Tour of Kawaiaha'o Church in Honolulu

Dedicated on July 21, 1842 the Kawaiaha’o Church was commissioned by Queen Ka’ahumanu and was established as the Hawaiian Kingdom’s first Christian Church. Designed by the leader of Hawaii’s earliest christian missionaries, Hiram Bingham, the church was often frequented by chiefs, queens, and kings of the Hawaiian monarchy. Here Bingham baptized thousands of converts, translated the Bible into Hawaiian, composed books, and much more.

The building of the church was a laborious task. It is built of giant coral slabs that had to be quarried underwater. This was done by Native Hawaiians who were able to dive 10 to 20 feet to the ocean floor. They used hand chisels to loosen the pieces of the reef that would be used in construction.

When visiting the Kawaiaha’o Church you will also see the sixth monarch of Hawaii, William Charles Lunalilo’s, mausoleum in the front of the church. In the side yard is a commemoration of the sacred spring, Ha’o, where the church gets it’s name (Ka Wai a Ha’o - The Water of Ha’o) And in the rear churchyard you will find the Mission Cemetery that lies several of the church’s original missionaries and their descendants, including Bingham, Dole, Castle, Cooke.