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Christianity in Hawaiʻi

Summary and Keywords

On January 17, 1893, Her Majesty Queen Liliʻuokalani, sovereign of the Hawaiian Kingdom, was overthrown in a coup de main led by a faction of business leaders comprised largely of descendants of the 1820 American Protestant mission to the “Sandwich Islands.” Rev. Charles Hyde, an officer of the ecclesiastic Papa Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian Board) declared, “Hawaii is the first Country in which the American missionaries have labored, whose political relations to the United States have been changed as a result of missionary labors.” The actions of these “Sons of the Mission” were enabled by U.S. naval forces landed from the USS Boston the evening prior.

Despite blatant and significant connections between early Christian missionaries to Hawaiʻi and their entrepreneurial progeny, the 1893 usurpation of native rule was not the result of a teleological seventy-year presence in the Hawaiian Kingdom by the American Protestant Church. An 1863 transfer of authority over the Hawaiian mission from the Boston-based American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) to the local ʻAhahui ʻEuanelio o Hawaiʻi (AEH) (Hawaiian Evangelical Association) served as a pivotal inflection point that decidedly altered the original mission, driving a political and economic agenda masked only by the professed goals of the ecclesiastic institution. Christianity, conveyed to the Hawaiian Islands initially by representatives of the ABCFM, became a contested tool of religio-political significance amidst competing foreign and native claims on leadership in both church and state. In the immediate aftermath of the January 1893 overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom government, this introduced religion became a central tool of the Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) struggle for a return of their queen and the continued independence of their nation.

Native Christian patriots organized and conducted a broad array of political actions from within the churches of the AEH using claims on Ke Akua (God) and Christianity as a foundation for their vision of continued native rule. These efforts were instrumental in the defeat of two proposed treaties of annexation of their country—1893 and 1897—before the United States, declaring control of the archipelago a strategic necessity in fighting the Spanish/Filipino–American War, took possession of Hawaiʻi in late 1898. Widespread Americanization efforts in the islands during the early 20th century filtered into Hawaiʻi’s Christian churches, transforming many of these previous focal points of relative radicalism into conservative defenders of the American way. A late-20th-century resurgence of cultural and political activism among Kanaka Maoli, fostered by a “Hawaiian Renaissance” begun in the 1970s, has driven a public and academic reexamination of the past and present role of Christianity in this current-day American outpost in the center of the Pacific.

Keywords: imperialism, native agency, race, native claims on religion, native Christian patriot, missionaries, Manifest Destiny, Hawaiian Christianity, Hawaiian history

Historiography and the Hawaiian Mission

Nearly the entire production of published materials concerning the organizing body of Protestant Christian churches and administrators in Hawaiʻi—an entity which had a significant role in the social, economic, and political history of the Hawaiian Kingdom—has been drawn from English-language source materials. This is despite the fact that the churches that this ecclesiastic entity directed comprised thousands of native Christian congregants, hundreds of native church administrators, and dozens of native pastors, the great majority of whom spoke and wrote in their ʻōlelo ʻōiwi (native tongue). Haʻiʻōlelo (sermons), nā papakema (baptisms), ʻaha kahu waiwai (trustee meetings), and social gatherings within these places of worship were conducted, and most often recorded, in their native language.

An October 1860 letter of Rev. Elias Bond concerning the organization of the Hawaiian Island branch of the ʻAhahui ʻEuanelio o Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian Evangelical Association) (AEH) declared, “It was unanimously decided that all the proceedings in the meetings shall be conducted in the Hawaiian language.” Further, the founding documents of the AEH, “Ke Kumukanawai o Ka Ahahui Euanelio o Hawaiʻi” (The Constitution of the ʻAhahui ʻEuanelio o Hawaiʻi) and “Na Rula Hooponopono” (The Bylaws), designate that its records and reports shall be kept in the Hawaiian language, while an English-language account should also be produced “no ka Ahahui Misionari America” (for the American Missionary Association [the ABCFM]).1 The English-language annual reports of the “Hawaiian Evangelical Association,” which nearly all major published works about the institution have relied on, are in fact a version of events written for the association’s American directors, funders, and partners.2 In addition to the frequently analyzed and commonly understood problems inherent in translation, an examination of the dual annual reports of the AEH reveals that the documents differ not only in meaning and tone, but often, significantly, in content.

We have come to know of and characterize this institution through foreign-language descriptions of it. Accessing only the reports that were prepared by the AEH for the American Board leaves critical gaps in our understanding of the actions and nature of the organization and its members. The extant record of native Christian action and writing of this period offers an entirely new understanding of the relationship between the mission, Christian institutions of the period, and Native Hawaiian Christianity.

Early Mission

On March 31, 1820, following fourteen thousand miles and more than five months at sea, the brig Thaddeus came within sight of the glorious snow-covered summit of Mauna Kea near the northern tip of Hawaiʻi Island. The American vessel had sailed from its port of Boston, Massachusetts, with a passenger list that included fourteen members of the first company of American Protestant missionaries to Hawaiʻi. Here at these “rude shores”3 would come the New England Congregationalists’ and Presbyterians’ first interaction with the native peoples of the Hawaiian Islands.

For the evangelical messengers aboard ship that day, New England life, complimented by recent training for their Christianizing mission, would concurrently shape their view of the scene unfolding before them and fall short in preparing them for the immediacy of the event. One of the first company, Rev. Hiram Bingham, later recalled the memorable interaction in his diary:

The appearance of destitution, degradation, and barbarism, among the chattering and almost naked savages, whose heads and feet and much of their sunburnt swarthy skins, were bare, was appalling. Some of our number, with gushing tears, turned away from the spectacle. Others with firmer nerve continued their gaze, but were ready to exclaim, “Can these be human beings!”4

The unsettling scene that so struck these New England natives upon their first sight of the inhabitants of these distant shores made clear the work ahead. The enormity of the task was moderated by the company’s Protestant belief that the Holy Spirit, armed with the divine gift of grace, had the ability to Christianize any human, no matter how far from civilization he or she may be. Indeed, here would be built the Sandwich Islands Mission.

Within days of their arrival, the American missionaries were taken to Waimea, on the leeward side of Hawaiʻi Island, to have an audience with King Liholiho (Kamehameha II), son of the recently deceased conqueror of the archipelago, Kamehameha Paiʻea Kūnuiākea (Kamehameha I). After counsel with his co-regent, Queen Kaʻahumanu, and his mother, Queen Keōpūolani, Liholiho agreed to a one-year trial residence for the anxious foreign evangelists. The seven missionary couples divided up to cover the various islands within the group, setting up outposts near the king’s royal residence in Kailua, on Hawaiʻi Island; at Honolulu, on Oʻahu; and at Waimea, on Kauaʻi. A critical factor in the success of the early mission was gaining the support of Keōpūolani, the highest-ranking member of the royal court. The dowager queen, aware of the great value of the mission’s tool of literacy, took its members under her protection and soon became one of the first Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) to develop a written literacy.

