai'i. Its iconic steeple stands out conspicuously among the low rise village and has become a landmark for nearly 200 years from both land and sea. Completed in 1837 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978, Mokuaikaua Church represents the new, western-influenced architecture of early 19th century Hawai'i. This stone and mortar building is believed to be built out of stones taken from a nearby heiau (Hawaiian temple) with mortar made of burned coral. Construction beams are made from Hawaiian ohia wood joined with ohia pins.

“As the first Christian church in Hawai'i, Mokuaikaua has withstood the ravages of island life nearly 200 years. Today, however, it needs critical improvements to carry its history forward into a new century.”

Stephanie Meeks

The building has suffered from earthquake damage, as well as dysfunctional and faulty electrical wiring, termite damage, and dry-rot damage to beams in the steeple and wooden window frames. A Hawaiian landmark for nearly 200 years, Mokuaikaua Church now needs immediate attention if it is to be saved.

The Mokuaikaua Church was included on the Trust's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places list for 2014.

Visit the Mokuaikaua Church's website for more information.

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