Mayflower of the Pacific

Advancing Ye Kingdom of Christ (a selection from The Providential Life & Heritage of Henry Obookiah)


 An illustration of the Thaddeus taken from a missionary map found in a New England inn. Source: A History of C. Brewer & Company Limited

In New England the brig Thaddeus became known as the Mayflower of the Pacific. The missionary voyage to the Sandwich Islands would sail into Hawaiian waters during the 200th anniversary year of the arrival in America of the ship Mayflower, the Pilgrims landing on Cape Cod in late 1620.

Pilgrim leader William Bradford, in his book History of Plymouth Plantation, the first book written in New England, quoted Pilgrim pastor John Robinson. Bradford, rather than seeing the Pilgrims as fleeing the Old World for religious freedom, portrayed Robinson as sending off the Pilgrims as missionaries. Bradford quoted Robinson:

(They had) a great hope & inward zeal they had of laying some good foundation, or at least to make some way thereunto, for ye propagating & advancing ye gospel of ye kingdom of Christ in these remote parts of ye world; yea, though they should be but as stepping-stones unto others for ye performing of so great a work.

The Story of Mokuaikaua Congregational Church

The Story of Mokuaikaua Church booklet cover

The Story of Mokuaikaua Congreational Church is 32-page booklet I helped create over summer 2016. Mokuaikaua Church ( is located along the waterfront in Kailua-Kona on central west shore of the Island of Hawai‘i. Here the first missionary party sent to Hawai‘i formally landed in early April 1820. Mokuaikaua is the “first-gathered” church in Hawaiʻi, and the “oldest-stand” church building in Hawaiʻi. Construction funded by Hawaiʻi Island Governor Kuakini (John Adams) in 1836 built the stone-and-mortar walled church that still stands today. The church is pictured in the cover illustration above, you can’t miss the church as it then towered over all the thatched hale and wood-frame western buildings of old Kailua town.

Mokuaikaua Church Historian Yolanda Olson wrote the main text of the booklet. I did the background research, editing, graphic design, photography. I contributed a section I call “A New England Church with a Hawaiian Heart.” This contribution details the dual, hybrid New England-Native Hawaiian architectural features found in the Mokuaikaua Church building.

Proceeds from sale of The Story of Mokuaikaua Church are helping to raise funds for a $3 million restoration needed to make the historic church earthquake proof, to replace hardwood ʻōhiʻa beams that date back to the 1820s, and other repairs needed to preserve Mokuaikaua. Go for more details.

Copies of the booklet are available at the Mokuaikaua Church in Kailua-Kona. Check on their website for contact information.