On February 23, 1823, nearly three years after their arrival in Hawaiʻi, the band of missionaries from around the islands formed its first formal collective organization, the Hawaiian Association of Ministers and Churches. The group’s founding document declared,

We, the undersigned, ministers and missionaries of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Sandwich Islands, being set for the defense of the truth, and for the enlightening of the Gentiles, agree to unite in an association for mutual improvement and mutual aid in laying the foundation, maintaining the order, and building up the house of the Lord in these islands of the sea.5

In May 1823, Queen Keōpūolani, the premier prospective convert of the Hawaiian mission, returned to Maui, the island of her birth, ordering Rev. Charles Stewart, Rev. William Richards, and her personal kahu (teacher, spiritual leader), the Tahitian Tauā, to accompany her. On May 31, 1823, the day of their arrival, the first Christian church on Maui was founded at Lāhainā with seven members: Rev. Charles L. Stewart and his wife Harriet; Rev. William Richards and his wife Clarissa; Betsy Stockton, a former African-American slave; William Kamahoula; and Tauā.

While eager to save every native soul, the missionaries had been given strict rules concerning the consecration of new members in the faith. As the American Protestant mission to Hawaiʻi began its third year of religious instruction in the islands, not a single Kanaka Maoli had yet recieved the holy sacrament of baptism. The situation changed dramatically in the fall of 1823. Keōpūolani had been ill for some time and her condition was worsening. In the first weeks of August her sickness became life-threatening. On September 16, 1823, as the royal court and her mission teachers gathered around her, the penultimate aliʻi nui (high chief) in Hawaiʻi reportedly declared her strong desire to be baptized prior to her rapidly approaching death. Revs. Stewart and Richards made the decision to baptize the queen, and there in Lāhainā, approximately an hour before she passed, the mother of the current king became the first baptism of the Christian mission in Hawaiʻi.

Early Contestations of the American Mission

As expected, the formal conversion of Queen Keōpūolani resulted in a surge in requests for baptism among Kanaka Maoli. The overt excitement of the American missionaries over this strategically promising development was, however, overshadowed by a somber and even more prolific phenomenon: the tremendous number of native lives lost to the continuing spread of introduced diseases. To the deeply spiritual Kanaka Maoli, this wave of death meant something was radically out of balance. One attractive aspect of the worship of “ke Akua oiaio hookahi” (the one true God)6 amidst this polytheistic society was an assurance by His evangelical messengers that conversion would deliver ola hou (everlasting life) to the faithful.7 There were, however, those who held a steadfast belief in the traditional ways of addressing the lack of an akua who could solve this devastating problem.

The support of the work of the Christian mission and its new deity by Queens Keōpūolani and Kaʻahumanu was tremendously influential, yet concurrent to this powerful validation of Christianity there existed a parallel project involving traditional rites that the Christian mission found abhorrent. Certain aliʻi nui worked to arrange for the procreation of an akua, through a nīʻaupio (incestuous) mating among the highest bloodline, that would be powerful enough to deliver the lāhui (nation/race) from death. To this end, a union of King Liholiho, first-born son of Kamehameha I, and his sister Nāhiʻenaʻena (the raging fires), was orchestrated. In support of this project, a piece of featherwork of unprecedented scope and dimension was begun—a pāʻū (skirt) comprised of approximately one million ʻōʻō feathers—to glorify the Princess’s maʻi (genitalia) and her procreative abilities.8

Word was recieved by Rev. William Ricahrds of Lāhainā, whose spiritual care she had been entrusted to, that on several different occassions Princess Nāhiʻenaʻena had been drinking and had become intimate with the king. As a ward of the mission and member of Ka ʻEkalesia o Waineʻe (Waineʻe Church)—the Lāhainā church founded by her mother—the sacred royal was severely chastised by the pastor and suspended from the congregation. Nāhiʻenaʻena, seemingly torn between two worlds, ferried between her responsibilities at the royal court and bouts of reportedly sincere repentance at the Christian house of worship in Lāhainā. The struggle continued until, on February 23, 1835, concerned he could no longer tolerate the example she was setting, Rev. Richards, pastor at Waineʻe, excommunicated the princess.

In early 1836, it was announced that Princess Nāhiʻenaʻena was hāpai (pregnant). In mid-Septmember 1836, a presumptive heir to the throne of the Hawaiian Kingdom was born, but the divine child lived only a few hours. A grief-stricken Nāhiʻenaʻena returned with her brother to Hale Uluhe, his royal compound in Honolulu, where she herself fell ill. On Decemeber 30, 1836, the most sought-after Native Hawaiian soul of both the Christian and traditional worlds died.

On the heels of this small but significant failure of the Hawaiian mission came its largest success. This struggle was, at its essence, one of numbers. From 1837–1841 a “Great Awakening” occurred in Hawaiʻi that mirrored the concurrent revival of religious zeal in the United States. Congregation halls were filled to the rafters for Sabbath services throughout the islands. Revs. Titus Coan and Lorenzo Lyons, attendees of the fiery revivals of Rev. Charles G. Finney in New York, were responsible for much of the Christian fervor of the period on Hawaiʻi Island and were themselves responsible for over ten thousand baptisms in the years 1837–1839 alone. While the intense pace of conversions would level off, the baptism of a great majority of Kanaka Maoli into the Christian faith continued throughout the 1840s.

Baptisms continued into mid-century, and the American Board, as part of the proceedings of the 1853 Annual Meeting of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) in Boston, unequivocally declared Hawaiʻi a Christian nation. The announcement, republished in the Missionary Herald, asserted,

Here then let us, as a Board of Foreign Missions, in the name of the community for which we act, proclaim, with shoutings of ʻGrace, grace!’ that the people of the Sandwich Islands are a Christian Nation, and may rightfully claim a place among the Protestant Christian nations of the earth! There should be no reserve, no misgivings on this point. We recognize its government, constitution, laws, institutions and people as Christian, in the same sense as in our own country.9

The success story narrated by the American Board was one of an unmatched transformation of a heathen people thousands of miles from any Christian civilization by a relatively minute group of dedicated missionaries. The association’s initial missions to British-controlled India and northern Ceylon had met with failure, but now the ABCFM had a brilliant example of its effectiveness; it had a success story to call upon in order to prompt further financial support that might fund its goal of spreading the evangelical message worldwide. While the American Board used baptism numbers in the Hawaiian Islands to “proclaim the triumph of the cross on the Hawaiian Islands,”10 beneath the surface of this remarkable story of a Christian Hawaiʻi was a church that had virtually no executive native leadership, few native pastors, and many native church pulpits occupied by white missionaries. The American Protestant mission in the islands also faced increasing contestations from the native monarchs of Hawaiʻi.

