top of page

Hawaiian Mission Bicentennial Updates:

As part of the lead-up to the Hawaiian Mission Bicentennial, Peter T. Young has created a series of historical posts about various people, places and events in Hawai'i's history:

Missionary Period

Hawaiian Mission Children’s Society (HMCS)

Settling in at Kawaiaha‘o

End of the Mission

Ruggles and Whitney take Humehume Home to Kauai


‘Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people’


Lasting Legacies


... the Missionaries enter the Harbor and Move onto the Land


Arriving at O‘ahu


“(I)f we did not do them good they might send us all away.”

A Day in the Life

2020 - Year of the Hawaiian Mission Bicentennial


First Sight of the Islands


Common Stock




Letters from the Ali‘i

Western Wear


Hawaiian Mission Children
Named After Ali‘ì


Voyage of the Thaddeus


Ali‘i Gifts to the Missionaries

Webster's Way



“Oh, father, dear father, do take me back!”


Finding a Bride

Departure: ‘When shall we all meet again?’

A Parting Address


Please Join Us: Hawai‘i in New England

Ordination of Bingham & Thurston


Park Street Church


Planning Ahead:

Hawai‘i In New England


Female Seminaries


Mission Stations


Punahou School


New Musical Tradition


Preparing a Constitution




Betsey Stockton


Head, Heart & Hand


Written Hawaiian Language, Schools … Literacy



2020 marks the Hawaiian Mission Bicentennial

On October 23, 1819, the Pioneer Company of American Protestant missionaries from the northeast United States set sail on the Thaddeus ship bound for Hawai'i. After 160 days at sea, on March 30, 1820, the Pioneer Company first sighted and landed at Kawaihae on the Island of Hawai‘i. On April 4, 1820, the Thaddeus arrived and anchored at Kailua-Kona, Hawai'i.


Throughout the year, there will be numerous commemoration events listed here, along with some historical items of interest. If you have any news or events to include, submit them to


The Inspiration for the Hawaiian Mission


This documentary A Witness to Aloha is about the first Christian Church of Hawai‘i, Kawaiaha’o Church, and its historical legacy for the past 200 years. Interviews from Kahu Ken Makuakane, Henry Kapono, Pastor Wayne Cordeiro, Noelani Arista, and many others reveal the true history of Kawaiaha’o Church its impact and its legacy within the community of Hawai‘i, the Pacific triangle and the world. From the collaboration between the Ali’i and the early Christian missionaries from Boston in 1820 that brought forth education, music, and the word of God to the present day world pandemic of 2020. We journey through the eyes of Kawaiaha’o and witness our spiritual heritage, past and present, which reveals our story, our people our islands.


 A Litany for the Bicentennial
(written by the Hawai‘i Conference Reconciliation Working Group)

Hawaiian Bicentennial Resolution
(written by the Hawai‘i Conference Reconciliation Working Group)

On commemorating the 200th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the Hawaiian islands and celebrating the ongoing relationship between the United Church of Christ and the Hawaiian host culture.

Learn through Kawaiaha‘o Church's Bicentennial Speaker Series

Bicentennial News

Kawaiaha'o Church Celebrates with Bicentennial Service

April 22, 2020

On Sunday, April 26, Kawaiaha'o Church (957 Punchbowl Street, Honolulu) will hold a special online Bicentennial Worship Service at 8:30 a.m., which can be viewed on YouTube.

Watch Documentary of the Coming of the Gospel to Hawai'i

April 22, 2020

A Witness to Aloha, a documentary that celebrates the 200th anniversary of Kawaiaha'o Church and the early Christian missions, will premiere on Sunday, April 26, at 6 p.m., on KITV 4. This is not to be missed, as it tells "the story of the relationship between the arrival of the Gospel, our Ali'i and the Aloha of Ke Akua for Hawai'i in the last 200 years." For those without tv access, the documentary may also be viewed on YouTube.

Memoirs of Henry Obookiah on Sale through WBM

February 12, 2020

Read the amazing story of Henry 'Ōpūkaha'ia in Memoirs of Henry Obookiah, which can be purchased from the Woman's Board of Missions. This most recent edition contains vintage and current photographs as well as an Epilogue documenting the return of Henry 'Ōpūkaha'ia's earthly remains (iwi) to the Island of Hawai'i 175 years after his death in Cornwall, Connecticut. For copies, please call Clara Priester at 808-791-5647.

Read Reflections on Recent Trip to Boston for Bicentennial Events

November 21, 2019

Keiko D'Enbeau, member of Kawaiaha'o Church in Honolulu, was part of a delegation that attended Bicentennial events in Boston, Massachusetts in October. Read her reflections HERE.

October 23, 2019

On Wednesday, October 23, the historic Park Street Church in Boston, MA, hosted a Hawaiian Mission Bicentennial Celebration of history and music featuring the Timberlane Regional High School Choir and the dramatic presentation of "My Name is 'Ōpūkaha'ia," performed by Moses Goods. Watch a recording of this celebration HERE. A delegation from Hawai'i traveled to Boston for a week of events commemorating the Bicentennial.

Bicentennial Hymn Ready for All Churches to Use

October 30, 2019

The 2020 Bicentennial Committee, formed at the State Council of Hawaiian Churches Quarterly Meeting in 2018, commissioned a hymn to recognize "the Good News arriving and the spread of the Gospel throughout the Hawaiian Islands." Peter Galuteria, member of Kawaiaha'o church, created a himeni and has given permission to all churches for its use in commemorating the Bicentennial. Each church may personalize the himeni by inserting their church name in the verses. The himeni is provided in both English and Hawaiian.

Kawaiaha'o Church Goes Back to Roots to Celebrate 200 Years

October 23, 2019

A delegation from Kawaiaha'o Church, including Kahu Kenneth Makuakāne and long-time church members, traveled to Boston, MA, as part of a celebration to honor the church's 200-year history. Read more about their journey and the church's rich history.

View Video of Henry Opukaha'ia’s Grave Site in Cornwall, CT

May 22, 2019

John Derby, former Hawai'i Conference Foundation Executive Secretary, along with some Hawaiian Kahu, visited the grave site of Henry Opukaha'ia in Cornwall, Connecticut when they attended General Synod 26 in Hartford in 2007. Watch John's video HERE. The video also features the music of Kekapa Lee, from his Nā Hōkū Hanohano award-winning CD, Aloha Kekahi I Kekahi.

New Bicentennial Books Published on American Protestant Missionaries

January 30, 2019

Hawai'i Mission Houses announced the publication of two books which add to the scholarship and understanding of the American Protestant missionaries and their impact on the history of Hawai'i.


Parners in Change: A Biographical Encyclopedia of American Protestant Missionaries in Hawaii and their Hawaiian and Tahitian Colleagues, 1820 – 1900, is a reference work for individuals involved in the Mission work.


Kōkua Aku, Kōkua Mai: Chiefs, Missionaries, and Five Transformations of the Hawaiian Kingdom contains a series of essays focused on collaboration between Native Hawaiians and the American Protestant missionaries, which resulted in the introduction of Christianity, the development of a written Hawaiian language, and establishment of schools that resulted in widespread literacy, to name a few.


Both books may be purchased through the Hawai'i Mission Houses Gift Shop and ordered online.

Please reload

bottom of page