Kaahumanu Church, situated in Wailuku on the picturesque island of Maui, is not only beautiful to behold with its white clock tower and leafy green grounds, but also a historic and culturally significant icon for the local community. For this reason, Kaahumanu Church was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.
The church was first established by missionaries in 1832 and was originally part of the royal compound of Kahekili, a high chief during the initial period of the Kingdom of Hawaii. Back then it was just a humble shed frequented by a handful of church members led by Reverend Jonathan Smith Green. The church you see today was erected in 1876 at the request of missionary Edward Bailey. It was built in the New England style of Gothic architecture using local materials.
Kaahumanu Church was named in honour of Queen Kaahumanu, a powerful queen regent and wife to Kamehameha I of the Hawaiian Kingdom. As a convert to Protestant Christianity, Queen Kaahumanu visited the church in 1832 when it was just a hut, and requested that when the congregation built a more permanent church structure that it be named in her honour. Her wish was fulfilled when the present-day building was completed in 1876.
With almost 200 years of history, this beloved refuge has come a long way from its days as a ramshackle shed to being the active place of worship with a vibrant and sizeable congregation. Services are held at 9am every Sunday and visitors are welcome to join in to experience a delightful blend of Hawaiian and English prayer and music. To fully understand the history, guided tours of the church and cemetery can be taken every Wednesday by reservation. Just a short walk from the church is the Bailey House Museum, which preserves a large collection of Hawaiian and missionary artefacts.