Mokuʻaikaua Church


Completed in 1836, this church is a handsome building with walls of lava rock held together by sand and coral-lime mortar. The posts and beams, hewn with stone adzes and smoothed with chunks of coral, are made from ohia, and the pews and pulpit are made of koa, the most prized native hardwood. The steeple tops out at 112ft, making this the tallest structure in Kailua. Contemporary services are held at 9am on Sundays, with traditional services at 11am.

Often referred to as ‘the big stone church on Aliʻi,’ Mokuʻaikaua is the gestation point of Hawaiian Christianity. On April 4, 1820, the first Christian missionaries to the Hawaiian Islands sailed into Kailua Bay. When they landed they were unaware that Hawaiʻi’s kapu system had been abolished on that very spot just a few months before.

The church is popular for weddings, and inside is a dusty model of the missionaries’ ship, Thaddeus, and a history of their arrival.

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