History of Kawaiahao Church, 1885.


The readers of the Kuokoa will probably not be unable to recognize the features of the building pictured above; it is the church of Kawaiahao. It is an old building and one that is greatly beloved by a portion of our people, this mother church of ours. Its predecessor on these grounds was a church of pili grass; and the stone building was completed in 1842, constructed by the loving hands of the alii and makaainana of times gone by. It was Kekuanaoa and Bingham [Binamu] Sr. who selected the area where it was to be built and supervised its construction, however Bingham returned to America before the completion of this building.

There were many renowned events which were done in Kawaiahao such that it is as if the building was the place to carry out grand and fine deeds of the past, of the nation and the people. It was in this building that a number of the Legislative Sessions of the nation were opened, if this writer is not mistaken. It was in this building that Kamehameha V opened the Constitutional Convention [Ahaolelo Hooponopono Kumukanawai] on the 7th of July, 1864.

It was in this building that Kamehameha IV and High Chiefess Emma Kaleleonalani were married on the 2nd of June, 1856; and it was in Kawaiahao that Kamehameha IV and Kamehameha V were sworn in to uphold the Constitution of the land when they ascended to the throne of Hawaii. It was also within this building that Lunalilo accepted the throne and was sworn to protect the Constitution. It was in this building that there was held a great assembly of the makaainana on the day following the death of Lunalilo, and announced by that assembly was the name of High Chief Kalakaua as King for the throne of Hawaii. It was also within this building where King Kalakaua met with a large group of his subjects on the night before going on his trip around the world. And there were many other important things which were carried out in this father church of the Hawaiian lahui. It was there that that alii of the land gathered in seasons past, and it was there that Kamamalu folks opened up the “imu of aloha.”

Amongst all of those happenings, not lost is the last one which was carried out by Mrs. Hampson, the woman speaker from England who left for California this past Sunday. These assemblies began on Sunday, the fourth of this month, and came to an end on Wednesday, the 14th of January. The building was filled every night, and on the two Sundays, in the day and night, all except the night of the 10th of this month which was set aside as a time for rest. People of all types and all faiths of this city gathered in these assemblies. There was a great choir selected from amongst Kaukeano, Polelewa and from the Anglican churches, and seats were prepared for them on the pulpit; the woman preacher and her assistants sat in front and the choir in the back; that is how the seating was on top of the pulpit; if the pulpit was not large, they all would not have fit. The pulpit is appropriate to the size of the church, it is wide enough to seat thirty or more.

The outcomes of this meeting of Mrs. Hampson is plain to see, and they will increase, for the seeds of Righteousness that were strewn will grow. And thereafter it will spread even further, and thus will Righteousness grow: it will crawl, climb, spread out, entering here and entering there, until it is ultimately triumphant.

(Kuokoa, 1/24/1885, p. 4)


Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke XXIV, Helu 4, Aoao 4. Ianuari 24, 1885.

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