On July 24, 1832, Rev. John and Ursula Emerson arrived in Waialua. They were greeted by Chief Gideon Peleioholani La’anui in his canoe. La’anui was the ruling chief of Waialua and the grandnephew of Kamehameha I. In the fall of 1832 the first church was dedicated and began with sixteen members. A l00 year old large fifteen inch pu (conch shell) called the people to church. Over 2000 natives attended the dedication of the hale pili (grass house) This hale pili stood on the corner of Kamehameha Highway and Haleiwa road where the Hale’iwa Hotel once stood and now Hale’iwa Joe’s.
The second church was constructed in 1840-41 on what is now the cemetery. This church was made of adobe and was a hundred by forty-two feet (Report of Rev. John Emerson in the "Polynesian" March 26, 1853). The bell that is still in use today was purchased for this building.
The third church was built of wood in 1890 and its location was where the present church stands. It was in this wooden church that Queen Lili’uokalani worshiped when she came to her home along the Anahulu Stream in Haleiwa.
The stone arch (the "Endeavor Arch" ) at the church entry driveway had a bronze tablet dedicated to the memory of the Rev. John and Ursula Emerson.This arch and tablet was the idea of Archibald Maha'ulu whose parents were retainers of the Emersons. Construction of the present church began in 1960 and the bronze tablet from the archway was relocated to the front of our sanctuary. The church charter was renewed and the the name of the church officially became Lili’uokalani Protestant Church although unofficially had had been called that for many years prior. It had previously been called the Waialua Protestant Church as well as the Hawaiian Church. Up until the early 1940s, the services were in Hawaiian.
The Adobe Church building built in 1841 and used until 1890 (Note the bell tower on the left picture)
The Wooden Church building where Queen Lili'uokalani often worshiped
The Present Church building as it looked when completed in 1961
DID YOU KNOW..most people familiar with our church know that it was once called Waialua Protestant Church. This was not, however, the original Chartered name of the church. The original Charter name was "Ka Ahahui Kahu Malama Waiwai O Ka Ekalesia O Kawailoa Ma Waialua" . The name was changed by a Charter ammendment in 1932. The long Hawaiian name may be the reason it was always referred to as The Hawaiian Church in Waialua or simply the Waialua Church. (From our Church files).
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