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Hanapepe United Church of Christ

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1948. 4481 Kona Rd.
  • (Photograph by Augie Salbosa)

A handsomely rendered, modern Gothic Revival church, this gleaming white, almost A-frame presents all the touchstones of the style in an immaculately clean, contemporary manner. A stylized Celtic cross–shaped stained glass window focuses attention on the facade in a manner comparable to medieval rose windows. The entrance's awning establishes a concave-convex interplay through the sweep of its copper roof and rounded, ribbed corners, and contributes a sense of depth to an otherwise planar white wall. Stained glass–block windows with crisp hoods flank the entrance and continue along both sides of the building. Wood-slat louvers between each pair of windows accommodate the tropical need for ventilation, and diminutive, sleek buttresses demarcate each bay. The building terminates with a pair of laterally placed gable-roofed wings. The first serves the traditional role of a transept, and the second addresses the need for an office, columbarium, and storage. The interior continues the modern Gothic dynamic with its scissors-truss ceiling and stained glass illumination. A more traditional set of three lancet stained glass windows was installed above the altar in 1951. The entrance doors have a modest band of carving depicting the symbols for the four evangelists.

The church was the first building constructed on the makai side of the highway, which planners had projected to become Hanapepe's new civic center. It is the third site for this church, whose origins may be traced to the late 1890s, having started at Hawaiian Sugar Company's Camp No. 2, also known as the Japanese Camp, in Makaweli.

Writing Credits

Don J. Hibbard


What's Nearby


Don J. Hibbard, "Hanapepe United Church of Christ", [Hanapepe, Hawaii], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Hawaii

Buildings of Hawaii, Don J. Hibbard. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2011, 57-57.

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