Speaking at Mokuaikaua Church – Kailua-Kona


The basalt stone arch entrance to the Mokuaikaua church is dedicated to Henry Opukaha‘ia and was completed in 1910, the year marking the formation of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, the Congregational Church organization that sent out the Sandwich Islands Mission to Hawai‘i in 1819. A bronze plaque marking the dedication is visible at the top left side of the archway.

Pastor David de Carvalho of the historic Mokuaikaua Church on the waterfont in Kailua-Kona on Hawai‘i Island has graciously asked me to speak about Opukaha‘ia in relation to the landmark “First Christian Church” in Hawai‘i. I will be speaking at the Sunday, April 17 worship services set for 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Church historian Yolanda Olson is assisting me with research for the talk. Yolanda provides free tours of the Mokuaikaua Church at 12:15 p.m. on Sundays. I will be signing books following the services. My book is also available online at amazon.com

Opukaha‘ia – the Musical Drama

Henry-Opukahaia-Poster3-663x1024Renowned Hawaiian Christian musician, composer and singer Randy Hongo’s“Glory in His Soul: A Musical Drama about the life of Henry Opukaha‘ia” is being performed at Kalihi Union Church in Honolulu. The performances are set for the Sunday worship services on April 17 at 7:15 and 10:45 a.m., and on Saturday, April 23 and Sunday, April 24, both evenings at 6:00 p.m. I will be in Honolulu to sign copies of my book The Providential Life & Heritage of Henry Obookiah at the April 23-24 performances. Proceeds from 20 books will go to the music foundation started by Randy and his wife Gay. Opukaha‘ia’s ohana from Hilo will be at the performance too. Copies of my book are also available at the Mission House Museum gift shop, at Native Books, and at the Logos Christian bookstore in Honolulu, plus online at amazon.co


NĪnole – ‘Ōpūkaha‘ia’s childhood village

I am on the island of Hawai‘i, staying close to Nīnole beach and valley where ‘Ōpūkaha‘ia lived until about age 10. Here ‘Ōpūkaha‘ia swam and played as a child, his father caught fish for his family. Watching local families swim at nearby Punalu‘u Beach gives you a sense of what life was like for ‘Ōpūkaha‘ia as a child. Archaeology reports show there was intense fishing in this area. In 1868 a major earthquake subsided the coast here and drove huge tsunami waves onshore altering the coves and ponds that ‘Ōpūkaha‘ia knew as a child.

Here is a photo of Nīnole Beach (top photo) as viewed from the Ka‘ie‘ie fishing heiau overlooking Nīnole Beach. The flank of Mauna Loa looms to the north in the distance. And a view looking mauka (bottom photo) to the landmark tabletop mountains; below these mountains villagers tended taro lo‘i and grew other edible plants.


Glory in His Soul – Opukaha‘ia


Sunday, April 17 at 7:15 and 10:45 a.m. worship services in the Sanctuary

Saturday, April 23 at 6:00 pm in the Sanctuary

Sunday, April 24 at 6:00 pm in the Sanctuary

Just out! Promo video for “Glory in His Soul: A Musical Drama about the Life of Henry Opukaha‘ia”, written by Randy Hongo. Hear clips of Pastor Jonathan Steeper and Lisa Lee singing, and the lovely Yolanda Asher dancing hula.  Click on image belowto view promo video.