Touching the Past Kealiiokamalu Church

As you sit on the white sands under the palm you breath a sigh as the ship sails by. Ah, this is a vacation you think to yourself as the sun smiles down on you.

La Marieanna

That evening you decide to go out for dinner and some drinks. You hear about this restaurant and bar called La Mariana. Everyone tells you it’s like stepping back into old Hawaii. The  owner had collected Hawaiian kitsch from famous restaurants as they closed down and then added them to her place. It is a museum of restaurant history.

As you sit at the bar relaxing you hear the couple next to you talking about how they were sorry to have to leave  the islands for home so quickly as they never really got to see what Hawaii was all about. There tan’s showed they probably spent all their time on the beach.

Many tourist go home thinking that Waikiki is Hawaii. They never venture out past Diamond Head until they take the ride back to the airport along the highway past all the industrial area.

They may have found had they driven around the island past the green velvet mountains full with water falls, and clear views of the ocean with uncrowded beaches, that there are so many things tucked away into the little towns. History that can be touched if only they would reach out.

One such place I found as I drove down some back street in Haleiwa was the Kealii O Kamalu Church.

Kealiiokamalu Church (Prince Of Peace)

The doors were wide open. Not many churches now days have their doors unlocked during the week if there is no service at that time. This structure was from the past and that is what drew  me to park and  take a look inside.

Kahu (minister) Kenneth Segawa

Inside the church there was a lot of construction going on. There was a man standing at the front on the porch with a handful of tools.

He was the Kahu or minister of this little community church. The church was under restoration. Though he was busy Kahu Ken invited me in to look around.

Looking from the front to the back of the Church

The  Kahu said that the congregation is very small and casual. He went on to say that it would not be unusal for a little child to be chasing a ball down the middle of the isle while he was conducting a sermon. He said that this was not a problem as he wanted the congregation to be comfortable and not stifled.

The sermon is given in Hawaiian as it was in the past. Part of the mission of this church is to perpetuate the Hawaiian language. The building is a typical example of a rural missionary church.

It has been in it’s present site since 1937 but was in existence long before that. I’m not quite sure but maybe it had been moved there from another site.

In Hawaiian tradition the front doors face makai (ocean) to welcome the bounty of the sea. The rear doors face Mauka (mountain) to welcome the gifts of the land.

Doors facing out to the Ocean

Back door open to the land

Looking around, even though everything was in disarray there was still a coziness to the structure. A Hawaiian community still existed and worshiped in the disappearing culture of the past. It gave one hope for the future.

Then Kahu Ken took me to the front of the church to show me what I took to be quite a significant piece of history. He removed a white cloth to expose an old bible. It was dated 1868. In the bible was recorded the death of  William Henry Tell’s wife.

Her name was Victoria Tell. Later I was to discover that Mrs. Tell was the daughter of Captain Alexander Harris. Not only did Captain Harris sail Kamehameha the Great‘s  cargo ship to china loaded with sandalwood, he was also noted for his part in the making of the controversial Hawaiian Flag.


Hawaiian Bible dated 1868 still used in the sermons of Kahu Ken

I was elated. Not only had I walked in to the past as I toured the little Hawaiian Church, I had actually touched History. I had touched the bible that had been a part of the life of the daughter who’s father was an intricate part of the highest chief of the land, King Kamehameha The Great. Talk about six degrees of Kevin Bacon.

A little side note if you were a fan of Lost. This was the church that was used in one of the episodes. You might enjoy going to this site to see how it was integrated into the story.  Lost

If you would like to attend the church one Sunday, the doors open at 9:30. If you are so inclined and would like to meet some of the people of the community there is a potluck after the Sunday Sermon on the first Sunday of the month.

The address of Kealii O Ka Malu is: 66-362 Halieiwa Road & Keahipaka St.

( the directions are in the “Lost” website above.)

Advertisements

6 comments on “Touching the Past Kealiiokamalu Church

  1. Frank Katusa says:

    Very true..people think Hawaii is Waikiki….when I have friends who go there, I make a tour of off the beaten track places…like the Heiau above Waimea Bay, the birthing stone that some knucklehead cracked with fire. Maybe the birthing stone isn’t there. I send them to the Wahiawa Botanical gardens, and when the Top Hat was there I sent them there for a beer. I tell them to eat at local food places at the various strip malls .. I direct them to Mokulei’ia to swim and Alii beach. Some go, some dont…the ones that go thank me for getting them out of Waikiki. Anyway….I am nostalgic for the place on many levels. I hope to get there in October and visit friends and ‘talk story.”

    Like

  2. Sartenada says:

    Great, indeed.

    This sentence got in my mind smile: “Many tourist go home thinking that Waikiki is Hawaii”. That is just the same thing in Finland. Many think that Helsinki is Finland. It’s just a little scratch.

    When I visited in Honolulu in 1970, if I remember correct the year, I have to confess that I thought in the same way. So sorry.

    I was very delighted that this church is a wooden church. In Finland we have on the countryside hundreds of wooden churches.

    Have a wonderful day!

    Like

    • You know it is sad that here in Hawaii all the money is poured into Waikiki so they have to promote it to make their money back. But they truly in the case of that area “Paved paradise and put up a parking lot.”

      Of course in another way not having tourist all over the island at least leaves some places where locals can go and find parking.

      Like

  3. […] talks about Touching the Past Kealiiokamalu Church where we can see the beauty of a country church.  Thank you for sharing this, Karen, we […]

    Like

  4. Annelies says:

    And again….. good story!! Thank you.

    Love Annelies.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s