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Tropical Leaves

We belong to the United Church of Christ.


We are a community of people that claim Jesus - the Christ, the Prophet, the Revolutionary - as God, Savior, and Teacher. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, we follow the way of Jesus, proclaiming through word and action Christ's life-giving gospel of love, peace, and justice; inviting all to join us God's table; and, extending extravagant welcome to our neighbors. In pursuit of the good things of God, we are ever-engaged in the mission to create a just world for all.


Our church was founded in 1849 in the seaside village of Keālia, South Kona, where a church of coral and lava rock was constructed. This church is referred to as our "Mother Church." Our founder, the Rev. John D. Paris, a church planter and missionary, supervised the establishment of many of our sister churches in the Kona and Kaʻū districts of Hawaiʻi Island, as places of worship for Hawaiians.

In 1900, a second church, known affectionately as the "Keiki Church," was built in the mauka (upper, mountainous) region of Keālia. As the communities of Keālia and Hoʻokena continued to grow and thrive, both churches served simultaneously for fifty years.


In 1950, following the 100th anniversary of our founding, the Mother Church was demolished following an earthquake that struck the area. Today, three of its original walls remain. On occasion, members of the church will hold outdoor services at the mother church. Locals and visitors alike, who trek towards Hoʻokena and Keālia beaches, continue to visit and document our historic church.

Following 1950, the Keiki Church became the primary house of worship for the Congregation; and, for the last 123 years, remains the spiritual center of the community.


For over 170 years, Pukaʻana (which means Exodus) has been central to our lives: as individuals, families, and community. Here, in Keālia, generations of have assembled to worship God; to study the Word and hear God’s still-speaking voice; and, to fellowship with one another in love.

As our church continues to grow, we have committed ourselves as faithful disciples of Jesus Christ to answer God's call to mission – to reach out to our community and embrace all in loving, Christian fellowship; to share the hope-filled message of the Gospel and to live its principles; and, to deepen our relationship with Christ, and with one another.

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