King Alexander Liholiho (Kamehameha IV) rose to the throne in 1854 already distrustful of the American missionaries and their increasing incursions into the political and economic realms of the nation. In 1859, encouraged by his part-English wife, Queen Emma Rooke, the king began to campaign the government of England for the creation of an Anglican Church mission to Hawaiʻi.11 In response, in early 1861, the “Committee for Promoting the Establishment of a Church in Honolulu, in Communion with the Churches of England and America,” recognizing the value of the Hawaiian Islands “as a probable centre of Christian influence in the North Pacific Archipelago” recommended the establishment of a “Polynesian Church” centered in Hawaiʻi.12 In 1862, Her Britannic Majesty Queen Victoria dispatched Bishop Thomas Staley and two Anglican missionaries to Hawaiʻi. On October 12, 1862, the day after their arrival in the islands, an Anglican service was held. Nine days later, on October 21, Queen Emma was baptized in a room of the palace as a member of the Hawaiian Reformed Catholic Church—later renamed the Anglican Church of Hawaiʻi. King Alexander Liholiho encouraged the incorporation of the church so that it might open churches and schools. This further development of the English mission came to pass on November 6, 1862, creating the Hawaiʻi Synod of the Reformed Catholic Church.

An Inflection Point

By the 1860s, the American Board was calling for an end to the Hawaiian mission. A decade had passed since they had declared the Hawaiian Islands a Christian nation, and the fact was that the cost of maintaining and advancing this developed field could be spent in other places replicating the success of this mid-Pacific example. In an evaluation by American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) secretary Rev. Rufus Anderson, a man termed “the architect of foreign missions,” the Hawaiian field displayed fundamental flaws. The strong Protestant character of the Hawaiian mission—a mixture of mostly Congregationalists and Presbyterians—was meant to drive the development of a truly native church. Rev. Anderson wrote: “Missionaries are and ought to be evangelists, and not pastors.”13 That primary doctrine on church polity would be reaffirmed at the National Congregational Council of 1865, when the council declared as its initial principle “that the local or Congregational church derives its power and authority directly from Christ, and is not subjected to any ecclesiastical government exterior or superior to itself.”14 Despite the clear instruction, at the time of the declaration that presented Hawai‘i as “a Christian nation,” only four Native Hawaiians had been ordained as ministers, and only two were serving in church pulpits.15 A decade later in 1863, when the ʻAhahui ʻEuanelio o Hawaiʻi (AEH) (Hawaiian Evangelical Association) was handed significant autonomy by the ABCFM, the number of ordained native pastors preaching in island pulpits stood at only four. The local association itself noted that although the gospel had been preached in Hawaiʻi for more than forty years, “in only a very few cases have natives been ordained, and placed over independent churches.”16 In July 1863, Rev. Rufus Anderson sailed from Boston to deliver a sterner version of the message in person.

For white Christian leaders, now significantly involved in the political and economic workings of the Hawaiian Kingdom, the current political situation left no room for the complete handover of power demanded by the ABCFM in Boston and native Christians in Hawaiian churches. Some within the current AEH leadership had always thought the American Board’s policy inherently flawed. Rev. Sereno Edwards Bishop, the Hawaiian-born son of Artemis and Elizabeth Edwards Bishop of the second company of American missionaries to Hawaiʻi, believed that the 1863 transition of Hawaiʻi from mission station to independent church and the push for native leadership had been a severe miscalculation. He wrote to the American Board, saying, “I think the mistake grew out of a lack [of] appreciation by the American Churches of the inherent weakness and necessities of ʻNature peoples.’ Such races, however receptive of the Gospel, need long continued help and superintendence.”17

The annual report of the AEH churches for 1887 listed 5,787 official members.18 This was a 70 percent decline from the 20,225 congregants who populated these churches in 1863, the year that the local AEH was handed the reins of authority over the Hawaiian churches by the American Board. The decline in membership within the churches of the American Protestant mission could not be explained wholly by the general decline in the native population; Hawaiian Christians had continued to replace their connection to these churches with new ties to the Catholic, Mormon, and syncretic native churches. These native Christians were not questioning Christianity itself, but rather the leadership of the AEH, which was stubbornly holding on to the reins of power within the association. For many of these devout believers, the growing involvement of their church administration in the political affairs of the kingdom, combined with a more openly hostile rhetoric emanating from officers of the AEH toward native practices within the churches, served to deepen divisions between the Native Hawaiian congregations and the all-white officers of the Hawaiian Board. In early 1887, King Kalākaua was petitioned by nearly all of the Native Hawaiian pastors on Oʻahu to consider a plan for the native churches of the AEH to secede from that organization in order to form an ecclesiastic association with a native administration.19

A New Mission: A Continued Place for White Leadership

In searching for a justification for minority rule in both church and state, white administrators of the ʻAhahui ʻEuanelio o Hawaiʻi (AEH) (Hawaiian Evangelical Association) would cling to the ideological principles of Social Darwinism that offered them an inherent right to leadership. The rise in the second half of the 19th century of these social ideologies that mixed Protestant theology with the writings of Charles Darwin afforded the Sons of the Mission an explanation for their calls for a continuation of white leadership over the native churches and a new leadership over the nation’s government.20 The theory also addressed feelings of insecurity within this very small minority out on the geographic and “civilized” periphery, more than two thousand miles from “God’s country.” Sons of the Mission, most of whom had been born and raised in the islands, laid claim to a continued spiritual dominance over native Christians. These white men might not have been the Christians their New England forefathers were, but—in their own estimation—they were certainly truer Christians than the natives.

In January of 1887, at a clandestine meeting at the Honolulu home of the American physician S. G. Tucker, mission sons Lorrin Thurston and Sanford Dole, along with AEH officer Peter C. Jones and several local white businessmen, drafted a constitution for a secret association to be called the Hawaiian League. Prospective members pledged: “I do solemnly promise upon my honor to keep secret the existence and purposes of this League to protect the white community of this Kingdom.”21 The Hawaiian League’s plans for the future of Hawaiʻi were tied to the idea of a native population that was subservient to white leadership, and the church could serve a central role in the project.

Our Country, Rev. Josiah Strong’s popular call for Protestant Christian missions, had been published in 1885, and the hugely popular text—selling more than 200,000 copies—was stirring widespread support for a new wave of missions. Originally intended to spur missionary activity in the American West, the book was taken up by many who were advocating an aggressive imperial movement beyond America’s shores. Rev. Strong argued for a missionization of the weaker races by the purest form of Christianity, Anglo-Saxon Protestantism. He wrote, “It seems to me that God, with infinite wisdom and skill, is training the Anglo-Saxon race for an hour sure to come in the world’s future.”22 For Strong, the hour near at hand would present a battle of the races, in which,

the mighty centrifugal tendency, inherent in this stock and strengthened in the United States, will assert itself. Then this race of unequaled energy, with all the majesty of numbers and the might of wealth behind it—the representative, let us hope, of the largest liberty, the purest Christianity, the highest civilization—having developed peculiarly aggressive traits calculated to impress its institutions upon mankind, will spread itself over the earth.23

In the middle of the Pacific, a small group of white Christian men were preparing for this very battle by shaping their own local plan for white supremacy and governance.

