Hello Friends and Family,

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

Maui Churches, Part 1

Back in January, I shared the story of religion in Hawai`i, particularly the transition from the native Hawai`ian religion to Christianity (primarily). If you missed that issue or if you want to re-visit the topic, please click here.

On Maui, as on Moloka`i, I was fascinated by the large number of historic churches. So naturally, I had to capture them with my camera. This image is admittedly a repeat since I included this photo when I shared the story of my wondering about in the area nearby my condo. However, it is a good place to begin my narrative since the Kapalua Chapel was formerly a Methodist Church but now does good nuptials business.

To the south in Honokawai, is Lahuiokalani Ka`anapali Congregational Church which was founded in 1850. It still holds services and is often used for weddings.

Next door to the Honolua Store in Kapalua, is the Sacred Hearts Mission, a Catholic Church and yes, a wedding chapel. Are you starting to see a pattern here — weddings seem to be big business on Maui. In fact, if you go a Google search on any of these churches, most of the listings will be from wedding planners.

Over in Wailuku, is the Ka`ahumanu Church which was founded in 1832 with the current structure built in 1876. It was named in honor of Queen Ka`ahumanu, the favorite wife of King Kamehameha I.

On Front Street, one will find the ornate Lahaina Methodist Church established in 1896. Note that Sunday evenings at 6:00 PM, they hold their Tongan Language Service. Don't miss it.

Also in Lahaina is Waiola Church (United Church of Christ) and is the oldest Christian church on Maui. It was founded as Waine`e Church in 1823 by Queen Keopuolani with help from the second band of missionaries from New England.

The original structure was destroyed by wind and subsequent rebuilt churches on this site were also destroyed by various catastrophes. After rebuilding in 1954, the name was changed to Waiola and the repeated destructions seem to have ended. Cross your fingers.

In addition to the numerous Christian churches, Maui is home to Buddhist temples as well. This is the Lahaina Hongwanji, founded in 1804. The current structure dates to 1933.

If you are going to be on Maui on June 25 or 26, note that they will be having their annual Obon Festival — a treat not to be missed.

Next to the entry stairs stands a statue of Shinran Shonin, a Buddhist monk and scholar from 12th century Japan. He was the "founder of the Jodo Shinshu Sect of Buddhism which is based on the principle of birth into the pureland and by the power of Namu Amida Butsu".

This is the Holy Innocents Episcopal Church. Anglican services date back to 1862. This site has been in church hands since 1908 and this structure was built in 1927.

Through the open doorway above, you can just barely see the beautiful stained glass windows. Here is a closer view.


There are more historic churches to visit than can fit in one week's journey. More next week.

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com