If staying here, the Kona side of the island has many denomination churches and services vary.

If visiting the island for a day, there are a few historic churches you may wish to visit.

Moku‘aikaua Church is located on Ali`i Drive just a short walk from the pier, is the oldest Christian church in the Hawaiian Islands. The congregation dates to 1820 and the building was completed in 1837.

The congregation was first founded in 1820 by Asa and Lucy Goodale Thurston, from the first ship of American Christian Missionaries, the brig Thaddeus. They were given permission to teach Christianity by King Kamehameha II, and the Queen Regent Kaʻahumanu. After the royal court relocated to Honolulu, they briefly moved there. In October 1823, they learned that the people of Kailua-Kona had developed an interest in the new ways and had erected a small wooden church. The first structure on the site was made from Ohiʻa wood and a thatched roof, on land obtained from Royal Governor Kuakini across the street from his Huliheʻe Palace. The name moku ʻaikaua literally means “district acquired by war” in the Hawaiian language, probably after the upland forest area where the wood was obtained.

After several fires, the present stone structure was constructed, partially from stones recycled from a nearby Heiau (ancient temple of the Hawaiian religion), from about 1835 to 1837. The interior is decorated with Koa wood.


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Saint Benedict’s Roman Catholic Church (The Painted Church) is located south of town in nearby Honaunau.

The Painted Church was moved up mauka (up the mountain) from the seaside in 1899 by the then Father Jean Velghe. This was due to most parishioners living and working up there. The Father was a self-taught folk artist and painted the interior as a way to augment his sermons. The church is a historic site and currently only open for tours Tue, Wed and Thu from 9:30am until 3:30 pm. As it is an active Roman Catholic church you are asked to be dressed appropriately (no swim suits, etc). Admission is free and donations are accepted for continuing maintenance.