A formal request to the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) for new missionaries was drafted at the 1887 Jubilee Celebration of the Arrival of the Missionary Reinforcements of 1837. A committee of the gathered missionary descendants of the Hawaiian Mission Children’s Society (HMCS) passed a resolution that read in part:

Resolved, That the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions be requested to commission not less than five choice Christian men, as soon as practicable, for such work, and assume their support; such men to engage in such work and at such centers or points as shall seem feasible and wise to the Hawaiian Board.

W. C. Merritt, Wm. B. Oleson, W. O. Smith–Committee24

Within months of its founding, the Hawaiian League’s membership had grown to over four hundred men, and large quantities of rifles and ammunition had been flowing into the kingdom for several weeks to supply them.

Over the course of the first week of July 1887, backed by the largest and best equipped militia in the islands, the Hawaiian League presented a new constitution to King Kalākaua coupled with threats of his removal if he did not sign. The new governing document dramatically shifted the balance of power in Hawaiʻi toward the white Christian elite by, among other things, disenfranchising all “Asian” voters, and enfranchising white non-citizens. Five officers of the Hawaiian Board and Hawaiian Mission Children’s Society Board were authors of the new constitution.

Komite Hoʻeuʻeu a nā ʻEkalesia a Puni ka Pae ʻĀina (Committee on Hawaiian Evangelization) (CHE)

Despite the deeply held reservations of the American Board, by the start of 1888 the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) was considering giving in to the near-continuous pleas of white Christian leaders in Hawaiʻi for an influx of new missionaries to the islands. The ABCFM drew up a plan for new work in the Hawaiian field filled with clear conditions. On April 3, 1888, the ABCFM Sub-Committee on New Work at the Hawaiian Islands issued a report with guidelines that declared in part,

  1. 2. They [missionaries] will not become pastors of churches but will occupy the detached and more general position of missionaries. They will not supersede the native pastors, but will help them to become more efficient and more influential.

  2. 3. Native churches, under native pastors, self-governing and self-supporting, and equal to all the Christian work of the Islands, are to be developed and brought forward as rapidly as possible.

  3. 4. The work of the missionaries is a temporary work.25

Regardless of the restrictive instructions attached to the new mission, the Hawaiian Board was thrilled with the news that new white missionaries would be on their way to the islands. The conditions put on these delegates of God’s church would be simple enough to maneuver around. The Hawaiian Board, holding an opinion of white missionary roles that was the near antithesis of that laid out by the American Board, worked to develop a continuation of white dominance into the structure of its new mission.

To get around the fact that, under the by-laws of the ʻAhahui ʻEuanelio o Hawaiʻi (AEH) (Hawaiian Evangelical Association), Kanaka Maoli had a small but extant presence on the Hawaiian Board, an entirely new entity was constructed to operate and oversee the new efforts. The Komite Hoʻeuʻeu a nā ʻEkalesia a Puni ka Pae ʻĀina (Committee on Hawaiian Evangelization) (CHE) would, by design, be exclusively white. Bylaws of the new body mandated that three of its board members, a majority, come from the “Cousins’ Society” of the Hawaiian Mission Children’s Society (HMCS)—an organization made up solely of white missionary families and descendants—and two come from the Hawaiian Board. For the officers of the Hawaiian Board, tight control of the new missionary efforts was a requisite.

After unsuccessful initial efforts to recruit missionaries to a field that had already been won, the American Board announced that new support was on the way. On May 3,1889, the Rev. William Drake Westervelt arrived in Hawaiʻi. Westervelt, a Congregationalist minister filling a pulpit in Denver, Colorado, had more than once expressed his desire to be sent to an untapped mission field such as Japan, but had in the end agreed to attend to the almost seven-decades-old Hawaiian Christian mission. His time in Hawaiʻi was difficult from the start. A struggle over whether it was the American Board or the Honolulu-based CHE that was to oversee the work of the new missionary, combined with the underlying fundamentally different visions of the mission itself, led in 1891 to the resignation of the only new missionary sent to Hawaiʻi by the ABCFM.

Struggle Over God and Nation

Significant contestations over power between portions of the native and white communities in Hawaiʻi had been a part of the history of the Hawaiian Kingdom throughout the second half of the 19th century, and the position and influence of the white community had waxed and waned. Even with the implementation of a new constitution that they themselves had authored, continuing resistance from Kanaka Maoli who were pushing for the removal of the 1887 constitution led many within the Hawaiian League to insist on a final termination of native rule. Working with the U.S. Minister to the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi John Leavitt Stevens—himself a former Universalist pastor—the Hawaiian League and its supporters staged a coup on January 17, 1893, that removed the Hawaiian sovereign from power.

Native Christians, facing immediate and direct threats to the independence of their nation, turned assuredly to their Christianity as a central tool in the struggle over their continued right to self-determination. In the process, they laid claim to both God and country. In the immediate aftermath of the 1893 coup, the white Christian leaders of the AEH scrambled to mitigate the damage that their involvement in the overthrow of Queen Liliʻuokalani would cause to their leadership within the native churches. They struck a firm line by asking their native congregants to make a choice between a Christian, white-led government and the “Heathen Party” of the native monarch.

Native Christians throughout the islands overwhelmingly rejected the choices offered. They immediately and decidedly claimed God and nation by discarding the false binary offered by their white leadership, thus claiming their identity as native Christian patriots. Native congregants flocked to their churches, crafting them as sites of both spiritual and political organization and action in defense of their nation. Churches throughout the islands were occupied daily as native trustees, deacons, and congregants organized prayer-fasting meetings, formed anti-annexation committees, and hosted local chapters of the anti-annexation organizations Hui Hawaiʻi Aloha ʻĀina and Hui Kālaiʻāina. They filled newspapers with calls for a return to native leadership in both church and state that were clear, insightful, and marked with an impassioned ferocity. They offered direct contestations of the assertions of white church leaders who clung to a narrative that posited an ongoing need for their guidance, their leadership, and their control. In column after column, native Christian patriots challenged the “mamo a na misionari” (descendants of the missionaries), characterizing them as “alakai poholalo, hookamani, hoopunipuni” (underhanded, hypocritical, lying leaders).26 Native Christians also took decisive action to control their individual churches. Congregations throughout Hawaiʻi ousted pastors—often native pastors who had served the congregation for many years—who preached against the queen and/or for annexation. Their voices and actions confidently claimed an authority and competency for native Christianity and governance, and did so in the name of the Christian God.

