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Kawaiaha‘o Church

Included in our Downtown Honolulu City tour itinerary is the Kawaiaha‘o Church, the first Christian church in Oahu. Join us as we take you to this well-respected structure in Hawaii.

Kawaiaha‘o church is deemed as the Hawaii’s Mother Church where locals gather to exercise their faith and to communicate with God. Here, Hawaiians continue to preserve their culture and language through celebrations and get-togethers.


Even before the first Christian missionaries came to a deserted village in Oahu Island, there was a spring where only the noble chiefs and chiefesses are allowed to use. A chiefess, named Ha‘o frequently visits the oasis. As time passed, the town folks called the spring and the land that surrounds it as “Ka Wai a Ha’o” or the freshwater pool of Ha’o.

It was in 1820 when the first Christian missionaries landed in Hawaii to spread the faith in Kawaiahao. They were welcomed by the locals and their royal leaders. They were also given a piece of land to establish their homes at the time of King Kamehameha III.

In 1837, the people started gathering stone materials for the “Stone Church” that they planned to build. And in July 31 the next year, approximately a thousand people helped in digging a firm foundation for their cathedral. However, the church was not actually made of stone. The structure was built using giant slabs that the people gathered under the sea.

The Great Stone Church was finally dedicated on July 21, 1842. The celebration was attended by more than 4,000 people, led by King Kamehameha III.

Center of Faith and Spiritual Refuge

Since its establishment, Kawaiahao Church remained to be the center of spirituality among the people. It served as a silent witness during matrimonies, baptisms, funeral rights and other Christian celebrations.

Aside from its spiritual contributions, the church also served as refuge during distressful events like when a large fire struck the city in 1900 and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

A Famous Landmark

As time passes by, Kawaiahao Church continues to gain popularity among locals and foreigners alike. With its unique structural design and landscape, visitors come to explore it. The church is also well-known for its royal portraits, pipe organ, Kauikeaouli clock and of course, the Kawaiaha’o Fountain which was located in the where Chiefess Ha’o originally frequently visited.

Tourists will also enjoy its beautiful landscape and plants which are all endemic in Hawaii.

Visit Kawaiaha’o Church

If you wish to visit this historic church, Pearl Harbor Website offers Downtown Honolulu City tours. Book now and let us take you to the most famous destinations in the city. We promise to make your tour memorable and educational.