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Preservation Campaign

About Mokuaikaua

Located in an area sacred to the Hawaiian Islands, Mokuaikaua Church represents both the cultural heritage of the Hawaiian people and the birthplace of Christianity in Hawai‘i. Founded in 1820 by the Reverend Asa Thurston with the support of Royal Governor Kuakini, the church celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2020. The current church building, dedicated in 1837, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. Mokuaikaua’s pastor, staff, volunteers and families are dedicated to the betterment of the larger community through a wide array of outreach programs that include social services, tangible donations, activities and events that benefit local residents, visitors and people and places beyond. Additionally, the church contributes to the economic health of Kailua-Kona.

In April 2017 Partners for Sacred Places conducted an onsite survey that calculated Mokuaikaua’s Economic “Halo Effect” on its community at $3,324,889.


In 2006, a magnitude 6.7 earthquake shook Hawai‘i Island and forced the temporary closing of Mokuaikaua Church. Structural engineering inspection revealed structural deficiencies that posed safety and usability risks. Repairs were made to shore up the church with the acknowledgement that a major renovation was needed.

In 2014, Mokuaikaua Church was designated one of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.


Mokuaikaua has been selected as an inaugural participant in the National Fund for Sacred Places, a joint project of Partners for Sacred Places and the National Trust for Historical Preservation and funded by the Lily Endowment. This partnership includes the opportunity to apply for a matching two-to-one grant of up to $250,000. This grant was the catalyst for the start of our preservation project. Many from our local community, and friends from around the world joined together to participate in this monumental project.

The work needed to preserve and protect our sanctuary was extensive. The projected budget of $3 million grew to $5.4 million as further challenges were uncovered in the construction process. Our community rallied together in faith to complete the project and the Lord met us through the generosity of many, and particularly Alan Queznel who gave $3.45 million to help us reach $4.5 million.


The generosity of Alan Queznel, Kennedy Wilson, the Lily Endowment and people like you helped us complete the following projects.


  • Reroofed – remove compromised wood from termites and wood rot.
  • Attached the roof to the building
  • Strengthened the wall with steel beams
  • Strengthening the mezzanine – redone for structural safety
  • Design and purchase of AVL equipment
  • Straighten the walls
  • Add supporting beams for structural safety
  • Redig foundations – enlarge foundations
  • Dig trenches to accommodate electrical and AVL conduits.
  • Rebuild the stage
  • Steel beams reinforced the steeple to comply with the County’s requests – installed and finished with wood to maintain historic integrity.

Final Phase Goal: $900,000

  • Complete the work inside the sanctuary: stairs, balcony, & flooring for Mezzanine
  • Audio Video Lighting installation
  • Finishing work
  • Electrical fixtures – lights, fans, wiring
  • Production Booth

By supporting Mokuaikaua Church and “A Campaign of Spiritual Renewal,” you too become part of the heritage, history and good work of this sacred place. Your sustaining gift will perpetuate and honor the past, and help to leave a legacy for future generations.

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