A White Christian Oligarchy and White Hegemony

The Sons of the Mission who had led the takeover of government in 1893 worked throughout the final years of the 19th century to maintain oligarchic minority rule in the islands and to achieve the long sought after goal of white hegemony. Officers of the Hawaiian Board served both the Provisional Government (1893–1894) and the Republic of Hawaiʻi (1894–1898) directly, in appointed political positions, and indirectly, as public spokesman in support of annexation. Several officers of the ʻAhahui ʻEuanelio o Hawaiʻi (AEH) (Hawaiian Evangelical Association) traveled to the United States in support of an American takeover of the islands, giving pro-annexation speeches in churches throughout New England and in Washington. Throughout their pleas for American intervention, the argument for minority rule was based on white governance as God’s will. After a native-led armed attempt to unseat the government in January 1895 failed, the mission monthly The Friend commented, “our Gracious God has once more, with a peculiar care and protection, blessed and smiled upon this young and favored nation of Hawaiʻi. It is the manifest destiny of Hawaiʻi to become the permanent home of a Christian civilization of the highest order.”27 Following a delay of five years, the mission sons’ long-desired seizure of the islands by the United States occurred in 1898 as a result of pragmatic military decisions brought to fore by the Spanish/Filipino–American War.

The territorial period in Hawaiʻi—1900–1959—was characterized by a determined, persistent, and at times overwhelming effort by the United States to reshape the Polynesian homeland of a millennium-old culture into a more palatable possession, military base, and tourist destination for Americans. An 1896 law of the Republic of Hawaiʻi had mandated English-language instruction for all schools public and private, and the message within the schools centered on the elision of any native accomplishment of the past and a redeployment of a rhetoric of heathenism. The half-century presence—1843–1893—of a native-led, progressive, internationally recognized nation needed to be elided, and a steadfast allegiance among an overwhelming majority of native Hawaiians needed to be realigned. The Hawaiian Gazette of April 3, 1906, declared, “As a means of inculcating patriotism in the schools, the Board of Education has agreed upon a plan of patriotic observance to be followed in the celebration of notable days in American history . . .”28 No institution completely escaped the deluge, and the Christian church was not an exception.29 Whereas the native Christian churches had been at the forefront of the political struggle at the close of the 19th century, they had by this point become largely silent on such matters. A relatively conservative ecclesiastic administration worked alongside other influential social and economic institutions to blunt perceived efforts of activism.

Hawaiʻi Conference United Church of Christ

In 1959, Ka ʻAhahui ʻEuanelio o Hawaiʻi, now almost universally referred to as the Hawaiian Evangelical Association, voted to join the United Church of Christ (UCC), an ecclesiastic organization formed only two years earlier by the merging of the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the General Council of the Congregational Christian Churches. Soon after, this association of UCC churches in Hawaiʻi was given the name Hawaiʻi Conference United Church of Christ.

The move signaled a significant pivot from the conservative leanings of the Hawaiian Protestant churches of the 1920s–1950s. The United Church of Christ itself was continuing the progressive and socially engaged initiatives and policies of its two originating organizations, promising in its original statement of faith that all who trust God will receive His support “in the struggle for justice and peace.”30 The UCC was the first historically white denomination to ordain an African American; the first in the modern era to ordain a woman; the first to ordain an openly gay man; and the first Christian church to affirm the right of same-gender couples to marry. This strong commitment to the pursuit of social justice became relevant to the Hawaiʻi Conference of the UCC as Hawaiʻi, spurred by a cultural renaissance launched in the 1970s, began to reexamine all aspects of its troubled past, including the role of Christianity.

“The Apology”

On the hauntingly symbolic day of January 17, 1993—the centennial of the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom government—Rev. Paul Sherry, President of the United Church of Christ, offered a formal apology to Native Hawaiians on behalf of that institution, “in recognition of our historic complicities in the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893.”31 The UCC’s governing body had passed a resolution of apology at its Eighteenth General Synod in Norfolk, Virginia, in 1991. The apology spoke not only of the church’s historic complicity in the events that culminated in the loss of Hawaiian independence, but also admitted a general ethnocentrism on the part of the mission that led to “unduly identifying the ways of the West with the ways of the Christ.”32 The UCC supported the written apology by creating and funding the Pūʻā Foundation to “actively engage, facilitate and serve communities and their efforts to build a resilient society and improve upon their quality of life through healing and reconciliation efforts that address consequences of the 1893 overthrow.”33

Following the 1993 Hawaiʻi-delivered apology from the UCC, long-simmering dissatisfaction among many native Christians regarding the inadequate number of Kanaka Maoli in positions of administrative leadership within the Hawaiʻi Conference UCC combined with the absence of native Christian points of reference within the church services themselves to lead to the formation of a new association within the conference. In June 1994, bylaws were approved for an Association of Hawaiian Evangelical Churches (AHEC), which would serve as a distinct group within the Hawaiʻi Conference of the UCC. The groups stated purpose was,

To affirm our Hawaiian Evangelical, Biblical roots; To express our Christian faith through Hawaiian cultural forms, including Hawaiian Values, traditions, language, and spirituality; To authorize and confirm standing of churches and standing of Nā Kahu (ministers); and To transact any of all lawful activities for which nonprofit corporations may be incorporated under Chapter 415B, Hawai‘i Revised Statues.34

AHEC, the new association infused with native culture, values, and insight, stood alongside the other island groups—Oʻahu Association, Kauaʻi Association, Hawaiʻi Island Association, and the Tri-Isles Association (Maui, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi)—as a fifth component of the Hawaiʻi Conference of the United Church of Christ. By October of 1994, eighteen churches from the islands of Hawai‘i, Maui, and O‘ahu had become members of AHEC. For some, the church seemed to be moving towards a revival of relevance within the native community.35 Partner ministries were forged with groups such as the Pacific Justice and Reconciliation Center, a progressive faith-based coalition that addresses “Indigenous and Native Hawaiian sovereignty and governance issues, Responsible Tourism, Environmental Justice, and Peace and Nonviolence, through direct-action organizing, community education, and advocacy.”36

A 21st-Century Native Hawaiian Christianity

The same historical reflection that has spurred demands within a widening community for some form of recognition of native sovereignty and/or rights in Hawaiʻi has provoked a re-evaluation of former posited binaries between “native” and “foreign” institutions, ways, and beliefs. The place of modern-day native Christianity in Hawaiʻi continues to evolve as its complex past becomes clearer. While the presence and popularity of non-denominational Christian churches in America have certainly had a hand in shaping the character of worship in Hawaiʻi today, a growing awareness of the actions of 19th-century native Christian patriots is spurring calls for a return to an indigenized native Christian church in aspects of both worship and social justice action.

