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  • Hawai‘i Conference

Haili Church Celebrates 200 Years

Haili Congregational Church in Hilo would like to express their sincere gratitude for all the kahu and everyone who joined them in celebrating their 200th Anniversary on May 19, 2024. Lorna Bufil writes, “We were truly honored and blessed to have many of our Kahus, sister churches, and others who took the time to spend the momentous day at our Hale Kahu.

“Kahu Pono Daniel was accompanied by Kahu Kordell Kekoa in officiating the program. We would also like you to extend our sincere Aloha to Papa Makua Wendell Davis and Kahu Kenneth Makuakāne for their participation in leading the service and festivities. In addition, both Conference Ministers—David Popham and Jonathan Roach (Associate Conference Minister)—were in attendance.


“The well attended service of approximately 300 was followed by a special luncheon, music and fellowship.

“Our former Kahus who served at Haili included Luna Ho‘omalu Kahu Brian Welsh, Kahu Mark Blair, and in honor of the late Kahu David Kaapuni, his son Bruce Kaapuni and his sister Cynthia Lyons.

“We are humbled to have received a Proclamation from Mayor Mitch Roth declaring every May 19 Haili Church Day.

“God has been very faithful and good to us! Mahalo nui to everyone who was part of this special celebration!”

One of the oldest members, Mary Desha Namahoe, is 95 years old and is the granddaughter of the Reverend Stephen Langhorn Desha, Sr., who served as pastor of Haili Church from 1889-1924. He also started the Kamehameha Deputation Team. Mary’s father, Stephen Langhorn Desha, Jr., graduated from George Washington University with a Bachelor of Law degree. To this day the family remains active at Haili Church.


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