The nearby Kawaiahaʻo Church is one of Hawaii's most historic churches. This is the fifth church built on this spot. The first four were constructed of native materials and did not last long.
The current church was designed by Hiram Bingham, the first missionary on Oʻahu. The church was completed in 1842 in a New England style of architecture. It is constructed of coral slabs quarried from reefs offshore of Oʻahu and carried to the site by parishioners. The interior was made from wood cut in the nearly Koʻolau Mountains. The interior was remodeled in the 1920's due to wood rot.
Kawaiahaʻo Church was dedicated in 1842. It is known as the "Mother" Protestant Church in Hawaii. Numerous members of Hawaii's royalty have worshiped in the church and the royal boxes remain at the rear of the church.
The church's name Kawaiaha'o in Hawaiian means "fresh water pool of Haʻo." Haʻo was an ancient queen of Oʻahu and it is said that on this site a spring existed in which she took ceremonial baths of purification. A reconstructed spring sits on the north side of the church.
The church is often used for weddings and is frequently locked. If you are lucky enough to be there when it is open, step inside and look at the magnificent interior.
Behind the church sits the peaceful Mission Cemetery where the remains of many of Hawaii's early missionaries, political and economic leaders are buried. The names on the gravestones are a virtual "who's who" of Hawaiian history.