Review of the Literature

A former near-complete reliance on English-language sourcing in the production of histories concerning Hawaiʻi has engendered a dominant narrative concerning Christianity in the islands that describes a fatalistic progression from the 1820 arrival of American Protestant missionaries to the 1893 overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy. This methodological descendant of the once prominent Fatal Impact theory—proposed in the 1990 text The Fatal Impact: The Invasion of the South Pacific, 1767–184037—posits Christianity as simply a tool of foreign usurpers that facilitates an inevitable progression toward white hegemony and elides Kanaka Maoli writings, actions, and claims on leadership.

Recent scholarship has complicated the narrative of Christianity in Hawaiʻi by beginning to access and illuminate the prolific writings of Kanaka Maoli themselves, a native-language resource that make up one of the largest collections of indigenous writings in existence.38 This mostly untapped collection of institutional correspondence, government documents, newspapers and other native-language, primary-source materials is giving voice to a long-silenced nation of Kanaka Maoli in all spheres of society. The writings of Native Christians, ʻaha pule (congregations), and kahunapule (pastors) offer a broader, deeper, and more complex insight into this Christian institution, the ʻAhahui ʻEuanelio o Hawaiʻi (AEH) (Hawaiian Evangelical Association), that was overwhelmingly dominated in number by Kanaka Maoli men and women but governed at its apex by white Christian men. This critical point made, modern benefits to the field of missiology and Christianity in Hawaiʻi are not exclusive to those doing research in the Hawaiian-language archive. A broad understanding of all possible voices and views, promoted by an inclusive historiography, adds depth and complexity to our comprehension.

William Hutchison’s 1989 text, Errand to the World: American Protestant Thought and Foreign Missions, offers a clear examination of possible motivations for, and complications to, the American Protestant mission.39 Past hagiographic accounts of the lives of missionaries in Hawaiʻi are being replaced with more complex accounts such as Clifford Putney’s 2010 text, Missionaries in Hawaiʻi: The Lives of Peter and Fanny Gulick, 1797–1883.40 Texts such as Patricia Grimshaw’s 1989 Paths of Duty: American Missionary Wives in Nineteenth-Century Hawaiʻi41 and Jennifer Thigpen’s 2014 Island Queens and Mission Wives: How Gender and Empire Remade Hawaiʻi’s Pacific World42 have begun and furthered critical discussions on the role of women in the rise of Christianity in Hawaiʻi. The same reexaminations of the American Protestant Mission to Hawaiʻi through the inclusion of native voices is fostering new work on other Christian denominations, including Hokulani K. Aikau’s 2012 work A Chosen People, a Promised Land: Mormonism and Race in Hawaiʻi.43 Old stories given new platform, such as the republication of Memoirs of Henry Obookiah, have driven a reexamination of Kanaka Maoli roles in the formation and expansion of the early mission and the literacy project in Hawaiʻi.44

Spurred in large part by Noenoe Silva’s powerful and cogent critique of the former historiography of Hawaiʻi in the 2004 text Aloha Betrayed, the inclusion and centering of native voices in the stories written about Hawaiʻi have inspired research and writing that has just begun to fill a crucial gap in the historical record.45 This critical shift in the field from narratives about Kanaka Maoli to narratives from Kanaka Maoli is combining with non-native voices to offer us all a richer, more complex and contextualized understanding of Hawaiʻi’s past.

Primary Sources

Nūpepa ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian-Language Newspapers)

Aha Elele, Ka, 1864

Ahailono o ka Lahui, Ka, 1890

Alakai o Hawaii, Ke, 1887–1888

Aloha Aina, Ke, 1896–1910

Aloha Aina Oiaio, Ke, 1896–1897

Au Hou, Ke, 1896

Au Okoa, Ke, 1865–1873

Elele. Ka, 1849–1853

Hae Hawaii, Ka, 1859–1860

Hae Karitiano, O Ka, 1860–1863

Hawaii Holomua, 1891–1895

Hawaii Pae Aina, Ko, 1878–1891

Hoahana, 1895–1902

Hoaloha, Ka 190–1903

Hoku o Ka Pakipika, Ka, 1861–1863

Kuokoa Home Rula, 1901–1912

Lahui Hawaii, Ka 1875–1877

Lama Hawaii, Ka, 1834–1841

Leo o Ka Lahui, Ka, 1889–1896

Loea Kalaiaina, Ka, 1898–1900

Nonanona, Ka, 1841–1844

Nuhou, Ka, 1873–1874

Nupepa Elele, 1890

Nupepa Kuokoa, Ka, 1861–1944

Nupepa Puka La Kuokoa Me Ko Hawaii Paeaina I Huiia, Ka, 1893

Oiaio, Ka, 1889–1896

English-Language Newspapers

Daily Bulletin, 1882–1895

Daily Honolulu Press, 1885–1886

Evening Bulletin, 1895–1902

Hawaiian Gazette, 1865–1918

Hawaii Holomua, 1893–1895

Hawaiian Star, 1893–1912

The Independent, 1895–1905

Maui News, 1900–1905

Pacific Commercial Advertiser, 1856–1921

Polynesian, 1844–1863

Records of the ʻAhahui ʻEuanelio o Hawaiʻi

Ahahui Euanelio o na Ekalesia o ka Mokupuni o Hawaii (Reports of the Evangelical Association of the Churches of Hawaii [Island]

Ahahui Euanelio o na Ekalesia o ka Mokupuni o Oahu (Reports of the Evangelical Association of the Churches of Oahu)

Ahahui Lunakahiko o ka Mokupuni o Maui (Reports of the Maui Presbytery)

Hoike Makahiki o ka Ahahui Euanelio Hawaii (Annual reports of the Hawaiian Evangelical Association), 1863–1902.

Ke Kumukanawai o ka Ahahui Euanelio o Hawaii (Constitution of the Hawaiian Evangelical Association), 1863

Papa Hoike no na Haina Ma Queen Emma Hall (Report of the Evangelistic Committee at Queen Emma Hall), 1894

Correspondence of Native Pastors to the Hawaiian Board, in Hawaiian-Language

Judd Family Papers, 1823–1899. MS Group 70. Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum Archives, Honolulu.

English-Language Primary Sources

ABCFM-Hawaii Papers, 1820–1900. Houghton Library, Harvard University, Harvard, Cambridge, MA.

Children of the Mission, 1830–1900. Hawaiian Mission Children’s Society, Honolulu.

Church Records, 1823–1945. Hawaiian Mission Children’s Society Library, Honolulu.

Further Reading

Anderson, Rufus. The Hawaiian Islands: Their Progress and Condition under Missionary Labors. Boston: Gould and Lincoln, 1864.Find this resource:

    Anderson, Rufus. History of the Sandwich Islands Mission. Boston: Congregational Publishing Society, 1870.Find this resource:

      Anderson, Rufus. To Advance the Gospel: Selections from the Writings of Rufus Anderson. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1967.Find this resource:

        Beamer, Kamana, and T. Kaeo Duarte. “I palapala no ia aina—Documenting the Hawaiian Kingdom: A Colonial Venture?” Journal of Historical Geography 35 (2009), 66–86.Find this resource:

          Beamer, Kamana. No Mākou ka Mana: Liberating the Nation. Honolulu: Kamehameha Schools Press, 2015.Find this resource:

            Bingham, Hiram. A Residence of Twenty-One Years in the Sandwich Islands; or, The Civil, Religious, and Political History of Those Islands: Comprising a Particular View of the Missionary Operations Connected with the Introduction and Progress of Christianity and Civilization among the Hawaiian People. Rutland, VT: C. E. Tuttle, 1981.Find this resource:

              “Buke Hai Euanelio o ka Hoomana Naauao no Na Makahiki Iubile He Kanalima, Aperila 16, 1853–Aperila 16, 1903.” Unpublished manuscript, 1903.Find this resource:

                Grimshaw, Patricia. Paths of Duty: American Missionary Wives in Nineteenth-Century Hawaii. Honolulu: University of Hawaiʻi Press, 1989.Find this resource:

                  Harris, Paul William. Nothing but Christ: Rufus Anderson and the Ideology of Protestant Foreign Missions. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.Find this resource:

                    Harris, Susan K. God’s Arbiters: Americans and the Philippines, 1898–1902. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.Find this resource:

                      Hawaiian Mission Children’s Society. Missionary Album: Portraits and Biographical Sketches of the American Protestant Missionaries to the Hawaiian Islands. Honolulu: Edwards Enterprises, 1969.Find this resource:

                        Hutchinson, William R. Errand to the World: American Protestant Thought and Foreign Missions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987.Find this resource:

                          Judd, Laura Fish. Honolulu: sketches of life, social, political, and religious, in the Hawaiian Islands from 1828-1861. New York: Anson D. F. Randolph and Co., 1880.Find this resource:

                            Kameʻeleihiwa, Lilikalā. Native Land and Foreign Desires: Pehea Lā E Pono Ai? Honolulu: Bishop Museum Press, 1992.Find this resource:

                              Kuykendall, Ralph S. The Hawaiian Kingdom. Vol. 1, 1778–1854, Foundation and Transformation. Honolulu: University of Hawaiʻi Press, 1938.Find this resource:

                                Kuykendall, Ralph S. The Hawaiian Kingdom. Vol. 2, 1854–1874, Twenty Critical Years. Honolulu: University of Hawaiʻi Press, 1953.Find this resource:

                                  Kuykendall, Ralph S. The Hawaiian Kingdom. Vol. 3, 1874–1893, The Kalakaua Dynasty. Honolulu: University of Hawaiʻi Press, 1967.Find this resource:

                                    Liliʻuokalani. Hawaii’s Story by Hawaii’s Queen. Boston: Lothrop, Lee, and Shepard, 1898.Find this resource:

                                      Lyon, Jeffrey (Kapali). “Davida Malo, Nathaniel Emerson, and the ‘Sins’ of Hawaiians: An Analysis of Emerson’s Hawaiian Antiquities as a Guide to Malo’s Mo’olelo Hawai’i.” Hūlili: Multidisciplinary Research on Hawaiian Well-Being 7 (2011): 91–132.Find this resource:

                                        Lyon, Jeffrey (Kapali). “No ka Baibala Hemolele: The Making of the Hawaiian Bible.” Palapala, a journal for Hawaiian language and literature Vol. 1 (2017). Available online.Find this resource:

                                          Merseberg, James P. “The Ministry of the Mission Field: Some Aspects of the Indigenization of the Church.” BDiv thesis, Andover Newton Theological School, 1965.Find this resource:

                                            Nogelmeier, Marvin Puakea. Mai Paʻa I Ka Leo: Historical Voice in Hawaiian Primary Materials, Looking Forward and Listening Back. Honolulu: Bishop Museum Press, 2010.Find this resource:

                                              Okihiro, Gary Y. Island World: A History of Hawaiʻi and the United States. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008.Find this resource:

                                                Putney, Clifford. Missionaries in Hawaiʻi: The Lives of Peter and Fanny Gulick, 1797–1883. Amherst and Boston: University of Massachusetts Press, 2010.Find this resource:

                                                  Schmitt, Robert C. “Religious Statistics of Hawaii, 1825–1972.” Hawaiian Journal of History 7 (1973): 41–47.Find this resource:

                                                    Schweizer, Niklaus R. “King Kalakaua: An International Perspective.” Hawaiian Journal of History 25 (1991): 103–120.Find this resource:

                                                      Semes, Robert Louis. “Hawaiʻi’s Holy War: English Bishop Staley, American Congregationalists, and the Hawaiian Monarchs, 1860–1870.” Hawaiian Journal of History 34 (2000): 113–138.Find this resource:

                                                        Silva, K. Noenoe. “Ke Kūʻē Kūpaʻa Loa Nei Mākou: Kanaka Maoli Resistance to Colonization,” PhD diss., University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, 1999.Find this resource:

                                                          Silva, K. Noenoe. Aloha Betrayed: Native Hawaiian Resistance to American Colonialism. Durham, NC, and London: Duke University Press, 2004.Find this resource:

                                                            Silva, K. Noenoe. “Nānā I Ke Kumu: Look to the Source.” Te Kaharoa 2 (2008): 64–76, 284.Find this resource:

                                                              Silva, K. Noenoe. “E Lawe I Ke Ō: An Analysis of Joseph Mokuohai Poepoe’s Account of Pele Calling the Winds.” Hūlili: Multidisciplinary Research on Hawaiian Well-Being 6 (2010): 237–266.Find this resource:

                                                                Thigpen, Jennifer. Island Queens and Mission Wives: How Gender and Empire Remade Hawaiʻi’s Pacific World Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2014.Find this resource:

                                                                  Williams, Ronald C., Jr. “To Raise a Voice in Praise: The Revivalist Mission of John Henry Wise, 1889–1896.” Hawaiian Journal of History 46 (2012): 1–35.Find this resource:

                                                                    Williams, Ronald C., Jr. “‘Ike Mōakaaka, Seeing a Path Forward: Historiography in Hawaiʻi.” Hūlili: Multidisciplinary Research on Hawaiian Well-Being 7 (2011): 67–90.Find this resource:


                                                                      (1.) “Sons of the Mission” was a term used by those both inside and outside of the church to describe descendants of the original American Protestant missionaries to Hawaiʻi.

                                                                      (2.) The original English-language translation of the 1863 “By-Laws” reads, “one in English for the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions and the other for the Hawaiian Evangelical Association.” “Ke Kumukanawai o ka Ahahui Euanelio o Hawaii Nei,” unprocessed manuscript, Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum Archives, Honolulu.

                                                                      (3.) “Ke Kumukanawai o ka Ahahui Euanelio o Hawaii Nei,” unprocessed manuscript, Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum Archives, Honolulu.

                                                                      (4.) Hiram Bingham, A Residence of Twenty-One Years in the Sandwich Islands (Canandaigua, NY: H.D. Goodwin, 1855), 81.

                                                                      (5.) Bingham, A Residence of Twenty-One Years in the Sandwich Islands, 81.

                                                                      (6.) O.H. Gulick and A.E. Gulick, The Pilgrims of Hawaii (New York and Chicago: Fleming H. Revell, 1918), 36.

                                                                      (7.) “Hoomanamana,” Ka Hae Hawaii, July 23, 1856, p. 82.

                                                                      (8.) Historian Lilikalā Kameʻeleihiwa has posited a belief by her ancestors that agreeing to the new religion and its offer of ola hou would mean an end to the terrible loss of life plaguing the kingdom. Lillikalā Kameʻeleihiwa, Native Land and Foreign Desires (Honolulu: Bishop Museum Press, 1992), 142.

                                                                      (9.) The pāʻū of Nahiʻenaʻena, created at twenty feet long by two and a half feet wide, is constructed from the feathers of approximately one hundred thousand ʻōʻō (Acrulocercus nobilis)—eight to twelve yellow feathers per bird—marking a tremendously significant project.

                                                                      (10.) Missionary Herald, vol. 49 (Boston: Thomas Todd Company, 1853), 337.

                                                                      (11.) Missionary Herald, vol. 49, 337.

                                                                      (12.) Thomas Nettleship Staley, Five Years’ Church Work in the Kingdom of Hawaii (London and Oxford: Rivingtons, 1868), 13.

                                                                      (13.) Staley, Five Years’ Church Work in the Kingdom of Hawaii, 15–16.

                                                                      (14.) Fifty-Second Annual Report of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (Boston: T. R. Marvin & Son, 1862), 18.

                                                                      (15.) Debates and Proceedings of the National Council of Congregational Churches (Boston: American Congregational Association, 1865), 463.

                                                                      (16.) James P. Merseberg, “The Ministry of the Mission Field: Some Aspects of the Indigenization of the Church” (BDiv thesis, Andover Newton Theological School, 1965); Oscar Maurer, Three Early Christian Leaders of Hawaii (Honolulu: Board of the HEA, 1945); and Hoike Makahiki Kanakolu-Kumamalua o ka Ahahui Euanelio Hawaii (Honolulu: Ka Papa Hawaii, 1900).

                                                                      (17.) Proceedings of the Hawaiian Evangelical Association at its Annual Meeting in Honolulu June 3, to July 1, 1863 (Boston: T. R. Marvin & Sons, 1864), 56.

                                                                      (18.) Rev. Sereno Bishop to Rev. Judson Smith, April 11, 1887, ABCFM-Hawaii Papers, Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.

                                                                      (19.) Hoike Makahiki Iwakalua-Kumamaha o ka Ahahui Euanelio Hawaii (Honolulu: Ka Papa Hawaii, 1887).

                                                                      (20.) Rev. Elias Bond to Rev. Judson Smith, February 18, 1887, HEA letters, HMCS, Honolulu.

                                                                      (21.) Lorrin A. Thurston, Memoirs of the Hawaiian Revolution (Honolulu: Honolulu Advertiser Publishing Company, 1936), 608.

                                                                      (22.) Josiah Strong, Our Country: Its Possible Future and Its Present Crisis (New York: American Home Missionary Society, 1885), 222.

                                                                      (23.) Strong, Our Country: Its Possible Future and Its Present Crisis, 222.

                                                                      (24.) Hawaiian Mission Children’s Society, Jubilee Celebration of the Arrival of the Missionary Reinforcements of 1837 (Honolulu: Daily Bulletin Steam Print, 1887), 9.

                                                                      (25.) “Report of Sub-Committee on New Work at the Hawaiian Islands,” April 3, 1888, ABCFM-Hawaii Papers, Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.

                                                                      (26.) William Abraham Kiha, “E Aha Ana O Kaumakapili a me Kawaiahao e Ulolohi Nei,” Ka Leo o Ka Lahui, 25 [26] (January 1894): 2–3.

                                                                      (27.) “A Manifest Divine Protection,” The Friend, February 1895, 9.

                                                                      (28.) “Patriotic Program for School Observance,” Hawaiian Gazette, April 3, 1906, 6.

                                                                      (29.) While the effects of Americanization were influential in altering some aspects of the native Christian churches over time, these churches at the same time served as “cultural kīpuka,” or oasis of culture for things such as ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian language).

                                                                      (30.) “Statement of Faith of the United Church of Christ,” United Church of Christ.

                                                                      (31.) Paul Sherry, “The Apology,” New Conversations (1993): 3.

                                                                      (32.) Sherry, “The Apology,” 3.

                                                                      (33.) Sherry, “The Apology,” 3.

                                                                      (35.) Kahunapule of AHEC churches have been actively involved in social activism in Hawaiʻi, through involvement in protests, being arrested, and opening up their churches to leaders of the activist movements. Services in some churches have actively courted Kanaka Maoli input and leadership, resulting in services replacing the sacred host with traditional kalo and blessed water or wine with ʻawa. The use of ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi within services is also more common.

                                                                      (36.) “About Us,” Pacific Justice and Reconciliation Center.

                                                                      (37.) Alan Moorehead, The Fatal Impact: An Account of the Invasion of the South Pacific, 1767–1840 (London: H. Hamilton, 1966).

                                                                      (38.) The digitized collection of Hawaiian-language newspapers published between 1834 and 1848 itself consists of approximately 125,000 oversized pages.

                                                                      (39.) William R. Hutchinson, Errand to the World: American Protestant Thought and Foreign Missions (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987).

                                                                      (40.) Clifford Putney, Missionaries in Hawaiʻi: The Lives of Peter and Fanny Gulick, 1797–1883 (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2010).

                                                                      (41.) Patricia Grimshaw, Paths of Duty: American Missionary Wives in Nineteenth-Century Hawaii (Honolulu: University of Hawaiʻi Press, 1989).

                                                                      (42.) Jennifer Thigpen, Island Queens and Mission Wives: How Gender and Empire Remade Hawaiʻi’s Pacific World (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2014).

                                                                      (43.) Hokulani K. Aikau, A Chosen People, A Promise Land: Mormonism and Race in Hawaiʻi (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2012).

                                                                      (44.) E. W. Dwight, Lyman Beecher, Joseph Harvey, Herman Daggett, and John Treadwell, Memoirs of Henry Obookiah, a Native of Owhyhee, and a Member of the Foreign Mission School, Who Died at Cornwall, Conn., Feb. 17, 1818, Age 26 Years (Cornwall, CT: Foreign Mission School, 1819).

                                                                      (45.) Noenoe Silva, Aloha Betrayed: Native Hawaiian Resistance to American Colonialism (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2004).